38: Walton's Terrace and its neighbours
More Davenport Shops: explored by Charlie Hulme
In other features I have examined the history of the shops on Davenport's 'Shopping Parade' along Bramhall Lane.
Here we complete the story by looking at the two rows 181 - 189 and 191 - 199 (odd numbers) Bramhall Lane. It's not an easy task, as records of 'lock-up' shops in the period after the 1930s are not easy to access.
I'd be very pleased to hear from anyone who can fill in the gaps, correct any errors, or supply photographs of any of the people mentioned.
All these buildings were built on land leased by Ephraim Hallam, owner of the nearby Hallam Mill, to two of his associates, Robert Johnson and David Fogg.
The Land Registry relates:
The land in this title with other land is subject to a perpetual yearly rentcharge of £153.8s.6d. created by a Conveyance dated 24 June 1875 made between (1) Ephraim Hallam and (2) David Fogg and Robert Johnson.
This rent probably refers to the whole of the field, not just buildings adjoining Bramhall lane. Our feature Ephraim Hallam's Legacy has more details.
I have written elsewhere that all the shops from 181 to 235 Bramhall Lane were conversions from houses, but further research suggests that nos 181 and 191 began life as 'corner shops' with living accommodation.
On the Map
These maps show the area in 1875 (above) with no houses except the large villa 'Bramhall Mount' in the south and (1895) below. Ephraim Hallam's Heaviley Mill occupies the northern part of his land.
By 1895 Bramhall Lane was lined with houses and shops, almost all still standing in 2021. 181 to 199 are marked in red.
The boundary of Hallam's land appears on both maps; in the later map it is between nos. 203 and 205.
This boundary can still be seen clearly on an aerial view.
A close-up from the 1950s. The buildings shown on Peel Street at the rear of 191-195 bear no resemblance to what is there in 2021. What were they?
The shops stand 259 feet above sea level. In more modern times, Windsor Street no longer reaches Bramhall Lane. The Bramhall Lane end of Buckingham Street has been transferred to Peel Street.
A Freehold sale, 1922
(from the Manchester Guardian)
181 | 183 | 185 | 187 | 189 | 191 | 193 | 195 | 197 | 199
The postcard view above appears to date from around 1918, judging from the white bands on the trees which would have been painted when 'blackout' was in force in case of bombing by German Zeppelins. The view is Bramhall Lane at the corner of Windsor Street (this section has since been renamed as part of Peel Street). The shop nearest the camera is 181 Bramhall Lane, Alice Wood's bakery; compare with the modern image below.
The land for 181 - 199 (odd numbers) was made over by Ephraim Hallam to his associates Johnson and Fogg in 1875, and the following year a plot was leased to a Stockport-born tailor, John Walton, who commissioned the building of a terrace of three houses, completed in 1876. The name 'Walton's Terrace', a common feature in the days before house numbers can still be seen on a stone plaque high on the wall. The houses had front gardens, which disappeared when they were converted to shops.
Over time, changes have been made to the plan of buildings, as can be seen from the upstairs window layout, the street width of the present buildings doesn't match the original five houses which were of roughly equal width facing the street. There's evidence, including the position of the plaque, that 'Walton's Terrace' only applies to 181, 183 and 185. The pair Nos. 187 and 189, although now part of the same terrace, seem to have been added as an afterthought. They were larger at the rear even before the large extension seen today was built - were added later. [Top]
This part of the terrace, on the corner of Peel Street (then Windsor Street) was built as a shop with living space.
In 1881, the tenant of no. 181 was Tabitha Baker, a 51-year-old lady born in Newborough, Staffordshire, and described as an 'Annuitant' - living on an annuity from her late husband William John Baker (born 1925), a farmer in the Uttoxeter area of Staffordshire. The family moved to Stockport sometime between 1871 and 1881, With her were daughter Esther Ann Baker, son Thomas Baker (19), Jeweller's assistant, William Baker (9) Scholar, John Mackin, cousin (63), b. Cheadle, Staffs. retired grocer and Jane Mackin (21) Grocer's assistant. Presumably the family operated as a grocery.
By 1891 the Bakers had retired to live in no. 185 (see below). That year's census shows 181 as a confectionery shop, run on a live-in basis by Wimlslow-born Alice Wood (30), Beatrice Wood (26) and their brother Walter Wood (16). They had come to Stockport from Upton Farm, Dean Row, near Wilmslow, where their father Joseph was the farmer. Added to the occupants in 1901 were two apprentices: Ellen Thomas (aged 18, born in Shropshire), and Lilian Jackson (16, born in Chester), as well as Ellen Beard (14) General servant, born in Handforth, Cheshire.
