Friday, 18 December 2015

Peeling back the story of Tripp’s Corner on Barlow Moor Road

Looking down Barlow Moor Road to Tripp's corner, 2015
Now I wonder how many people still refer to this strip of shops on Barlow Moor Road as Tripp's Corner.

John Tripp was a grocer from Swansea in Wales who bought the plot of land stretching back from Palatine Road along Barlow Moor Road and built this parade of shops and houses.

Now one source suggest a date of 1910 for the purchase and development of this spot, but the census returns have John and his wife living there by 1881 and still there twenty years later.

Mr Tripp's shop and Post Office, 1906
His shop sold groceries, lent books and contained the post office.  His daughter ran the post office and may also have run the lending library.

I suspect that Tripp's Corner no longer trips off as many tongues as it would have done half a century and more ago but it is a perfect example of how popular names take root and defy even the planners whose alternative place names never quite catch on.

So Chorlton Cross for most people is the Four Banks which makes perfect sense given that there is one on each corner.

Mr Tripp's shop, 1878
And go back into history and for most of the 20th century it was known as Kemps’s Corner after Harry Kemp’s chemist shop which is now the HSBC.

In the same way the spot where Barlow Moor Road meets Sandy Lane and High Lane was for centuries called Lane End which made even more sense given that until recently this was Barlow Moor Lane.

Although for some it would also be Brundrett’s corner named after Mr Brundrett who ran his grocery shop roughly facing High Lane.

Mr Tripp's shop, 1880
I came across the story of Mr Tripp while writing Didsbury Therough Time and can remember feeling pleased that I had pushed back the date of his presence on Barlow Moor Road.

But like so many pieces of historical research I left a bit of the story undone and it took Andy Robertson to unearth the missing part.

He had wandered down and recorded that parade of shops on a December afternoon in 2015 and then went back to the digital archive and found an all most identical set of pictures from a century ago, but in the process discovered Mr Tripp’s earlier shop from where he had been trading in 1878.

At Tripp's Corner, 2013
And in the space of a few pictures called up Mr Tripp’s start in a more humble premise, the move to the grander building we know now and finally to his expansion into the next door shop.

All of which just leaves me to point you in the direction of Didsbury Though Time with its fine set of paintings of Didsbury by Peter Topping. along with a mix of old and new photographs and more than a bit about the lives of the people who lived behind the doors.

It was written in the autumn of 2014 and published in December of that year.

Pictures, looking towards Tripps’s Corner from the series West Didsbury, 2015 by Andy Robertsosn and by degree Mr Tripps shop in 1878, W J Cotsworth, m56084 , 1880, W J Cotsworth, m56085 and in 1906, courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council,

*Didsbury Through Time, Andrew Simpson & Peter Topping

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