Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Co-op Advert.

This is an advert from the North Cheshire Herald aka The Reporter dated October 1958.


What a shame that you can't get clothes at this price now!

Thanks to Helen Hodkinson for use of this advert..

Monday, 30 May 2011

Hydes claim to fame ?

As I was looking through some photos of Hyde I was struck by the similarity of the Beatles famous Abbey Road Album cover with the one of Hyde Town Hall's zebra crossing..

The Beatles Abbey Road album cover

Hydes very own Abbey Road photo from 1968.

Maybe the Beatles got their inspiration from this picture as they didn't release their album until 1969 ! ;)

Sunday, 29 May 2011

A blast from the past ! Disappeared shops

 photo hydemusiccentre001.jpg

Whilst "tidying" the loft recently I came across this paper bag from the 1970's . It is from Hyde Music Centre which was a shop that sold albums, cassettes and 7 inch singles and was a mecca for music lovers all over the area! From what I remember, the owner was called Alan. The assistants always seemed so cool, too!
I used to love this shop and spent so much time (and money) in there. I especially liked the special order book which had all the imports listed including the Northern Soul ones - I still have all the records I bought in there - some now quite rare!
Sadly, the shop closed it's doors circa 2002 and Greenhalghs Bakers now occupies the site. If anyone has any photos of the music centre shop , I'd be very happy to show them on here!

Ahhh, happy days ! :)

Saturday, 28 May 2011

The Hollow Factory


This would have been the view from around where Throstle Bank Mill would have been. I have been after a picture of this card for a while now and this one was recently sent in by John W. 


Hollow Brow, Newton, at the junction of Dukinfield Road and Newton Street. The tower of Flowery Field Church is in the centre background. On the right is the Ashton Brothers' Bayleyfield Mills. I am sure that the spire of St Stephens to be seen in-between Flowery Fields Tower and the factory chimney. 

Friday, 27 May 2011

Hyde Lads Club Plaque 'Update' 2, And a New Book


Our friend JohnT, as been out and about with his camera this week and sent in this  picture. John say's
I attach a photograph I took today of the new fence around the Hyde Lads Club's reinstated memorial stone and plaque.  A big thank you to those who arranged for the protective fence to be installed.
Thank you John... and we agree whole heartedly.



I was told about the book a few months ago when we did a posting about Gib Mil. Last week I recieve an email which said:
 A few months ago when I told you about the book my mother and l wrote about her childhood in Haughton Green between 1909 and 1923, when she went to work at Gibraltar Cotton Mill at the age of 14. You mentioned that you might be interested in putting a post on "Hydonian", as some of your readers would be interested in it. I have now finished editing the handwritten book she left to me and I have self published it. If any of your readers would like to buy a copy, I have a website  www.haughtongreendentonhistory.co.uk. To access the website you need to type the web address into the top box on the computer, as it will be many months before Google will pick it up. I have attached pictures of the covers with a summary of the book. The book is called "Where's Our Lizzie" by Lizzie Barton.

Born in 1909. Lizzie gives an account of her childhood in Houghton Green, near Denton, in the old county of Lancashire. Back then, Haughton Green was a very different place than it is today. It was a rural community dependent on local pits, the “Gib” Cotton Mill and local agriculture. She started to in her eighties and finished it just before her death, which occurred just two days short of her 99th birthday. Even at that great age she had total recall of the tiniest details.

Sometimes poignant, often hilarious, it contains comments about a lifestyle, attitudes and customs of the early 20th century from the viewpoint of the 21st. It is a first-hand social history, set against such historical events as WW1, the Spanish flu epidemic and the miner’s strike of  1921.
I for one will be getting a copy... I've always had an interest in the "Gib" mill and will enjoy reading about that.. and I am reliable told it contains stories which have a bearing on Hyde... particular how Lizzie would set off with a basket under her arm and a shopping list  to visit Hyde Market on a Saturday evening to pick up bargains as the Market was shutting down.


Thursday, 26 May 2011

Emily Lord Part 3


Marriage of Miss E. L. Lord, of Flowery Field.