By 1911 the three siblings were still there, operating as a bakery (which had been built behind the shop) with the help of two live-in staff, Beatrice Harrison and Gladys Ward. Alice Wood was still running the business at no. 181 in 1939, along with another sister, Mary Wood. Alice retired to a house at 18 Cherry Tree Lane in Great Moor, where she died in 1950.
In 2021 no. 181 is still a bakery shop, operated since 1942 by the Pilkington family who also have shops in Stockport on Shaw Heath, and in Poynton across the border in Cheshire. The family story, as told in a splendid Youtube video made in 2015, is that Doris Pilkington was working at a bakery as a confectioner and cake maker when in 1942 the owner (Alice Wood?) decided to retire. While her bus driver husband Jim was at work she sold all the contents of their house to raise the money to buy the business. [Top]
The house at no.183 was unoccupied at the time of the 1881 census, but an 1883 directory lists Leopold Droge (or Dröge) as resident. In 1881 he and his family lived at 24 Gilmore Street in the Shaw Heath area of Stockport; they must have moved by 1893. He was born in Hildesheim, Lower Saxony, in 1831, and by 1841 had re-located to London where he met, and in 1863 married Elizabeth Ronson, and six children were born. Not long before they came to Stockport after a period in Manchester. Leopold's profession was 'commercial clerk'. He appears to have emigrated to Australia with his family before the 1891 census.
The householder in 1891 was John Miller, cotton mill manager, age 60, with his wife Nancy Miller (57), and daughters Mary Miller (27) and Elizabeth Miller (19). Earlier records show John as a 'cotton mill overlooker' living in Hallam Terrace, the row of houses adjacent to Heaviley Mill which were commissioned by mill owner Ephraim Hallam. In 1871 the family home was no. 19, and by 1881 he had become Mill Manager, residing in the end house, no. 31, which is rather larger than the others.
The Miller family were still at no. 183 in 1901, John now listed as 'retired cotton mill manager.' His final home was no. 221 Bramhall Lane (later to become a butcher's shop), where he died in 1905. Nancy Miller died in 1917 in a small house at 539 Buxton Road in the Stepping Hill area of Stockport.
Converted to shop, 1902
From 1902 no.183 was a Draper's shop, run by Edith Emma Jenkinson. By 1901 she and her husband William Jenkinson, a glass stainer, were at 27 Woodbine Crescent, Stockport, but shortly afterwards he died, aged only 44. They had no children; she rented no. 183 and started a new career as a draper and milliner.
The 1911 census records her as a 42 year old widow born in Stockport, Milliner and a boarder, Manchester-born Amelia Barker (29) Assistant Mistress, Borough Council Elementary School.
In later years Edith gave up retail and took Holy Orders, becoming a Church of England Deaconess. She lived until 1941.
By 1922, when the freehold of the three houses were sold, 183 was still a Milliner's shop, rented by Mr Edward Albert Holliday, born in in London in 1866, an underclothing manufacturer (who had previously worked as a Mantle-makers traveller) with a works at 17 Altrincham Street Manchester. The Davenport shop was run by his daughter Phyllis Holliday who had been recorded in 1911 as a milliner's apprentice.
Edward and his wife Hannah raised seven children, five boys (Percival, John Henry, Walter, Edward Albert and Reginald) and two girls (Hilda and Phyllis) , all born in Stockport and all of them were still living at home - 'Branksome House', 2 Flowery Field, Woodsmoor - in 1911.Edward Holliday died in 1924 and in 1926 Phyllis married, moved to Macclesfield and had children, which may have prompted her exit from of the Millinery business.
In 1934 no. 183 was the premises of J.T. Holderness & Sons Ltd. dyers & cleaners, and by 1939 Herbert Drage, bread baker and his wife Hilda.
[Here we have a gap in knowledge]
A 1989 image shows 183 as a charity shop supporting the Childrens' Society, a body set up by the Church of England in 1881.
The twenty-first century saw the shop (with flats and offices above) serving as an Estate Agent under various names: 2008 Hesketh Nichols; 2012 'Home to Let'; 2017 'House Estate Agents'. By this time many estate agents were closing for lack of business, including this one.
Happily, after a empty period, it was taken on by 'Love Lace Designs bridal boutique', which survived the lack of weddings during the 'lockdown' of 2020 and still trades in 2021.
A Postcard View
This postcard, posted in 1908, shows Walton's Terrace on the right, viewed from Windsor Street looking towards Stockport, which like Bramhall Lane is surfaced with stone 'setts'. Partly obscured by the central tree is R.D. Cooke's grocery; the name can be read in an enlargement. The white rectangle advertises the shop as a collection point for 'Pullars of Perth' cleaners and dyers. The clothes would be dispatched by rail for processing.
