Monday, 4 April 2016

In search of Whitelegg's on the corner of Manchester Road and Oswald Lane

Now I am no nearer discovering the story behind nu 61 Manchester Road which many will remember as Whitelegg’s the grocery shop.

I have a vague memory it was still trading here when I first washed up in Chorlton and was dispensing all things grocery in 1958 when A H Downs caught it on camera.

I did go looking for the story and wondered at the time if the owners were connected to the Whitelegg family who ran the Bowling Green in the 1860s and built Stockton Range on Edge Lane or were distantly related to that other Whitelegg who had rented Redgate Farm which was demolished to make way for the Library.

It was one of those complicated searches which I never had time to take on but I am tempted to do so after Andy Robertson sent me his picture of the building as it looks today.

There will be plenty of people who remember shopping there. My old friend Ida remembers the farm eggs and roast ham her mother bought from Whitelegg’s and I am sure there will be others who can offer up not only their own stories but point me towards discovering more about the family.

What I do know is that back when the parade of shops was new one of its first shop keepers was a Miss Mary C Midgley who in 1903 described herself as a confectioner and who by 1911 had been replaced by Mrs Emma Kaye who also dealt in confectionery.

And the rest setting aside any contributions will be down to a painstaking trawl of the directories.

Location; Chorlton-cum-Hardy

Pictures; corner of Manchester Road and Oswald Lane, 1958, A H Downes, courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council, http://images.manchester.gov.uk/index.php?session=pass and the same building, 2016, from the collection of Andy Robertson

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