Walkley History

News, events and discoveries of the Walkley Ways, Walkley Wars history project.

Walkley Shops

South Road, 1978, outside what is now Beeches and Martyn Kemp opticians.

South Road, 1978, outside what is now Beeches and Martyn Kemp opticians.

“I think I could tell you every shop that was on South Road in the 1960s as we used to walk up and down that road many a Saturday afternoon just looking in the shops.  There was never any need to go into town as Walkley had everything.”

Carol Hawke

Walkley’s South Road, Burgoyne Road and Walkley Street, as well as the corners of almost every other road, provided all the shops and services for Walkley residents prior to the spread of the big supermarkets from the 1980s onwards.

The suburb’s shops, cafes, ice cream parlours and off licences are warmly thought of by people living here before the 1990s. Mention of any particular shop can spark a conversation that links individuals through remembered moments that help to define living in Walkley. Most of these shops were independent family businesses and, between them, catered for everyone’s needs so that residents rarely had to venture further afield whether they wanted groceries, meat, drinks, ice creams, clothes, shoes, haberdashery or hardware – the list goes on and on.

“Joyce [Blount] used to keep a vast array of chocolate & sweets and she used to ice & decorate loads of chocolate eggs at Easter, she also used to do sandwiches & tea for the bus drivers & conductors during their breaks at Walkley terminus, there was a bench in the shop where they used to sit & chat.”

Margaret Fletcher

We will rediscover Walkley’s past as a shopping centre where families supplied their households, children bought treats and people found employment. From individual remembered events, trade directories and photographs we will find out the types of shops and the range of goods bought and sold, and how people went about shopping before cars, supermarkets and out of town shopping centres changed the ways we do things. We will also build a bigger picture of the ways shops and cafes were fundamental to how people socialised with each other while going about their daily business, and how Walkley’s community was defined through the geography of its streets and buildings.

“In those days supermarkets were still few and small and the off-licence acted as a general store for many locals. It was open from 7am to 10pm (closed for two hours in the afternoon Monday to Saturday and 5 hours on Sundays).”

Steve Barks

With the resurgence in local shops and produce, this is seems an appropriate time to look back with an eye to the future.

If you have any memories, photographs or documents you would like to share to help tell this people’s history of Walkley please use the contact form to get in touch.

Please also get in touch if you would like to be involved in local and oral history research.


About Bill Bevan

Bill Bevan is an archaeologist, writer, photographer and heritage interpreter.

21 comments on “Walkley Shops

  1. sandra neal nee robinson
    October 7, 2013

    I used to live at 118 Fulton Road from !950-1963, i remermber the beer off very well and it was called matthewmans. there was thompsons across south road as well. my uncle charlie owned and ran the howard hotel at the top of birkendale where my nan harriatt mitchell and mum and dad mary & arthur robinson helped out. i cannot believe looking at the space now that a pub occupied that spot.

  2. David Lewis
    December 5, 2013

    My uncle Ken Saul use to own the bacon shop near the Palm Street junction on South road almost opposite the Library. The Lintel over the door had “The noted bacon shop” painted on it. My Mum Elsie worked there part time, I have fond memories of bagging sugar from a big tub into 2lb blue bags in the back room to earn pocket money. The shop must have been there a long time, as Ken`s Dad used to own it before him.
    It is now a ordinary house with the shop front replaced by a ordinary window and sadly the sign on the lintel is gone.

  3. Bill Bevan
    December 6, 2013

    I remember the noted bacon shop sign and was very sad to see it painted over.

    We are looking for people to record memories of Walkley for the history archive. Would you be interested David?

    • David Lewis
      December 6, 2013

      Hi Bill
      Would love to but I am based in Essex now although my sister Carol still lives in walkley. I could ask her to contact you if you want?
      Do you have any photos etc of my old house which was the tobacconist on Bile Hill road no 124 opposite the school?

      • Sylvia Achahboun (nee Brookfield)
        November 16, 2014

        Hi David,I have just discovered this site and had to let you know that I was a friend of your sister Carol at Bolehill Road school. We were in the same class and I know your old house very well. We were friends with Carol Baxter who lived in the bungalow opposite the school,I’m sure you will remember it,she had a brother called Eric.Aaaah Happy days ! Would you pass on my very best regards to her please, I live in Stannington now,but at that time I lived down Industry Street. And yes I used to go to the Bacon Shop with my Mom..she wouldn’t get bacon or “tub butter” from anywhere else. I know she will know Pat Bradshaw as well…and all the rest of the crazy gang ! . All the Best to you David…Sylvia Brookfield

      • Carol Gray
        November 17, 2014

        Hello sylvia saw your comments when I got back from having coffee with June King and Larraine Lenton who I see often Carol Baxter also lives at Stannington would be great if we could get together for a long catch up.