The text on the card posted by 'A_B' includes: 'What do you think of the view on the other side? It's what my eyes rest on when I gaze out of bedroom window. I took the view myself.' This strongly suggests that the photographer was either Arthur or Annie Banks, son and daughter of William Banks, chemist, of 191 Bramhall Lane (see below). Perhaps the chemist also acted as a photo processor? [Top]
John Walton, commissioner of the houses 181-185, was a tailor, born in Stockport in 1835. He was a widower in 1881 with five sons and a daughter living at no. 185 with daughter-in-law Elizabeth Massey and a Gloucestershire-born servant Elizabeth Tarlin.
An 1883 directory lists a J. Thorpe at 185 Bramhall lane in the 'Milliners and Dressmakers' section, probably a 'home working' operation rather than a shop.
By 1891 Walton had re-married and left no. 185 for a house on Hillgate; in 1901 and 1911 he was in a small terraced house at 40 Windsor Street, around the corner from no. 181. His 1911 census entry at 40 Windsor Street, states that he fathered ten children in 22 years.
1891: Tabitha Baker (previously at 181, see above) annuitant, born Newborough, Staffordshire. 1930. William Baker (19, Jeweller's Assistant) b. Appleby Magna, Derbyshire) John Mackin, cousin (73) retired grocer, Norah E Carrington (29), clerk, boarder; Elizabeth Haskell, general servant (18). By 1901 only Tabitha and William were left at no. 185, so they had room for a lodger, Arthur Guy, a commercial traveller.
But the house was wanted for the conversion to shops, and Tabitha and William (junior) moved to 41 Gilmore Street, off Shaw Heath, Stockport by 1911. By then William was a Jewellery Salesman. She eventually returned to Staffordshire; Tabitha died in 1915 and was buried in Uttoxeter.
Converted to a shop
The first shopkeeper, recorded in 1902, was exotically-named Robert Delaneaux Cooke, provision dealer, born in Manchester in 1871. He was still in post in 1922; a few years later he retired, and moved with his family to a house nearby at 63 Beech Road. With him were his wife Gertrude Cooke, daughters Gladys Cooke and Marjorie Cooke and son Kenneth Cooke. Robert Cooke died in Lichfield in 1952 aged 81.
By 1934 the shopkeeper was Albert Brice (born 1887). The 1939 register lists him at 112 Moorland Road, Woodsmoor, describing himself as a 'fishmonger and poultry farmer'. However that house shows no sign of ever being a shop (although he might have had hens in the back garden!) so it's likely that he continued with the shop at no. 185 on a 'lock-up' basis.
The next shopkeeper I can find was Frederick Swindells (born 1913) offering 'fish, fruit and poultry'. In 1939 he was living in the shop with his wife Olive Annie Swindells (born 1912) and son Keith Swindells (born 1935) with his wife Annie. Frederick's Register entry adds 'part time farmer as for my father.'
By 1939 Frederick's brother Cyril Swindells ran a similar shop in Bramhall and also assisted their father Charles Henry Swindells on their farm. Their first shop address was 2 Woodford Road, Bramhall (more recently a Timpson shop). Their mother, Edith Rebecca Swindells (née Machin) was also listed as a shopkeeper. Charles Henry Swindells was born in Congleton, Cheshire in 1875; by the time of the 1911 census they had raised seven children, in Congleton, Buxton and Adlington before settling in Bramhall, first at no.20 Bramhall Lane South in Bramhall where Charles found work as a farm labourer and Edith ran a dairy.At some time, Cyril's brother Frederick Swindells transferred his 'Fish and Fruit' business from Davenport to Bramhall, tradion from a shop at 34 Bramhall Lane South, which operated until around 1977, He died in 1985.
Back in Davenport, circa 1970, no.185 changed hands and became a fish and chip shop, under the name 'Coral Reef Fish Bar.' Around the same time, the 'Coral Reef Restaurant' at 12 Park Street near Stockport market, ceased to appear in the telephone list; was this a re-location by the same operator, or just a concidence?
With a smart new look and a new name, 'The Davenport' still flourishes in 2021. [Top]
The 1881 census found a large household at no. 187. The head of the household, also described as 'daughter' was Emma Lomas, aged 41, miller born in Cheadle. The other residents were her listed as her grown-up brothers: Isaac Lomas (45) Shopman for cheesemonger; Mary Ann Lomas (38) dressmaker; Sarah Jane Lomas (34) and Nancy Lomas (33) thread winders, cotton mill; Robert Lomas (43) no occupation; Joseph Lomas (28) shopman grocer; John Henry Lomas (25) iron turner. 187 and 189 were slightly larger houses than the other three, but even so it must have been crowded.
