Southowram Shops

Southowram Shops

Trooper Lane - Pitt Hill

Trooper Lane Halifax Industrial Society Branch No. 28

The grocers and provision dealers at 10 Blaithroyd Lane, Southowram Bank. The shop was occupied in 1905 by Ezra Nicholl


Shopping at Bank Top in the 1950's and 1960's (by Roger Naylor)

I've drawn this plan of the shops that I remember at Bank Top in the 50's and 60's. Perhaps other people can add to these details.

  1.  Dobbie's shoe repair shop was an extension built on the end of South Cliffe; it was lower than the rest of the house. On Thursdays he worked at the other end of the village in a little wooden building behind the Pack Horse pub in Towngate. It was knocked down when the red brick bungalow was built.

Dobbie's (far left) and Blagbrough & Hebblethwaitee Ltd

2.  John Blagbrough and Roger Hebblethwaite set up their garage and electrical shop together, but Roger moved away whilst John still lives in the village.

John wouldn't let me set up a petrol account because he said I didn't use enough! A friend rented a portable colour television from there in the 80's to watch the Olympic Games. Colour TVs were expensive then.

3.  The Public Lending Library was a little wooden hut, painted green. The librarian lived in a house over the road and would nip over whenever anyone came to use it, but would go back home when she'd dealt with the borrower.

 Renee's with the Bluebell Inn behind it.

4. Renee's was where the cherry trees are now, opposite the Spar shop. When she stopped trading it became a fish and chip shop. A bit later, there was a fire and the building was pulled down.

The Wee Shop (on the left)

5. What was recently the hairdresser's shop 'Hilltop Salon' was always known as 'The Wee Shop' and it was a general grocery store. I can't remember the name of the owner.

6. Clifford Morton owned the butcher's shop and the little triangular, hilly field next to the cenotaph at the end of Pinnar Lane. When he retired, an employee called George Holt took it over. He used to play for Halifax Town at The Shay.

In the field between the Cock and Bottle, there was a big round water tank during the war in case there were fires caused by bombs.

7. Another General Store was owned by Mr and Mrs Hargreaves. A friend remembers going to a room upstairs to look at Christmas gifts and confectionary that they bought in to boost sales

8. Next door to Hargreaves, there was another fish and chip shop. My mother, Mrs Emily Naylor used to work there at lunch times.

9. Smith's Builders was at the bottom of Upper Marsh. They had a big machine to grind up the lime and this fascinated me. They used to dump rubble and stuff in a field behind. I went to school with the two children, Doreen and Michael.

10. Rawnsley's paper shop was in Higgin Lane, where the Old Post Office was. It's a house now, renovated about fifteen years ago by Mr and Mrs Lambert

11. This bus shelter was known as 'The Old Men's Parliament'. It's where the old chaps would meet and chat.

Hudson's (middle left) was the General Store and Post Office. It's where the Spar shop (Sam's) is now. It was a big shop and used to have high ceilings. Mr Pickles used to live next door in a house between Zion Chapel and Hudson's shop. Next door to Zion Chapel, Higgin Lane side, was Higgin Hall. It's now two houses.

13. At the bottom of Howgate Hill (middle left) was a sweet shop. It was the narrow end of the wedge-shaped house. I don't remember much about it.


I hope that my memories will trigger off more from other Southowram residents.

Roger Naylor


Photo taken of Postlethwaites' bakers shop, van and staff at roadside, Pinnar Lane (garden wall there now). Top of Richardsons tower (west side) with finials just visible at the rear. The bakery is behind this shop. (later Brosters' shop).

The chemist shop was opened and run by Frank Harrison from 1953/54 until his retirement in 1992. It is currently a sandwich shop cafe, the chemist having moved to the doctor's surgery further along Law Lane.
The sweet shop next door has seen many owners over the years. It was opened by Mr and Mrs Murray in the early 1950s. It then passed to Mr and Mrs Gomersall (the name seen here) in the mid-1950s. Mr and Mrs Farrell took over in the late 1950s. Gerry Morrison, on the retirement of Mr Doran, at the far end of Towngate, applied for the Southowram Post Office being transferred here in the early 1960s.