The marriage at St George’s Church on Thurday of Miss Emily Louise Lord, youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Lord, of the Flowery Field Hotel, Hyde, to Mr. Frank Waller son of Mrs. Waller and the late Mr. W. Waller. of Derby. The bride was the first young lady of Hyde to respond to the appeal made by the Government fot English girls to go to France and preform work on behalf of the military authorities. The first batch of such girls, known as the “Pioneers of the Khaki Girls” crossed the English Channel and arrived in France in March, 1917. They numbered but 12 strong, and amongst them Miss Lord. In France she remained until January of the present year, when she came home on leave. She had the misfortune to break down in health, and appearing before a medical board, she did not return to France. Miss Lord was discharged from the service in March, as a result of shell shock, sustained whilst in France. We are, however, pleased to state that she is now quite well again.
Miss Lord joined the Women’s Legion in November 1915, being one of the first recruits. She was sent to a military centre at Grantham to act as cook, and whilst in France she held the position of Sergeant in the Expeditionary Force Canteens. For the first two months after arriving in France Miss Lord was regularly working 19 hours a day. Up to joining the Women’s Legion she was teacher at St. George’s Sunday School Hyde. It was whilst in France that she met Mr. Waller, who was in hospital there. She attended him during his recovery, as on two occasions he was given up by the doctors.
Mr. Waller himself has seen between 3 and 4 years’ active service in Salonika and France. Enlisting as a private in the Hussars, he later obtained a commission in the Border Regiment, and was demobilised in June.


At St. Georges a large number of people assembled to witness the ceremony, which was performed by the vicar, the Rev. H. J. Graham. The bride looked charming in a cream costume, with hat to correspond, and carried a beautiful bouquet. She was attended as bridesmaid by her sister, Miss Mabel Lord, who looked equally becoming in an old rose coloured dress, with black and old rose coloured hat. She also carried a bouquet. The bride’s mother looked smart in a dark grey dress, with hat of dark velvet, underlined with white, whilst Mrs. Waller wore a black crape de chine dress and black silk hat. Both carried bouquets. Others present  included Mrs. Cowburn, Nurse Waller and Miss Nellie Waller, sisters of the bridegroom. Mr.  J. H. Ward discharged the duties of best man.
 After the ceremony a reception was held at the Flowery Field Hotel, where a large number of guests were entertained. Mr. and Mrs. Waller are spending the honeymoon at Bournemouth, and will afterwards take up residance in London, where the bridegroom is employed in charge of Brent Gas Works, Hendon.
Amongst the many costly and handsome presents they have received is a beautiful piece of table silver from the Mayor and Mayoress of Hyde .. Alderman and Mrs. J. Mirfin

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Sir Andrew Chadwick from Godley

Sir Andrew Chadwick – And The Great Chancery Claim.

Sir Andrew Chadwick was born in 1688 in humble circumstances in Godley, he went to London in search of a fortune, and just like Dick Whittington he found it…. BIG STYLE. 


He became very wealthy indeed, he was Knighted and died in 1768 without issue, whereupon his estate fell into the hands of the Chancery Court.  The value of his estate was millions… It was thought to comprise one-half of Regents Circus, London, all Golden Square as well as property around St Pancras. There was something like 1,100 houses on the different estates.
Sir Andrew’s wife, Dame Margaret Chadwick died in 1763 and left everything that she had to her husband.  Sir Andrew died 5 years later at his residence in Regents Park, on the 15th of March 1768… he was 80 years old. One report stated the following  “Sir Andrew Chadwick, Knight, the oldest of the band of gentlemen pensioners.” 


Reports in the New York Times from August 1892, tell of the efforts of a claim on they believed was a $187,000,000 fortune was met with resistance… many English Lawyers and Agents were getting income from this estate and did not want to lose it the papers said. One lawyer who was instructeday since they were packed away there all those long years ago to lodge a claim disappeared, barristers would not take up the fight… For more than 100 years, we are told, the court and this bank (Bank of England) have held this enormous accumulation.  All this time, the Press says, “the lands and houses and the wealth of old Sir Andrew Chadwick have fattened on themselves within that seventh gate of legal Hades, the English Court of Chancery. In the vaults of the Bank of England are massive chests and trunks, containing untold wealth of massive plate and jewels which have never seen the light of day.


So if you have stopped by here today looking for any reference to your ancestors called Chadwick's who came from Godley,  and you had no idea of the vast wealth you may or may not be entitled to..... please remember where you read this.
 Updated 26/09/11

The money is real, the property houses ect were all claimed by desendants of the Chadwick family  of Carter Place, Haslingdon, Lancashire. 