But they were used to such sharing: looking back to 1871 and 1861 lists include all the siblings (and in 1861 others) their mother, Mary still alive (widow, born Heaviley) at 16 Castle Street, Edgeley, a provision dealer. We need to go back another decade to discover the original head of household, Mary's husband Isaac Lomas, born in Stockport in 1803, flour dealer at 16 Castle Street. At that time there were ten children present, the oldest aged 23 and the youngest eight months. No.16 in 1851 was a building on the eastern corner of Castle Street and Moseley Street, occupying twice the width of the typical terraced houses nearby, It may have been used as a shop, but underwent a number of changes before being demolished around 1970 as part of a pedestrianisation scheme.
In 1891 the house at 187 was unoccupied. Where did all the Lomases go? I won't track them all, but Nancy, Sarah Jane and Robert were in a cottage in Great Moor, the two sisters working at a local thread works. Robert is again listed with no occupation; it would seem he was disabled in some way. in 1901 the had been joined by another brother, Joseph, occupation 'vocalist'.
An 1896 directory records Arthur Hayman, Wholesale Grocer, as tenant; he had lived at 44 Hall Street with his wife Annie, and later moved to no.1 Lowfield Road. People commonly rented houses and often moved frequently in those days.
The 1901 census finds two ladies in residence. Scottish-born Elizabeth Weir (age 48) and Elizabeth Allison (76) boarder. Miss Weir was a cousin of hat manufacturer Willam Lees: in 1891 she was living with his family in his villa 'Fairfield' on Bramhall Lane. In 1911, she was living alone at 3 Heath Crescent, a short distance away on the other side of Bramhall Lane.
In 1907 she found herself in front of Stockport Magistrates, as a follower of the Passive Resistance movement, whose members refused to pay that part of their taxes which were allocated (according an Education Act) to the established Church of England, while non-confirmists such as Wesleyans and Baptists received no such support.
Counted as a separate household at 187 was a lodger, George Turner, a local solicitor.
Converted to a shop, 1905
The early history of the shops at 187 and 189 is of particular interest, as we have a fragment of it as written by the original tenant.
A couple from rural North Wales, John Williams and Sarah Elizabeth Williams, came to Stockport in the 1880s to seek their fortune, and rented a small corner grocery shop (which is still a corner shop in 2021) at no. 1 Gorsey Mount Street in the Hempshaw Lane area. They had two children in Stockport, Dilys Mandyn Williams and Dona Tegwyn Williams.
When they saw advertised two newly-created shops in elegant Davenport, they saw an opportunity and rented them both,in Sarah's name, in 1902 at an annual rent of £14. John set up as a Grocer at no. 187, and Sarah a millinery shop at 189.
(This John Williams, known as Jack by family and friends, must not be confused with another immigrant from Wales, Ebenezer John Williams who founded a network of John Williams & Sons grocery stores and lived in Davenport. See our feature about that man and his shops.)
I acquired from eBay the postcard reproduced above. It was posted by Sarah Williams on 9 December 1905, to Miss M. Tipping, School House, Montgomery, and part of the text reads:
The picture is full of interest: the gardens have been removed from the converted shops leaving a wide area for pedestrians, later reduced when the road was widened. John, standing by his horse, has some of his produce on display on the pavement. Young girls are admiring the latest fashions. Banks the chemist at 191 is already in business, but the houses at 193, 195 and 197 in the foreground still have their gardens and gates.
Sadly, Sarah Elizabeth Williams died in June 1909 aged just 35. The 1911 census shows that family and friends from Wales rallied around: John's mother Maria and sister Jane were on hand to help with the work and the two girls. he gave up grocery and concentrated on the drapery and millinery side of the business, combining the two shops. (By that time Robert Cooke has opened a grocery next door at no. 185.) A 1923 street directory shows the combined shop and also suggests that he had opened another pair of shops at 90 and 94 Wellington Road South in Stockport Town Centre.
John Williams died in Stockport in 1936; his daughters were both extraordinarily long-lived. Dilys Mandyn Williams, born in 1898, married a builder, William J Davies, and was living in High Peak, Derbyshire on her death in 1996, aged 98. Dona Tegwen Williams, born in 1899, never married, and by 1939 had her own drapery shop at 21 Criterion Street, Reddish, Stockport. She died in Stockport in 1995 aged 96.
The 1939 register shows that Dona had a lodger, Rhys Roberts, as 23-year-old aircraft fitter, who probably woked at the Fairey aircraft factory in Heaton Chapel which produced many aircraft during World War II, for the RAF and the Fleet Air Arm (see the Levenshulme History page by George Nixon.)
