Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Back at that shop on Manchester Road

I wonder how many people remember visiting Whitegg’s the grocer’s shop after its makeover in 1961.

Now I am fairly confident that there will be quite a few people given that yesterday’s story about the shop brought forth a shed full of memories.*

I have long wondered if there was a connection between the Whitelegg family that ran the Bowling Green and another Whitelegg who was the tenant farmer at Red Gates Farm further down Manchester Road.

It was a bit of research I never took further.

But then Andy Robertson sent me two pictures of the building as it looks today and pointed me towards a photograph taken in 1958.

And that was enough to set a story going and as they it is a tale which will run and run because Andy is back with another old picture and a bit of research.

It seems that this picture dating from 1961 was taken during the alterations to the shop and led Andy to ponder on the chap in white.

He suggested I "check out  the man in white coat who looks very grocer-like, could well be Thomas Whitelegg who was born in 1916 and looks just the right in 19161.

His parents were Thomas Whitelegg, Maggie Robertson who were married in 1910 and also ran a grocery and confectionary shop at 17 Hope Road Sale.

Thomas Whitelegg senior was the son of Joseph (1860-1944), a grocer and milk dealer, born Manchester.

And there the continuity breaks down because Joseph’s father and grandfather were cabinet makers from Manchester.”

Of course like all good researchers Andy is careful to point out that he could be wrong but concludes that “it all looks promising.”

Which indeed it does and along the way rules out my theories but offers up some fascinating new lines of inquiry, leaving me only  to quote from my favourite Fu Man Chu film “the world has not heard the last of this.”

Actually he said “the world has not heard the last of me” but that didn’t fit.

So before I get too silly I shall just add that Mr Thomas Whitelegg is listed as the shop keeper in 1969 and so will in all probability be the chap looking on at the conversion and will also be the chap who served so many of those customers who have remembered the place with fondness.

Location; Chorlton-cum-Hardy

Research; Andy Robertson

Pictures; No 61 alteration of shop front, A H Downes, 1961, m18076, courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council, http://images.manchester.gov.uk/index.php?session=pass and the shop entrance, 2016 from the collection of Andy Robertson

* In search of Whitelegg's on the corner of Manchester Road and Oswald Lane, http://chorltonhistory.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/in-search-of-whiteleggs-on-corner-of.html

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