The name Sir Andrew Chadwick can be found on the rolls of the Honourable Band of Gentlmen Pensioners- ( Queen Ann,s personal body guards )
There is a theory that a Ralph or Radalphus Chadwick of Godley,  Mottram in Longdendale was his father- records held at Cheshire Records Office, Chester.
Sir Andrew died 1768, address was – Broad Street,Westminster.  Ref, Public Records Office / Proceedings of the Court of Chancery.

Information sent in by Sidney Easton

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Lost Shops in Hyde

I have had a couple of old photographs for a few years showing some old shops supposedly in Hyde, but I have been unable to locate them precisely.
The first one shows an old fish & chip shop with the name "Barker's" in the window and faintly Victoria St on the back in pencil. The second is a confectioner's shop with 4 people outside, probably from around 1940's. There appears to be an entry of some kind on the right (2 bikes leaning on window) and a shop which looks like Smiths to the left. The shop itself is on the level, it's the photo that's been taken on the slant.



Any help will be much appreciated

Monday, 23 May 2011

A lovely story.

Dog And Rook Play Together

The following newspaper cutting was taken from The North Cheshire Herald dated October 1958. It is a lovely heart warming tale. Makes a nice change from all the burglaries and car thefts nowadays!!


Thanks to Helen Hodkinson.


Sunday, 22 May 2011

Mottram Road... Hyde ?


It says very faintly on the bottom left that this is 'Mottram Road'... I'm struggling to place this but I know you will soon put me right.


Duncan has identified this road. It is ,indeed, Mottram Road in Godley.
Below I have taken some screen shots to show you the location.



Thanks to Duncan for the extra informatiom.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Walls Ice-cream lorry


I recall Wall's Ice-Cream vans and lorries coming through Hyde and like a lot of other kids at that time I would make the 'W' sign with my thumbs and index fingers, and more than often the driver would do it back with a smile on his face. I cannot imagine that happening today... it would not be seen as 'Cool' unlike the Icecream.

Updated 22/05/11
Mo's Picture


Mo' sent this picture in which he believes was taken in Godley as he thinks he knows one of the men. I wonder if there are any more vehicles we could add to this post...    

Friday, 20 May 2011

Fletcher Millers /Burmah Castrol


Fletcher Millers were based at Flowery Field, the earliest reference I have found is to them taking a patent out in 1921 for improvements in or relating to back plates for gas and like stoves or cookers...  If you can fill in any detales please do so.


In the 1930's it were dealing in the follow products.  "Clearedge" Translucent Soluble Coolant. "Cooledge" Water Soluble Cutting Oil. "Lardedge" Mineralised Lard Oil. "Rodol" Rust Preventatives. "Swift" Sulphurised Straight Cutting Oil. Metal Cutting Oils (neat and water soluble), Drawing Compounds, rust Preventives (liquid and solid), Easing Oil, Degreasing Compounds, Belt Dressing, Case-hardening Media, Oils for Engineering, Marine and Industrial purposes. This Hyde company was known world wide for its products and skill in making them.


Fletcher Millers was taken over  by C. C. Wakefield and Co., Ltd., the makers of Castrol around 1960.


I was born in 1958... 2 years before the company changed hands... by right the only name I should know this place as was Burma Castrol... yet I have always referred and still do the Fletcher Millers.... I never even knew what the company did... it was always referred to as Fletcher Miller and I must have heard it mentioned by that name that often it as stuck.


Fletcher Millers was an oil refinery - Duncan's Dad worked there for 33 years and during the war he wasn't drafted out as it was a reserved occupation that was essential and considered important enough to exempt the workers from military service. He was in the Home Guard instead but that's another story.

Below is a silver platter he received for loyal service. Sorry about the quality but  it was difficult to photograph due to being highly polished. (I kept getting myself mirrored in the picture ,haha) !



Thursday, 19 May 2011

Emily Lord Part 2

Newton Heroine’s Reward

Mentioned in Field Marshalls Dispatch
When bombs and shrapnel fell around,
This woman stayed beside her post of duty.
Amid War’s terrors, deep, profound,
Which showed her character in all its beauty!

During the long sad days of the war nothing in our national character showed up to greater advantage or purer perfection than the courage of our glorious womanhood, and so it has ever been in the history of our splendid island race. It shone through the darkness of the Indian Mutiny, it illuminated the wreak of the Elbe, it give us a Florence Nightingale, a Nurse Gavell, a Grace Darling, and many another heroine known or unknown. We were proud of our women in the war, proud of those who stayed at home, and proud of those who fared forth to one or other of the arenas of conflict.