From 1966, until the early 2000s, no. 187 was a branch of the Berger's dry cleaning chain. By 2008 it had re-located to 217 Bramhall Lane and 187 was left shuttered and forlorn until 2011, when local resident Samantha Hancock, who had prevously managed beauty salons, and worked as Virgin Atlantic's in-flight beauty therapist, decided to take on the shop as her own salon, choosing the name from the TV comedy series 'Bewitched' whse main character was called Samantha. It's a curious coincidence that Samantha's daughter in the show was named Tabitha, and a lady with that unusual name lived at no. 185 in the 1890s.
The Bewitched beauty salon still thrived in 2021, the staff planning their tenth anniversary celebrations, delayed by the inforced closure due to the 'pandemic'. [Top]
No. 189 was built as a home for the co-owner of the land leased from Ephraim Hallam, Robert Johnson, a bookkeeper born in 1841 on Alford, Cheshire. In the 1881 census, he is listed with his wife Sarah Johnson (39), daughter Edith Johnson (14), son George Johnson (11) and daughter Catherine Elizabeth Johnson (9), plus two visitors. By 1891 Edith was a Dressmaker, and George was working as a Foreman, Cotton Wool Works. By 1901 two of the children were still present: George was a cotton mill manager, and Catherine was a Music teacher.
After the house became a shop in 1902, the family re-located to a house nearby at 41 Kennerley Road, where by 1911 they were joined with Robert's Irish-born sister-in-law Hannah Beaty, and united with Edith who had been living with Hannah and helping in her draper's shop at no. 179 (see our Cabinets to Coffee feature).
Converted to shop 1902
The early history of 189 after conversion follows that of 187 (see above).
The 1925 Telephone Directory shows that 189 Bramhall Lane had become a branch of grocery chain T. Seymour Mead. At some time, perhaps during the Seymour Mead period, the building was altered, half of 187 being added to 189, with 187 being a separate, smaller shop. But Seymour Mead didn't stay in Davenport, possibly because the firm had merged with Burgons, which at the time had a large shop not far away at 235 Bramhall Lane. I haven't been able to establish a complete timeline, but in 1965 there was a shop called 'Deirdre' (Gowns), the Deirdre in question being Deirdre Hermione Coppock.
By 1939 the upper floor had been converted to a flat, occupied in 1939 by Helen Lynd, visitor of Sir Ralph Pendlebury's Orphanage. Many people have lived in flats, or run offices, above various houses above these shops, I won't attempt to chronicle all of them here.
1968 marked the arrival at 189 of R. Ash & Sons, Timber Merchant, a branch of a company with other outlets around the Manchester area; they had left the area by 1980.
Arriving in Davenport in 1985, my first memory of this store, by then returned to grocery in the form of a 'convenience store' was a business called 'Rightway Discount' , later replaced by 'Costcutter'. That chain still operates elsewhere in 2021, but the Davenport store has passed to the Tesco 'One Stop' brand. [Top]
South of Buckingham Street
The terrace formed of no. 191-199 (odd), on Bramhall Lane to the south of Buckingham Street, were been built some years later than 181-189, and also lasted a little longer before conversion to shops.. The houses don't appear in the 1881 census (although 201 and 203 are present).
It appears that like no. 181, no. 191 was built as a 'corner shop'. The Land Registry for no.191 reads: 'The land in this title is subject to a perpetual yearly rent charge of £6 created by a Conveyance dated 10 March 1885 made between (1) David Fogg and (2) John James Lawton.'
John James Lawton had an interesting career. Born in Stockport in 1857, a son of James Lawton and his Derby-born with Sarah. He grew up in his father's 'Druggist and Grocer' shop at 19 Higher Hillgate. By 1871 the family had moved nearer to the town centre, a Grocer's shop at 38 Middle Hillgate. Ten years later, the shop had expanded to become 38/40 Middle Hillgate, and John James, now aged 24, was sharing the work. The family had the means to employ a domestic servant.
In 1883 John James Lawton married Theresa Mary Armitage (born in Harrogate); probably they moved in to no. 191 at that time; certainly by 1891 they were there. John James was the Grocer, living in the shop with his wife and their children Amy Lawton, John Lawton and Jessie Lawton. However, they did not stay, maybe the shop was not a success.
The 1901 enumerator found the Lawtons at no. 5 Cale Green (an old cottage which survives in 2021) with three children: Amy, John and Jessie. John James is listed as a 'Grocer's assistant' suggesting that he found work with another grocer. By 1911 they had moved to a house at 61 Countess Street nearby, and John James had given up grocery and was working as a 'Manchester Ship Canal Checker'. His son John was a clerk in a mechanical engineering firm, and daughter Jessie was a 'folder' in a bookbinding firm.An 1896 directory directories lists 191 as a chemist's shop run by William Banks. William Banks was in his 50s when he took on the Davenport shop. Born in 1847 in Heaton Norris (then in Lancashire), when in his twenties he established a 'live-in' Chemist and Druggist shop on Lancashire Hill where his amusingly-named father Rivers Banks was an Overseer of the Poor Law. Later, he was in business for two decades at 107 Shaw Heath, also trying his hand at dentistry. He became a Member of the Pharmaceutical Society (MPS) in 1868.
