There have been amazingly over 100 buildings/houses used as shops in South Bank in the last hundred years, many corner shops but other terrace shops, and the shapes can still be seen in the brickwork. The electric tram was important, it ran to Queen Victoria Street between 1913 and around 1935.
We’ve started interviewing some people about their memories of these shops. Listen to the excerpt from Joan Jackman of South Bank, (pictured here on her 90th birthday):
“..Queen Victoria Street was Wrights Pork Butchers, opposite there was the Post Office, then there was a chemist where the butchers is now. The corner I only remember it as a greengrocers. Down Queen Victoria Street there was a shop called Tebays, halfway down. It’s … two houses now. And then there was a lady further down Queen Victoria Street, she converted her front room, she had it as a fish shop, wet fish shop and they…he was in my class at school. We had one, two, three, four, five fish shops… We had the Co-op at the bottom, next door was the Co-op butchers and then there was St Chad’s Hall which is now Clements Club … then there was a paper shop at bottom was Slaters, newsagents. Clements Club was opposite, it was like two houses now on the corner, it moved across from… then you go down Balmoral Terrace and there were Tanfies? Groceries on the corner. I don’t know so much about Bishopthorpe Road because we didn’t go far in them days. We shopped locally. Where the hairdressers is it was Home and Colonial Stores grocery shop, it’s now a hairdressers. Corner of Curzon Terrace was Lathams, sweets and then, where I lived in Curzon Terrace, the end house opposite was a house and she call her Miss Joplin. It’s not been there for years but she used to have all sweets in her window you know when we were kids.
Then further down Curzon Terrace it was York, Knavesmire Harriers, where there’s houses now, we used to play in that hut. Past Knavesmire school there was a dairy called Lacys, I remember that. There was a shop in end of Kensington Street, Paylors. He used to sell sweets, he used to sell chewing gum at Empire Theatre, come down, selling chewing gum. That’s all I know down there. There was one or two more shops, oh, there was a drapers shop opposite what the Co-op was, called her Miss Bournes, that was a drapers shop, you could buy things. So we’d everything round here. Yes we’d a butchers in Queen Victoria Street call her Miss Boyes and opposite there there was a shop called Tebays which is two houses now and that’s all shops I remember round here. Where the doctors is now was a hairdressers, called her Miss Bull, there was a hairdressers on corner.” (Excerpt from interview with Carol Warren, June 2013)
It would be good if anyone else who is interested could join us – there’s a lot more to do, either at home on the internet, in the library looking at books or interviewing people within an oral history project.