Women's Legion

And Newton has every reason to be proud of Miss Emily Lord (she is not Miss Lord now), the very brave daughter of Mr J W Lord, the popular licensee and mine host of the Flowery Field Hotel, who, as a member of the Women’s Legion was one of the first of the plucky girls of Hyde to go out to the Expeditionary Forces in 1915, upon the formation of the Corps, and who underwent the hardships and vicissitudes of war in all its blatant horrors with a cheerfulness and courage that stood her in good stead.
Now in 1918 she was at Etaples during the memorable German bombing raids upon the big Base Hospitals, when so many of our gallant wounded were either killed, or maimed anew, some 2000 men in all, to recall the ghastly list, whilst many of the brave women tending them fell martyrs at their posts of duty. The memory of their noble deeds is slowly fading from the public mind as the hand of time moves on, but those deeds, nevertheless, will be found recorded at the last muster rol upon imperishable tablets of the Angels.
Among the fortunate and gallant survivors of these scenes of churlish carnage was Miss Lord, who calmly assisted the wounded through many a trying hour and harrowing scene, until she fell a victim in the end to her intrepid courage, and sustaining severe shell-shock was finally invalided home and discharged “medically unfit.”
Some of this is thrice-told story now, for is it not to be found recorded in glowing terms in the columns of the “North Cheshire Herald” under the date of October 27th, 1917?
Then, to follow her varying fortunes still further, we find her under happier auspices becoming Mrs Waller at St. George’s Church. Hyde on October 9th, 1919, her bridegroom being Lieut. Frank Waller, of the 4th Hussars, thus proving the truth of the old adage that  “none but the brave deserve the fair.”
But Mrs Waller’s splendid conduct as has now received the final seal of official recognition, for lo and behold, the other day there arrived at her proud and happy father’s hostelry a portentous-looking official envelope of goodly size, which when opened revealed the following:-

 “The War of 1914-15: Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps. 21 workers, Miss E. Lord, was mentioned in a Despatch from
Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haigh, K.T., G.C.B., O.M., G.C.V.O., K.C.I.E., dated 16th March, 1919, for gallant and distinguished services in the field.
I have it in command from the King to record His Majesty’s high appreciation of the services rendered."

Secretary of State for War.
War Office, Whitehall, S.W.
1st July, 1919

There are two very proud and happy men in existence to-day, be it added, the father of our Newton heroine, and the husband of the same, and may we add our fitting meed of congratulation! 
Extracts From The Reporter

To be continued

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Pole Bank Woods - 50 years apart.

Another view of Pole Bank Woods here.
The first photo is of my other half, Duncan and his Dad ,sitting down on a tree during one of their many happy walks through Pole Bank. The photo was taken circa 1961.
If you look closely to the right of Duncan you can see some undergrowth that looks very like a gnome complete with beard, peeping.....can anyone else see it? I always thought something strange lived in those woods .... ;)


Now here is the same tree 50 years later. Pole bank is still a place of many happy walks and our dog being a showoff has sneaked onto the photo :) The tree trunk might have got a lot thicker but not much else has changed in there.


Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Newton Mill Cricket Club



Gwyneth Walker as sent in this smashing picture of the above team, which includes her father Clifford Cash. He was the sales manager for well over 30 years at Newton Mill/Waldorf and then Deeko when they moved to Royton.


Office staff, packing up before the transfer to Royton


The Newton Mill factory produced stationery and greetings cards and was originally founded in 1895 by Thomas Owen Jacobsen and Stanley Welch and as such initially traded as “Jacobsen and Welch”.  The factory closed in 1976 and as now been divided up and parts are very much still in use today. 


Entrance  complete with Christmas Tree.


The same corner now.... corner plot is now a car park.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Werneth Low


This is the best picture I have found of this old post card of Werneth Low,  if you have a better copy and could send in a decent scan I'd be very grateful.

Updated 20/05/11
Dave's Picture


This picture is taken from the far end of the field facing Broomstair Nurseries - you can see the nursery in the foreground, and the row of trees (poplars?) behind it are at the side of the river at the back of the sewage farm off Mill Lane.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Emily Lord Part 1

I was contacted a while back by Martin Waller concerning the story of Emily Lord and her bravery and much more. What I have done is to write this story how it was wrote in the 'Reporter' I will add one or two pictures as well.  