Established with his family at no.191 by 1901 were William, age 54 Chemist and Druggist, Sarah Dodge Banks (54), Arthur Banks (28) Lithographic Draghtsman, Florence Banks (25) and Annie Banks (22). William was still there, aged 64 in 1911 with his wife and daughters; he died in 1925. His son, Hervey Lowndes Banks, became a Chemist, and an MPS; he was in business at 170 Wellington Road South in the 1930s.
The chemist living and working at no. 191 in the 1930s was impressively-named Francis le Chevalier Chandler MPS (1881-1957) with his wife Edith Chandler. Born in Salford, his father was a Solicitor's clerk; as he was growing up, a neighbour on High Street in Pendleton, Salford was a Chemist, perhaps inspiring young Francis to take up the trade.
In 1965 N.J. Hirst was the Chemist. The shop has continued, on a 'lock-up' basis, as a Chemist's (or Pharmacy to use the posh name) until the present day (2021) 'Davenport Pharmacy' and shows no sign of closing, as it is now the only Pharmacist in Davenport. A reminder of the old days is the original front steps and door of no.181, never used and in a neglected state, locked behind an iron railing. [Top]
Notable in this picture with nos 193-199 in the foreground, from a comprehensive photographic survey by Philip Bradley in 1989, is the survival of the original ornate posts between the shop fronts; only those on 199 remain in 2021.
Householder at 1891 and 1901 was James Muir, hat and cap Manufacturer born in Edinburgh in 1851, with his Stockport-born wife Mary Hannah Muir and daughter Florence Muir, aged 17. In 1911 James wasn't present for the census, but Mary didn't declare herself as a widow. James appears as a boarder with a widow lady, Jessie Forde and her daughter Margaret Mary, in a house nearby at 43 Beech Road. He described himself as a 'gents outfitter'.
It's been hard to find information about James Muir's business, he's not mentioned in the standard book on Stockport hatting. All I know is that manufactured his hats and caps in a mill, possibly a building shared with other companies, on Heaton Lane, Stockport, and retailed them from a shop at 6 Bridge Street. For a while he was in partnership with David Fogg, who presumably provided funds, but this was dissolved in 1894.
An extract from the 1911 Census taker's summary, compiled by Albert Carter, a law clerk of 27 Winifred Road, the enumerator for the district. 195 and 197 are empty, awaiting conversion to shops.
Converted to a shop
The first business at no. 193, as recorded an 1914 Street Directory, was a dairy run by William Caldwell, a gentleman whose details have eluded me. The dairy later passed to John Stanley Lowe, about whom we have biographical details, with grateful thanks to his grand-daughter Janet Cropper:
John Stanley Lowe (known in the family as Stan) was born in Hayfield, Derbyshire on 7 October 1888, the middle child of a family of seven boys and two girls. His father, John Peter, was also Hayfield born and spent most of his working life as a coal merchant.
At the outbreak of war in 1918 John Stanley enlisted as a private with the ‘Manchester Scottish’, the Manchester contingent of the 15th Battalion of the Royal Scots Regiment: by the end of the war he had risen to the rank of Company Quartermaster Sergeant-Major.
Returning to the UK, in 1919 he married Sarah Richardson, a farmer's daughter from Strines near New Mills. He purchased a dairy business in a shop at no. 193, known to the family as 'the creamery'; initially the couple and their young son and daughter lived ‘over the shop’.
In 1929 the couple purchased in Sarah's name a newly-built house at 22 Charlestown Road (West) not far from No.274, which they called 'Windyridge'. By 1939 he was managing director of a wholesale grocery warehouse in Stockport where he worked until retirement; he and Sarah continued to live at Windyridge until 1961 when they died together in a motor accident.
There's a long gap in my current knowledge about No. 193 between the 1930s and 1980, when the telephone directory lists for the first time 'Hairlines, Gents Hrdrsr' at no.193. By 1989 Hairlines had expanded, with a barber shop at 193 and a ladies' hair shop at 195. In later years, Hairlines 'downsized', and in 2021 they operate at no. 193 only.
The tenant of no. 195 in 1891 was Arthur Harwood Davies (aged 34, born in Australia) recorded as 'Chairman, Stockport Machine Cake Company', with his wife Edith E Davies (32, born Kings Heath, Worcestershire) and children Rosa M Davies (2), Stanley H (1) along with Servand Elizabeth H Taylor. Although born in Australia, Mr Davies had returned to the home at the age of 12, living in the south of England where he achieved fame as a cross-country runner for the Blackheath Carriers, and as master of the game of chess.
