South Bank corner shops

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.

The map of South Bank shows current shops/businesses (red dots) and former shops (blue dots).

The map of South Bank shows current shops/businesses (red dots) and former shops (blue dots).

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.



  1. keith jackman · · Reply

    I used to be a part-time butcher boy around 1962/3 and worked in the Co-Op/Janico buidling in Balmoral Terrace. The butcher was Frank ‘Butch’ Barnett who was my uncle. Keith Jackman

    1. Anonymous · · Reply

      Fantastic to hear from you. I am currently doing research for the group about Scarcroft Road shops. I would be delighted to get together with you to talk about the histories of both South Bank and Scarcroft shops. Perhaps we could have a coffee at the Pig and Pastry or meet up at Clements Hall on Moss Street. – I’m free most days until October.

      look forward to hearing from you

      Anne Houson

  2. We’ll be wanting to record your memories too soon!

  3. Joan J is my godmother and my mothers friend of over 76 years. Scarcroft Rd: I recall Novak jewellers opposite the Dairy. There was a veggie shop on the corner of the 1st street off Bishopthorpe Rd on Scarcroft Rd:

    1. Do let us know if you have any more memories or photographs of the shops.

  4. MY grandparents lived on Albermarle Rd, and I have a memory of a shop known locally as “The Tin Tabernacle”.

    1. Do let us know if you have any more memories or photographs of the shops.

  5. John David William Aked · · Reply

    I have a lot of family history in South Bank, both on my father’s and on my mother’s side. The family house was on Wentworth Road. My father went to Scarcroft school from 1918 and my mother went to Cherry St School. My father was one of the founder members of Ovington Cricket Club. My Mother lived on Lower Ebor Street from 1913 to the 1920’s. her brother worked at Terry’s factory all his working life apart from war service. When first married my wife and I had a house on Nunthorpe Road. For a short time I also worked at Terry’s.

    Regards John DW Aked

  6. Christine Studstrup nee Skelton · · Reply

    Oh my goodness so many memories come flooding back after reading this article. I was born and grew up in Knavesmire Crescent. There was Laythem’s shop on the corner of Curzon Terrace. Jim Griffin the milk man, Curzon Terrace. Walter Wilson’s on the corner opposite the post office. There was a row of shops on Albemarle Road – Chemist, green grocer and the Laundry/dry cleaners. There was a cycle Smith. On the other side of Albemarle Road there was Haxby’s bakery. In Queen Victoria Street there was a gents hairdressers, the butchers shop, Jim’s fish shop. The ladies hairdresser was Lucy Bull.There was wool shop just over the road from ‘the big dipper’ can remember my mum telling me that a bomb dropped there during the war. My mother was Mary Skelton, York City Midwife and worked on the district. Hope this can be off interest to you. Christine

    1. Great to hear all this Christine. If you could send us your email address via perhaps we could find out more from you.

  7. Christine Studstrup nee Skelton · · Reply

    Have just remembered it was Mrs Wild who had the wool shop. There was also a sweet shop a couple of doors away.At the bottom of the road there was a bakers shop, a ladies hairdresser and a green grocer. Opposite these shops was a Newsagents. Can remember my mum telling me that customers children received an Annual at Christmas. This was a much treasured present for my mother ☺

  8. christine B · · Reply

    Mrs Wild’s wool shop waws situated on South Bank Ave at the T section of Knavesmire Grove. Although wool was her primary sales, she also sold sanitary towels from under the counter. You would be sent to get some and, only if no one was in the tiny shop ( and she worked it out of her front room), she would retrieve them and wrap them in brown paper to disguise them. Her shop reverted to a private residence. The sweet shop on South Bank Ave a couple of door from the wool shop on the corner has been a hairdressers since the 60’s and opposite that on the other corner was Scotts the general store. At the Bishopthorpe Rd end of South Bank Ave was a bakery, and a vegetable shop which also sold vinegar from the cask and was open on Sundays. On the other side of Bish Rd was a butchers which is now an Indian take away. Around the corner from the vinegar man on Bish Rd was a bike shop where a man custom made bikes from used and new parts or just sold used bikes. It reverted to private use likely in the 60’s. I was given a new adult bike from there when I was 11 and I used it until my mid 20’s and then gave it back to my Dad.