An appeal throughout England for English girls to go to France and perform work on behalf of the military authorities, such as cooking, so as to relieve able-bodied men for other duties, such as service in the ranks. The first batch of such girls, known as the Pioneers of the Khaki Girls, crossed the English Channel and arrived in France. They numbered 12 strong, and the Borough of Hyde has the honour of having furnished one of the 12…. Namely, Miss Emily Lord, the younger daughter of Mr and Mrs J. W. Lord, of the Flowery Field Hotel. Miss Lord, an esteemed and most estimable young lady, has been wearing khaki nearly two years. She joined the Women’s Legion so long ago a Nov. 1915, being one of the first to join. She was sent to a military centre at Grantham, to act as cook. She now holds the rank of Sergeant in what is known as the Expeditionary Force Canteens. Last Saturday morning she arrived home on a fortnights leave, not having been home since last Christmas, so she is certainly doing what she can to help win the war. On Tuesday, Miss Lord very kindly and courteously gave a representative of the “Herald” a few particulars of the work she and others English girls have been doing in France. Since arriving last March, she has been cooking and waiting and waiting on a British officers club at Boulogne. Sometimes when soldiers come down the line they have nothing to eat for a couple of days or more.  They are provided with food, and have a wash before coming over to England. Frequently many of them go, or are taken, down to Boulogne after  “Going over the top” and taking part in hard fighting, and are most grateful for the kind attention they receive. In Miss Lord’s unit there are 46 girls in France, all of whom previously acted as cooks in military camps in England. Miss Lord told our representative that for the first two months after arriving in France she was – REGULARLY WORKING 19 HOURS A DAY- and she herself had worked 48 hours off the reel. It was extremely trying, and after a few weeks there were only 3 girls on duty, all the others being in hospital. Since then the conditions have improved by the arrival of fresh drafts of girls from England, and the work is now generally done in relays; - three relays each day, night included of course. The girls if not on night duty, sleep at a beautiful hostel about 15 minutes walk from the officers club. The hostel has been provided with furniture and various articles made by the girls themselves assisted by some of the soldier boys, and it is now very cosy. Contributions are made by the girls every week to buy cakes for socials and parties. These events afford a most pleasurable relief from what at times are still very arduous duties. Every week the girls entertain at the hostel about 12 of the “blue boys” those who are convalescent from wounds or sickness. They have a gramophone, and soon a piano is expected. When the girls went last March the officers club was in a very neglected condition, but it is now clean and comfortable. In the present club about fifty officers can be attended to, but next month another club is to be opened, which will provide accommodation for 250. There are now large numbers of English girls in France, cooking and performing other useful work for the benefit of British soldiers. Some are acting as clerks. Though very tiring at times, Miss Lord likes the work, feeling that she is doing her duty to good old England. On many occasions she as only had a ‘Army Biscuit’ to eat before starting her shift. Miss Lord speaks very highly of the conduct of British soldiers in France.
A new club has been opened at Poperinghe, in Belgium, only 6 miles west-south-west of Ypres, and within a few miles of resent terrific fighting: and Miss Lord thinks she may be going there when she returns on November 3rd. Up to joining the Women’s Legion she was a teacher at Hyde St. Georges Sunday School.


Her father has been the licence of the Flowery Field Hotel for a few years now and as made many friends. He is a trained electrical engineer, and formerly was engaged at the Denton Tramways depot. 

To be continued   

Saturday, 14 May 2011

The Day Hyde FC Lost 26 - 0

Hyde FC  hold the dubious record for the biggest ever competitive defeat in English football when they were beaten 26–0 by Preston North End in a match at Deepdale in 1887. Deepdale is recognised as the oldest professional footballing site in the world so if Hyde FC were going to lose properly then why not here!

Here is a newspaper cutting describing the game. The cutting is from the  newspaper ,The North Cheshire Herald ,or just plain old Reporter to most , dated October 1958.


Sorry about the quality but remember it's over 50 years old!

Thanks to Helen Hodkinson for allowing us to use this. It's very much appreciated.

