Tuesday, 20 June 2017

A ghost sign, Mr Clayton the grocer and a new business on Wilbraham Road

Now I have Chorlton Book Shop to thank for the picture which they sent over a few hours ago.

512 Wilbraham Road, 2017
It is a fine example of what we call a ghost sign, which advertised either a product or business which has long since vanished.

Lyons Tea was sold by J. Lyons and Co, famous for their Corner Houses which for a big chunk of the 20th century were place to meet, enjoy a cup of tea and a range of cakes in impressive surroundings.

Long before the modern coffee shops Lyon’s Corner Houses were an essential part of many people’s daily routine.

My favourite was close to Charing Cross Station.

Wilbraham Road, 1959

But despite having a presence in most cities Lyons were finally taken over becoming Allied Lyons and later still the business was broken up with the various divisions becoming part of Nestlé and RHM.

Our sign was part of the shop front of Mr Clayton the grocer and as luck would have it there is a photograph of the shop as it was in 1959 clearly showing our ghost sign.

A decade later Mr Clayton was still dispensing smiles, butter, tea and biscuits and when he finally sold up, the signs were hidden under wooden cladding.

And now that the shop is about to change its use again these signs have come back out into the daylight.

Wilbraham Road 2016
It hope the new business will retains them in much the same way as another shop further along the row has done.

They are after all not only a bit or retail history but also of Chorlton’s past.

And those who want a bit of that history, in 1969, running back from Oswald Road to Manchester Road, the businesses, included a travels agents, butchers, a fruit shop, a DIY business, along with a baker, our grocer, Elizabeth Wool Shop, a sweet shop and newsagents, and M E Coupe (Furnishers) Ltd.

A little under sixty years earlier and the list ran a tobaconist,the Singer Sewing Machine shop, a milliner, a grocer, watch maker, along with Miss Gertrude Cartledge, fancy draper, a shoe maker, butcher and a chandler.

Our ghost sign, 1959
I will leave you to complete the the present row of businesses and just say that the lists from 1911, 1969 and today pretty much tell their own story.

Location; Chorlton








Picture, Ghost sign at 510 Wilbraham Road courtesy of Chorlton Book Shop,,Wilbraham Road north side, Shops 510-512, A E Landers, May 24 1959, m18272, courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council, http://images.manchester.gov.uk/index.php?session=pass and 510,January 2016  courtesy of Tiny's Tipple, http://www.tinystipple.co.uk/

1 comment:

  1. Hi Andrew, that is a reminder to me. My mother worked in a Lyons Corner House in the city centre until she married my dad in 1936. She told me and it says on their marriage certificate that she was a Café waitress.

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