Remember the shops in 1960s Openshaw?

Isn’t it just fabulous that we can all reminisce on our memories? 

In part one of Once Upon a Time In Openshaw, Janet S told me some precious memories from her time growing up in Openshaw with her best friend Janet B.

Now, they share more stories from the past that we just had to share with you.

Almost every street contained a house converted to a shop. They did a roaring trade in 1950s and 60s before the days of fridges and freezers in our homes when our mums shopped daily. Dunston Street had its own sweet shop and grocers. Staton Street had the best stocked shop run by Mr and Mrs Case.

They offered the usual ‘on tick, in the book‘ for families who sometimes struggled, though I’m certain Mr Case would not let any debt go unattended!

On Elysian Street was Mrs Thornleys sweet shop, straight across the road from the school so she did a great trade in sweets at all times of the day and evening too.

Janet B and I made our fun by making up names of sweets and going into her sweet shop, and also into Mrs Rileys on Ashton Old Road and asking for some fictitious confectionary. We once went in and asked for a bag of Heart Failures.

She looked puzzled. What are they like? she asked. I kept my face straight and said: You know those lifesavers sweets you sell. Well, they are a bit like that only stronger.” She promised to ask the rep about them on his next visit. 

In our defence, we were only eleven years old and that was quite mild mischief compared to some!

Freda’s hairdressers on Coronation Street did a roaring trade in selling hair lacquer. The Bouffant hairstyle was in vogue and it took copious amounts of lacquer to keep the style in place. We often ran errands for our big sisters (we each had one) taking a little squeezy spray bottle which for a few pence, (old money) Freda would fill up from her large trade supply of Belair and keep the teenage girls happy!

A chap named Russell ran the green grocers at the top of Meech Street where it cornered Victoria Street

He would get items of game hanging up in the shop from time to time. In there with my mum one day he said to her: “If you are looking for something special I’ve got a nice cape on?” I stood there looking at him thinking: Whats he saying that for? He’s wearing a blue cardigan! Mum later explained what a capon really was!

What shops do you remember from Openshaw?


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