On arrival in Stockport, he formed a partnership with a Mr Joseph B. Ditton who was operating a bakery in Warren Street, built in 1886, and retail shops around Stockport. In 1888 the partnership was dissolved and a year later Davies converted the business to a limited c0mpany. He later moved the bakery and his family his to Pendleton, Salford. Unfortunately the firm ran into financial trouble and in 1894 he found himself in the County Court, accused of setting the company when the firm was not solvent, to avoid personal bankruptcy, and the company was wound up.
Leaving cake-making behind, he moved to Birmingham where he made a living as a commercial traveller. He died aged in 1934 Southborough (near Tunbridge Wells), where he had resided since 1929. The photograph is from a newspaper obituary.
By 1905 David Fogg, who in 1883 had been living at no. 203, at the time named 'Gladstone Villa', had moved with his wife and servant to no. 195.
Converted to a shop
From 1920 until at least 1934 George William Piper was operating a hardware shop at no.195.
Born in 1880, by 1939 he had retired and was living at 278 Bramhall Lane with his wife Lucy Piper and daughters Kathleen Piper and Margaret Piper, He died in 1959. Born in London, and living in Prestwich, north Manchester in 1911, he had been a commercial traveller for a soap manufacturer before moving to Davenport and venturing into retail.
What happened next is chronicled by my fellow local historian Sue Bailey:
'My parents Philip Bradley and Margaret Ridgway were married in 1949 and moved from their respective homes in Grenville Street and Chatham Street, Edgeley to no. 195 Bramhall Lane, taking over the hardware shop and living above it. It was called ‘Spick & Span’ - a name that’s stayed with me for ever! I believe my mother’s father, Sydney Ridgway, either owned, rented or had an interest in the shop. He also had three more shops on Castle Street - one of them, at no. 28 Castle Street was also called 'Spick & Span'. The 1953 directory lists both. The others were a mens’ outfitters and a curtain shop.
'My parents’ first child, Peter, was born in April 1951 and, in a photo album I’ve inherited, there are photos of him labelled ‘At 195 Bramhall Lane’, 'Taken in the garden at 195’ and ‘At the back of 195’. The last one is reproduced here. Sadly he died aged 15 months while they were still living there. I think my parents moved to Culver Road in Adswood in late 1952 or early 1953, my father starting his own business some time later.
'The couple who took over Spick & Span were the Clarkes, who re-named it Clarke's Hardware. We used to visit the shop - it must have been in the late 1950’s and my mother was on very friendly terms with Mrs Clark who wore a brown overall, as most people working in hardware stores did, and had a very broad Stockport accent. It was a dark shop and you went up two or three stairs to the back of it, like others in the row.'
Clarke's disappears from the telephone directory after 1966, leaving a gap in our chronology until the 1980s, when no. 195 was an extension to the 'Hairlines' business at no. 193. This can be seen in the 1989 picture above, taken - like many others recording 1980s Stockport - by Philip Bradley, who had lived and worked at no. 195.
'Hairlines' subsequently reverted to just a single unit at 193, as seen in 2008 view above which shows the Otterspool Animal Haven charity shop, which moved in to the ground floor no.195 in the 1990s and is still there in 2021. The building is owned by the accountancy firm which has offices in the upstairs rooms, and has replaced the original windows. [Top]
In 1891 the householder at no. 197 was George Aveyard, born in Gorton, Lancashire in, 1851, who worked as a salesman for his father William's yarn dealer business. He is listed as unmarried, living with three younger sisters: Annie Aveyard (32), Mary Aveyard (30) and Eliza Aveyard (25). Ten years later, George could be found lodging with a widow, Lydia Kenworthy, in a confectionery shop at 261 Stockport Road, Levenshulme, whilst Annie and Mary were living with another sister, Sarah, who ran a grocery shop in Burnage, South Manchester. Eliza was housekeeper at a farm in Willaston, Cheshire.
The unusual surname might 'ring a bell' with anyone who has read our 'Cabinets to Coffee' feature, about nos 175 to 179, in 1891 there were also Aveyards at 179 Bramhall Lane, the head of that family being Emily, the eldest daughter of William. That family had also moved on by 1901; in the days when most houses were rented, people moved homes much more often that is the custom in our owner-occupier culture today.
The house had at least three tenant families in the next few years. In 1901 the tenant was Annie Smith (55) b. Carlisle, Cumberland, with Harry (22) Clerk at a Timber merchant, and Ernest (20) Grocers's Traveller (both born Leigh, Lancs.)