  9. Christine Studstrup nee Skelton · · Reply

    The name of the butcher next door to Jim Melsom’s fish shop was Tom Verity. My brother was a delivery boy for him for a period of time. The Dairy in Curzon Terrace was owned by Tom Griffin and his brother Jim. Will send my mail address tomorrow

  10. Christine Studstrup nee Skelton · · Reply

    Mrs Nixon had a little grocers shop in BRunswick Street

  11. Christine Studstrup nee Skelton · · Reply

    Mr and Mrs Crabtree had the Post Office when I was a child.

  12. Christine Studstrup nee Skelton · · Reply

    Another shop on the corner of Albemarle Road and Brunswick Street was simply refered to as Sykes’. You name Clements Hall. For me it was St. Clements Hall. I went to St. Clements C of E Junior School and we weNT to St Clements Church. My brother, uncles and cousins sang in the church choir. I went to Sunday School in the church hall and can remember church basars. I also went to King’s Messengers at the church hall.

  13. Joanne Chesher · · Reply

    Hi I wonder if anyone can help me, I live in what was the post office on Albemarle road, I was wondering if anybody has any history on the building? My family are from South Bank and I am very interested in learning about the place I live.

  14. Hello Joanne that’s very interesting, if you can email us on we can pass on any information we have. We would welcome information for your family too.

  15. Tony Walker tells us:

    I lived at 19 Trafalgar Street from 1944, when I was born (Jeez, I’m old!), until 1966, when I married. At number 13, my friend David Barnett lived with his parents, Frank and Betty. Frank worked at the Coop butchers in Balmoral Terrace. Across the road, at number 2 was Malcolm Hunter, a little younger than me, whose mother Kath, had three sisters, Dot, Joan, and Madge Griffin, who were (I think) sisters to the milkman Tom (?)Griffin who delivered milk via horse and trap.

    At the top of Trafalgar Street, on the corner of South Bank Avenue, there was a greengrocer, Scott’s, who had a son Martin. On the other corner was a general store, called Long and later Beech, although I could have them in the wrong order. There was also a shoe repairer and bookie’s office, Bough’s (usually pronounced like a dog’s bark), with some lockup garages attached.

    At the bottom of Trafalgar Street, before reaching Balmoral Terrace, was Kendricks chippie, which was always full on Friday lunchtime with girls from Terrys. On the corner of Trafalgar Street and Balmoral Terrace was a tiny clothes shop for women, which was called Vaughans.

    Across from this in Balmoral terrace was the Coop grocers and butchers, with St. Chad’s church hall next door. Opposite from this was the grocer and off licence Thorns, and on the corner of Brunswick Street and Count de Burgh (alwaya pronounced by us as ‘County Burg’) Terrace was Slater’s newsagents.

  16. Lynda Hunter · · Reply

    I lived in Hubert Street, off Brundswick Street,from about 1952 untill the early seventies. Mrs Nixon had the shop on the corner of our street, later taken over by her daughter, Mrs.Lilly Thompson. She had a parrot in the back,which used to wolf whistle… was a small grocery shop, but I mainly bought sweets, and cigarettes for my Father ( how things have changed) Sykes was also a grocery shop on the corner of Albemarle Road,and Brundswick Street. All lovely people ran these shops.
    At the top of Windsor Street Ernie Lonsdale had the grocers shop, later in the very early sixties my Aunty, Kath Machen had the shop. Chapmans was also a shop on the top of Adelaide Street, and not forgetting Sturdys fish and chip shop at the top of Argyle Street and Ovington Terrace. The best fish and chips ever, and a bag of chips 2d, with scraps !!! In the fifties my aunt by marriage, Marie Carter had a little sweet shop, which she had in her front room, half way down Queen Victoria Street. Yes I remember Slaters paper shop, Vaughans, Mrs.Wilds wool shop. It all seems like yesterday when I think of my chilhood on South Bank. There is so much I could write about the family, friends and characters of that special time I spent growing up on South Bank.

  17. That’s great to hear Lynda, hopefully we can get some more memories from you.

  18. Michael Palfrey · · Reply

    My mothers side of our family (Ken & May Hodgson) had the Butchers at the corner of Butcher Terrace and Bishopthorpe Road at least through the 60s and 70s. My mother was born above there.

  19. That’s interesting Michael – do you have any old photos or memories? We have some memories of the Hodgson’s from talking to local people Susan

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