Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Another story from Tony Goulding ....... St. Annes Road Off-license ( A response to a post of 10th. July 2015)

This shop was built in about 1912 and since then has mostly been an off-license. 

It ceased trading around the time of the turn of the millennium (or slightly earlier) and hasn't re-opened; the signs of the last SALE are still clearly visible in the window, however.

From the early 1930's until at least the 1960's it was run by an Mrs.Bertha Krell. (As recorded in Kelly's directory, 1933).  For some reason Bertha operated under her maiden name as she had already married Bernard Solomon at the South Manchester Synagogue in 1931.

Bertha was born in Cheetham Hill on June 17th. 1905 to Russian born parents, Benjamin and his second wife Fanny (nee Kerman), who kept a shop at 67, Cheetham Hill Road, trading in "earthenware goods” with a partner and fellow Russian émigré' David Zeligman.

By the time of Bertha's wedding the family had re-located to the more affluent area of Withington were they had an ironmongers shop as well as trading in wine and spirits. Dora, Bertha’s younger sister also gave piano lessons from their home at 17, Grove Terrace on Burton Road.

Bernard arrived in Manchester as a "Romanian" refugee when just three years old in the summer of 1901. Bernard's parents were Alter, a tailor's presser and Eva and by 1911 the family had settled at 8, Fairy Lane, off Bury New Road.

There is a record of a Bernard Krell (born 3rd.May, 1898) dying in Manchester in 1971.

It is extremely likely that this man was Bertha's spouse. Perhaps the couple used the less obviously Jewish surname "Krell" to avoid anti-Semitic activity. They were certainly using that surname in 1939, according to the just released "1939 Register".

Further perusals through both the street directories and the electoral rolls has added a little more information on the history of this building prior to, and since its occupation by the Krells.

In the first years of its life it appears to have been a solely residential property having a number of different residents. These included Mr. Nicholas Hennessey in 1915 and a Mr. James Craig in 1925. as yet I have been unable to discover any more about these two individuals.

Following the Krells the premises were occupied by Ronald and Edith Russell from the early 1970's until at least 1984, and possibly also for the final decade of its existence as an operational off-license.

This business may have been the last remaining of the traditional independent off-licenses which existed before the advent of chains such as "Threshers" and "Victoria Wine" which is now they largely confined to history with the proliferation of alcohol sales through supermarkets and convenience stores.

Replaced in some way by specialist wine and beer outlets at one end of the market and discount "booze" stores at the other.

 In the 1960's and 70's I only recall a few other "offies".

The "Feathers" and the "Southern" both had their own dedicated off-sales department with an access from the roadway. Otherwise apart from this one on St, Annes Road there was a tiny one on Beech Road (now San Juan Tapas Bar) where, incidentally, I was last asked my age when buying alcohol - I was in my late 20's at the time! I assume there must have been a few more around but, I suspect, not that many and I certainly don't remember them. Any thoughts?

© Tony Goulding, 2015

Pictures; from the collection, Tony Goulding, 2015

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