Saturday, 8 July 2017

The story of one building in Chorlton over three centuries ............. part 2 Mr Riddle, a pile of fish and bag of cakes

The Travellers Rest, 1901
The continuing story  of one building in Chorlton over three centuries*

For just seventy years number 70 Beech Road was a beer shop, trading variously as the Robin Hood, the Travellers Call and for most of those seventy years as the Travellers Rest and very briefly as the Trevor.

But sometime between 1901 and 1909 it shut up shop, sold its last pint and became the home of Mr William Riddle who was an upholsterer.

Now it must have served the community well but by the turn of the century it had competition.

Another beer shop had opened next door and another almost directly opposite.

The first of these was the Beech which was a going concern by 1891 but operated from only part of what we now know as the present Beech.

By 1901 it had extended to take over the other property in the block and it may be that sometime around then this building was either remodelled as the present pub or may even have been rebuilt.

Looking down to the Oven Door. 1958
Much the same happened opposite when another small beer shop was opened in 1879 which two decades later was bought by Groves and Whitnall which had taken over the Regent Road Brewery in 1868 and began a rapid expansion which by the time they were registered in 1899 included nearly 600 pubs.

And in keeping with that expansion plan the pub was rebuilt in 1908.

Now at present I am not sure when Mr William Riddle moved on but sometime between 1911 and 1929 Mrs Laura Lothian opened a fish monger’s shop in number 70 which was still trading in 1936.

She was a widow and we can track her across Chorlton until her death in 1953 when she was living on Whitelow Road.

The Oven Door, 1979
By then the building had been taken over by Mr Jones who ran it as a pet shop.

Later it became  a bakery.

There will be many who remember the Oven Door.

We occasionally bought our bread from there but more often than not stopped off at Richardson’s which
was closer and so I did not even notice that it closed sometime in the early 1980s.

Of course its closure was only one of many of the traditional shops which we lost from the late 70s and by the following decade Beech Road was beginning to look a little empty, but renewal was on the way, but that like the rest of the story of number 70 is for another time.

And not long after this was posted, John Pemberton added that, "Around 1963/64 after the Pet shop moved on, it became Frank Beryl's Bookmakers, later in the 60s/early 70s, the bookies built their own premises on a croft on the other side of Beech Road,where the new houses are now, then the Oven Door, which was already established at No68, expanded into number 70 and became a double fronted shop."

Pictures; number 70 as the Oven Door looking down Beech Road in 1958, R E Stanley, m17671, courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council, and in 1979 from the collection of Tony Walker

**The story of one building in Chorlton over three centuries,

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