      • Sylvia Achahboun ( Brookfield )
        November 17, 2014

        Hey carol ! I can’t believe I got such a quick response ! It’s so nice to hear from you and that Lorraine and June are in contact with you. I lost touch with everyone so it’s so nice to hear from you. It would be great to have a get together and I’m up for that ! I just stumbled on the Walkley site..God knows how lol..but when I read your David’s item I thought I would just try and make contact with you. Well I hope life has treated you kindly and also June and Lorraine. I did see Pat quite a few years ago , anyhow let me know when you would like a meet up, share a few laughs and pics of our kids..well not kids anymore now !..Best Regards Sylvia

    • Bill Bevan
      November 24, 2014

      Hi Sylvia, I’ve seen you’ve ledt a comment for David and Carol with you phone number. I’ve not made it public as anyone would then have access to your phone number. If you’re happy for me to email it to David I’ll do that. You can say yes here or use the Contact Us link in the left-hand menu,

      • Sylvia Achahboun ( Brookfield )
        November 24, 2014

        Thanks a lot Bill, I would very much appreciate if you would email David with my number for Carol. Thanks a lot Best Regards Sylvia Brookfield

  4. Bill Bevan
    December 6, 2013

    Hi David, That is a long way to visit. I hope you have stayed clear of the high seas.

    Yes please ask Carol to contact us, if she is willing to do so.

    I don’t think we do have any photos of your old house. Most of our photos are online on the flickr account – http://www.flickr.com/photos/walkleyhistory/. We do have more to add but I don’t think Bole Hill Rd features in any of them.

  5. David Lewis
    January 18, 2014

    Hi Bill,
    I have dug up some photos of my grandad’s tobacconists shop on Bole Hill Road, how can I email them to you? If you are interested of course.

  6. denise Marshall
    March 27, 2015

    remember a greengrocers at the junction of Duncombe street and Howard Road called Calverts I used to buy penny lollies from there, ice lollies. There was another shop on other corner but i forget the name.

  7. Karen
    May 10, 2015

    Thank you for the nostalgic pictures of old Walkley. I lived on Daniel Hill Street and recognise many of the photos of the pre ‘slum’ house and streets ( although our house was spared from this as we lived on the opposite side of Otley/Harold /Bloor street )and still do not understand their logic in choosing between ‘ slums ‘and non slums!! However I digress.

    There is a photo on your flikr link describing a shop on Daniel Hill Street. Is this the corner shop at the top of Blake Street across from the Blake Hotel? Because it does look different from my memory of it. However it does look very similar to my Grandma Thompsons corner shop which was in the middle of Blake Street at the end of Boyce Street on the corner of Blake/Boyce Street.She had the shop in the 1940-1950’s. I do have some family photos of this if anyone is interested.

    • Bill Bevan
      May 11, 2015

      Hi Karen,

      Thank you for letting us know about your grandma’s shop. We would love to see or have copies of your photos of the shop to add to the historic archive. We are also publishing a booklet which includes a history of Walkley’s shops and would love to include some in it if you are happy fopr us to do so.

  8. Karen
    May 13, 2015

    Hi Bill. I have emailed you with the images as attachments. Hope I have done this right as I’m not very good with computer stuff!.

  9. Bill Bevan
    May 13, 2015

    Thanks Karen. Just seen them in my email. I’ll download them now. They look great.

  10. Bill Jackson
    May 26, 2015

    Hope you see this Carol Grey, I remember well our old school Bole Hill and of course you, I hope you are well I think of you often Yes after all these years, please remember me to others you still know from school, and it was just the other day I thought of Pat Bradshaw and wondered what’s gone on in her life, Wow just seeing your name has put a big smile on my face
    Take care Bill Jackson

  11. Lisa Green
    June 11, 2016

    I used to live 23 Cromwell street, I loved growing up in Walkley and going to the library and pet shop on a Saturday with my granddad. I used to go to the Wednesday club at the church on south road. would love to get in touch with old friends from mid 70s to late 70s I left walkley in 1981.

  12. Asif aditta
    August 5, 2017

    Can anyone tell
    Me what 398,south rd shop used to be pls?

    • goldfinchy
      August 22, 2017

      398 South Road398 was in 1902 a greengrocer, then from 1911 to 1951 a confectioner or sweet shop. It then became Rushforth’s newsagent until the early 70s when it was taken over by R&B Barlow who also ran it as a newsagent. I don’t have anything more recent than that. Sarah A.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on December 6, 2012 by in 1960s 1970s Life, News and tagged , , , , .
%d bloggers like this: