|The junction of Wilbraham Road with Albany and Corklands Roads, circa 1903-13|
So while there will be many people who recognise the properties on the right hand side of the photograph only a handful will have visited the first row of shops on our immediate left and there will be no one who knew them when they were still just private residences. Today the site where they stood is taken up with our Post Office and the Post Box Cafe.
We are on Wilbraham Road at the junction with Albany and Corkland sometime before the autumn of 1913.
|Bikes, horses and carts|
At the beginning of that year the tram had reached Whalley Range and by February the Alexander Road service from town was extended to Wilbraham Road which would be the terminus for five months until the railway bridge at Chorlton had been strengthened and track laid to join Barlow Moor Road.
The last part of the network from Whalley Range into Chorlton was opened on October 13th 1913.
|The lost houses with their shops, circa 1903-13|
It was practice which was replicated all along Wilbraham Road both on this stretch and the section beyond Barlow Moor Road up to Manchester Road.
Photographs from the late 19th and early 20th centuries show many of these properties still with gardens and in many cases the conversions throw up clues as to what happened.
In some of the shops at the rear there are still steps up into what would have been the front rooms of the houses, while old maps show the original foot print of the building.
|The corner of Albany and Wilbrham Roads|
Look carefully and there is a clear mismatch between the upper stories of the houses and the retail frontage.
Look even closer at the first shop on the corner with Albany Road and there is something of a mystery.
The awning has the name of Edwards Dispensing chemist and this is also the name above the door but above that is a sign for Francis B Flint who is listed as the chemist from at least 1903 through to 1911.
It is I guess just a little mystery which a closer look at the directories for the years before 1903 will solve by revealing that Edwards was the previous occupant.
|The lost houses without their shops circa 1885|
Pictures; from the Lloyd collection