Sunday, 11 June 2017

On Liverpool Road in 1896 .............. ladders, hair restorer and Mr Barrett with a nod to a road repair

I wonder if this is Mr James Barrett standing staring back at us.  

I am fairly confident it might be him, given that in 1895 he occupied numbers 7-9  Liverpool Road in the year before this picture was taken.

He is listed as “clothes dealer” and his neighbours at number 11 were the Johnson Brothers who were ladder makers and for confirmation there in the picture are sets of ladders.

And both Mr Barrett and the Johnson Brothers are listed in the Rates Book for 1895.

But the only problem might be the shop at number 5 shown in the right of our picture, because this looks to be a chemist, which the poster for Hair Restorer and the lettering on the window would indicate.

And yet in 1895 it is a confectioners run by a Mrs Ruth Allsop who may have vacated the premises sometime in the year when it appears Mr William Smith extended his clothes business from nu 1 into number 3.

I suppose on one level it is really a bit of detail too far, but I am fascinated.

By 1901 Mr & Mrs Barrett still occupied the two shops but William Smith and Mrs Allsop had long gone although the place was still dealing in clothes sold by Ambrose and Sarah Lord.

For now I shall leave you with the caption to the picture which just refers to “road works.”

I am old enough to remember when work like this was accompanied be a nightwatchman who sat through the night beside his brazier protected from the elements in his hut.

It will have been a solitary job, punctuated by the visit of a passing police constable doing his rounds and the occasional late night reveller.

That said we are on Liverpool Road and I doubt there were many late night revellers down here, just a few railwaymen working the late shift at the goods depot further down the street.

Now whether any of them or Mr Barrett was into hair restorer I cannot say, but there will be a few who might well have been drawn in by the promise of a full set of restored hair.

It was being advertised on the wall of number 5 at 9d a bottle.

As someone who long ago lost enough to make a visit to the barber's a waste of time I do feel for those who driven by pride or the taunts of others might have succumbed.

There were plenty of "treatments" on the market many still made of dubious substances thrown together in the back yard of the shop and all which will have made no difference.

Location; Manchester

Picture; Liverpool Road, 1896, m02618, courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, 
Manchester City Council,

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