Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Remembering Slightam's of 105 Manchester Road

Slightam's, circa 1966
Now I have become interested in Slightam’s of 105 Manchester Road.

They ran one of the shops which offered a full range of services from "Newsagents, Stationers, Fancy Goods [and] Tobacconists" but also acted as a “Lending Library [with] over 1000 books.”

I first came across them on the dust cover of a book from one of those lending libraries which had been passed to me by my friend Margaret.

And not long after I posted a story about the book cover which referred to Slightam’s Lorna and David came back with memories of the shop.

Lorna remembered “that was a shop with immense character. It was a newsagent. Mr Slightanm always wore gloves with no fingers in. I don’t think the shop changed for many years, it was like Aladdin’s cave” while Dave added that “I remember, I even delivered papers for him. There was an old fashioned phone kiosk in the back of his shop that took old pennies”

Sowerbutts, 1911
All of which deserves a lot more research, more so because the 1911 directory listed 105 as “Sowerbutt’s Robert, newsagents Telephone Call Office” which not only offers up a wonderful sense of continuity but throws a light on how the telephone system worked in the early 20th century.

And in turn that telephone link helps date my dust cover.

I thought it might be the 1930s and said so but looking again at the advert for Slightam’s the clue is their telephone number which was Chorlton 140 and which in was changed to “now -881-3146.”

Now that change occurred in 1966 and so our hand written correction to the number means that the dust cover and the circulating library from which this book came was still doing the rounds in the 1960s.

Not earth shattering history I grant you but I think it’s fascinating and may well lead to a few more stories about the Slightam’s.

Thank you to Lorna and David.

Picture; advert courtesy of Margaret Connelly.

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