Below is extracts from the Souvenir Programme




Anyone with an interest in football is able to reel off certain facts. They can tell you the first winners of the FA Cup, the record goal scorer for their team, who got the most caps for England etc.etc. A special favourite however is Hyde’s 26-0 defeat at the hands of Preston North End 100 years ago, on October 15th, 1887. The game was played at Deepdale  and has taken on legendary proportions. People will tell you that Hyde’s players were drunk or that the referee lost track of time, but press reports of the time bear out none of this. Preston, just about the best club in the world at that time wanted the game played in midweek so they could complete their scheduled fixture with West Bromwich. Hyde declined, so the ‘Invincibles’ fielded their strongest side. A match report would be pointless – those published merely gave a list of who scored each goal. For the record, Dewhurst got 3, Drummond 2, Jimmy Ross 7, Graham 2, Thomson 4, Gordon 5, Jack Ross, Russell and Goodall got 1 goal each. The half time score was 12-0. There is evidence that the first substitute appeared in the match… even if he was illegal and unofficial. After the 3rd goal in the 17th minute Hyde’s centre-half  ‘Bowers’ left the pitch injured. Later another player took his place, against the rules, but Preston were not complaining …. They were winning 12-0! Astonishingly, Hyde’s best player was goalkeeper Charles Bunyan who is reported as having been “a clinking good opponent”. Later he became a coach in Belgium and was a major force in establishing soccer there. Hyde did eventually get their revenge in 1891, winning 3-1.

Extract from the Reporter, October 16th, 1987.


Friday, 13 May 2011

Request From St. Mary's

We have been contacted by Reverend Richard Lamey, Priest in Charge of St. Mary's Newton.  The request is for a bit of personal information concerning the men mentioned on the war memorial inside the church. We have been able to gleam information concerning their rank and number, and where they are buried from The Commonwealth War Grave Commission.   


If anyone has any personal memories of any of the people mentioned above, or knows which street they lived on, or school they went to, place of work and so on that information will be well appreciated. 

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Brooke's Ironmongers

Everyone who has lived in Hyde and is over a certain age, will have heard of or visited Brooke's Ironmongers on Market Street. Before the coming of B & Q and other similar shops, Brookes was the only place to go for anything to do with ironmongery or DIY supplies. The shop was very cluttered with nearly everything in little drawers behind the busy counter. Brookes closed the Market St shop in 1992 and move round the corner in Water St for a few years, before it shut down completely. The Market St premises were taken over by a Doctor's Practice named The Brooke Surgery in respect of the old shop.

Below is a copy of a North Cheshire Herald report from 29th October 1992:-


Fire tong's grates, gas appliances from long ago and other devices most of us have long forgotten - all can be seen in Hyde's "old curiosity shop".The Crimean War was four yours away when William Brook opened his ironmonger's business in Hyde and now the Market Street shop is a treasure trove of odds and ends.Walter Brooke and his brother Bill have been running the shop since 1945 but tomorrow (Friday) they will cash up for the last time.Hyde's oldest shop is closing to make way for a new business, but Brooke's Ironmongers won't be gone for ever. Apart from the sale of domestic hardware and garden equipment, the business is moving lock, stock and barrel to their warehouse on Water Street.But what might not make it is a collection of odds and ends that look like an ironmongery Antique Roadshow: like a turn-of-the-century toilet roll, made by the Daffodil Company and said to be "not injurious to health" and an old football "rickrack" used in the war to warn of gas leaks.There's a circular metal slug-catcher, "you sink it in the garden, filled with beer, and the slugs would be attracted to it," said Walter. "They would fall in and drown - or get drunk!"Walter, 64, admits that moving will be a wrench because the interior of the shop has changed little since the start of the century.Wellington and wire stand cheek by jowel with shovels and secateurs. Nails are still weighed by the pond and screws are counted out. The smaller items are house in polished wooden drawers and the focal point of the shop is the well-worn counter.Walter and Bill, 67, are moving round the corner, deciding on the move after a crack appeared in a wall when the next door property was demolished.Sorting through hundreds of old items, Walter also came across a box of brass gas fittings. "It had not been opened since it was delivered ," said Walter. "And that was in 1909.An 1898 price book shows fire shovels costing just over a shilling (5p) and nails, at a penny a pound.Sadly most of the relics may be consigned to the scrapheap, but a pair of brass spit rods were recently sold to a collector and there might be more little gems to unearth.Walter and Bill have one bit of gear that even they don't know what it was for. Made of metal and 5ins long, it has adjustable spikes at the top. Walter thinks it might have been used in the leather industry but if you can fathom it out, call in and let him know.

William Brooke outside his shop around 1900.

The busy counter with scales and the rows of wooden drawer behind.

Brooke's shop around 1990.