Law Lane from 1957.
The snow here is in and outside the driveway to the former chemist shop at 16 Law Lane. The small, stone garden wall is no more.
The pre-fabricated garage, typical of the day, had an asbestos roof, the main danger then being its weakness to withstand walking weight, particularly from playing children.
The blocks right and left of the driveway were built in the early 1950s by Brighouse builder, Colin Whitehead on land originally owned by local quarryman, Benny Thompson. The shop, left mid-distance, for many years a fish and chips shop, was opened as a green-grocers by Mr and Mrs Albert Naylor. Albert also toured local streets with a horse-drawn, ornate, green cart. The building above the hillside gardens in the background is a wooden garage in land known as The Field.

Robert Harrison

Law Lane in deep snow (1957) towards Cain Lane and Towngate from the former chemist shop at 16 Law Lane.
The Southowram Library has for many years occupied the site right foreground.
The house set back, right mid-distance, was occupied by the local Southowram Policeman, the last occupant, I believe, being Alan Marshal. Green-grocer, Fred Lees, also moved to a shop in the terrace right mid-distance, his original shop being located in a 17th century residence (long demolished) at the corner of Pinnar Lane and what in those days was a rough track known as The Entry (now Yeadon Drive).
The Southowram Co-Op stands at the corner of Law Lane and Cain Lane, left mid-distance.
The Pack Horse Inn also stands left mid-distance.
The building centre background, along Towngate, was, at that time, occupied by a butcher's shop next to a newsagents run by Joan and Colin Barratt. The newsagents was taken over by Gordon Buckley around 1959/1960.
The roads in those days were often cleared by snow-ploughs fixed to Marshall stone wagons.
The shot was taken by my father, Frank Harrison, who was the chemist at Southowram from 1953/54 until retirement in 1992.
Robert Harrison

A view of Law Lane. The Southowram branch of the Halifax Industrial Society opened in November 1871.

With reference to the Southowram photograph of Towngate in the 1950s, I thought you might be interested in the names of several shops operating along Towngate and New Street at that time.
1) The canopy, left foreground, is above the entrance steps to Broomhead's Fish and Chip shop, operated by Mary and Hilda Broomhead. Sometime in the 1960s, this became a hairdressers, "Hair Charm", as seen in the photograph of the corner of West Lane with the 30 Halifax Corporation Bus.
2) Next to Broomhead's, where the phone box is, is the Southowram Post Office, operated by Mr and Mrs Doran. This also, in the 1960s, changed location to Law Lane, next to the Southowram Library.
3) Out of shot, to the right, in Providence Buildings was the Economic Grocery Store.
4) The tall building, right mid-distance, at the top of New Street, is the grocery shop of Mr and Mrs Bill Popplewell. Ronnie Denton, who later opened a shop in Brighouse, also worked there.
5) Along New Street, next to Popplewell's, was a complex housing Wilf Marshall's Gents' Hairdressers, Nancy Hawtrey Ladies' Hairdressers and a cafe serving pie and peas, well patronised by workmen at lunch-time. Also along New Street, approaching the Jubilee Inn, was another Fish and Chip Shop. All these New Street shop premises have long been demolished.

Next you came to a Butcher's shop owned by local farmer, Jonah Gill. Below this was Riley's Fish shop. Opposite Riley's was Ken Newburn's Coal and Coke shop. Behind him, at the bottom of New Row was Trevor Gledhill's small business selling fresh veg and flowers from his allotment.  Barry Chapman

6) Further along Towngate, right of shot, was Hurst's Drapery Store, with Miss Sykes behind the counter.

7) Towngate in the 1950s, right background, not far from its intersection with Cain Lane, was also the location of Mr Dobbie's Cobblers shop. This later moved to Bank Top, near the Cock and Bottle.

No. 1 Towngate. At one time there was 'Hirst and Sykes' Drapery/Haberdashery shop at this side and Doctor Lawson's Surgery at the far side. Barry Chapman

The ground floor of the Social Club was used by Dr Smith-Moorhouse for his surgery.

8) Barratt's, and later Buckley's, Newsagents lay next to a butcher's shop left background. In the 1950s the newsagents was operated by Joan Barratt and her husband Colin.
I, myself, approaching 65, was a small resident of Southowram 1953-1960. I visited all the shops above and have vivid memories of them all. Towngate in the 1950s was the shopping centre of Southowram. Road widening and the demolition of old properties have greatly changed the scene. The shopping centre has also migrated to Law Lane since the 1950s.
Robert Harrison

At the start of Pinnar Lane was a steep pathway leading to the low beamed building which was the greengrocer's shop, owned by the brothers Arthur and Fred Lees. Barry Chapman

Below the Pack Horse there was Taylor's bakery then the stocks below that.


There was a shop at the top of Dark Lane (building on the left)


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