Tenant in 1905, according to a directory, was Edward Helm, solicitor, born in Dublin, Ireland. in 1869. By the time of the 1911 census he had moved on to 'Ashford', 3 Davenport Park Road, a larger house in the select Davenport Park neighbourhood, with his Stockport-born wife Alice Emma, children Kathleen, Margaret and Edward plus servant Annie Whalley.
Edward (senior), was well-known in the town: an obituary in 1928 tells us that he was the Principal of the the law firm of Coppock, Helm and Walmsley, a former President of the Stockport Law Society, and latterly the Prosecuting Solicitor for the Police in East Cheshire. He was 'a leader of religious and social work in the town', including long-time work for the Stockport Sunday School.
A 1910 directory lists William Binns, Inland Revenue Officer, but the 1911 census shows no residents.
Converted to a shop
By 1920 no. 197 was a branch of the Manchester and Liverpool District Banking Company Limited, which had its roots in a single branch opened in Stockport in 1829 in the Tudor house in Underbank which still trades today. The bank changed its name in 1924 to the District Bank, and after a merger in 1968 adopted the name National Westminster Bank, which in turn was taken over by the Royal Bank of Scotland in 2000. The National Westminster name was retained for its existing branches, but those close to Royal Bank of Scotland, including no. 193, were soon abandoned.
(The 1939 register lists Joyce Bateson, born 1870, and Sarah Bateson, b.1897, presumably living in the flat above.)
An interesting note in the Land Registry, added in 1997, reads "By a Deed dated 10 February 1956 made between 1) District Bank limited and 2) Stockport Corporation the forecourt belonging to the land in this title was dedicted to the use of the public forever." Oddly, such notes do not appear in the deeds of neighbouring shops.By 2008 the premises were a hairdresser 'Magenta hair works', which on a change of management in 2013 became 'Crowning Glory'. [Top]
197 and 199, photographed in 2013. No. 199, recently repainted, retains much of its 1918 frontage. Before conversion to shops, the front doors would have been below the narrow upper windows, opening on to a short lobby and the stairs to the upper floor. The other shops in the row have lost their original features. [Top]
The earliest recorded residents of no. 199, in 1891, were a family all born in Stockport: Arthur Ernest Smith (30), Jeweller's Assistant and Frank Smith (20) his son along with a domestic servant Elizabeth Birthwood, born in Shropshire. His wife was not present in 1891 but in 1901 we see Arthur (40) now a Jeweller and silversmith (employer), wife Annie Smith (40), son Frank (15) cotton goods merchants clerk, daughters Amy Smith (13), Edith Smith (9). By 1911 they had moved into the nearby Davenport Park Estate, at 42 Devonshire Road, while Arthur notes that he is a jewellery shopkeeper.
A 1907 directory lists at no. 199 T H Christy, Hat Manufacturer. Thomas Howard Christy was a member of the Stockport hat dynasty, a nephew of Stephen Christy of Highfield House, Davenport. He doesn't seem to have been involved in the direct management of the Hillgate factory, although his sons Frank and Roland (born in Brazil) worked there. He describes himself modestly in 1911, aged 44, as Expert (consulting). By 1911 they were living in a modest house in Boothby Street, Great Moor. Born in London, Thomas also lived in Germany and Canada as well as Brazil.
Back in Stockport in 1911 we find Jane Shepherd Smith (widow, 57, b. Manchester) in 199 with her sister, Edith Mary Tee (46, born Darfield, Yorkshire) , daughter Dorothy Haynes Smith (28, Born Stockport) and a domestic servant, Emmilene Petty (19, born Buxton).
Jane's late husband George John Smith, born in Poynton, Cheshire was a bank manager; in 1891 they lived in a large house in Prestbury with two domestic servants, and before that in 'Cale Green Villa', the large house on the corner of Cale Green and Adswood Lane West in Stockport.Converted to Shop
Once converted to a shop, no. 199 spent many years in the alcohol trade, first with J.T. Barnett Wines, which lasted from 1918 until 1965 and possibly later, then by 'Unicorn Wines' which (I think) was an offshoot of the Robinson's Brewery, which had a unicorn as its trademark. I recall buying from this place in the 1980s; it was the most spartan shop you can imagine, and one had to climb steps to the higher part of the floor at the rear to make your purchases.
Not surprisingly the owner eventually put the shop out of its misery, and in 2003 it became Harvey Scott, estate agent, as it still remains, with a different logo, in 2021. The raised area inside still remains, although the interior is immaculate. [Top]
From the air, 2020
The shops in 2020, showing the various rear extensions, especially to the 'One Stop' store. The terraced houses behind have been replaced by modern versions, with changes to the streets: Peel Street has been extended across Buckingham Street (the site of no. 181's bakehouse) and bent round to replace part of Windsor Street; the Bramhall Lane end of Buckingham Street is now a parking space. [Top]
Compiled by Charlie Hulme, November 2021.