Lark Hill Place Shops
Matthew Tomlinson, General Stores
Matthew Tomlinson's shop came from the area of Hankey Park made famous in Greenwood's 'Love on the Dole' (Ellor Street/Hankinson Street). It is typical of the 'corner shop' which became a local meeting place and centre for gossip because it sold everything needed by local people (often 'on tick'); food, candles and gas mantles, patent medicines, toiletries and, of course, sweets for the children. Many of those in the side window were made by Terry's of York from their old moulds and the labels were printed from their original blocks. Many items, such as the tea canisters and treacle urn, are reminders of a time when most food was sold loose and not in standard packets and tins.
In the window is a sugar loaf, the shop sign of the grocer. Purified sugar crystals were set in a cone-shaped mould and it was delivered to the grocer in this form. He would then break it up for sale using the sugar cutter (shaped like a guillotine) on the counter. In the home sugar nippers like those in the cottage were used to make the pieces smaller still. Granulated sugar was not made successfully until 1867 and cube sugar was introduced about 1880 and sold loose from boxes similar to that of Henry Tate standing behind the chair (all three items are on loan from Tate and Lyle Ltd).
Music played a much more important part in people's lives before the days of television, cinema and radio. Many children learnt to play the piano and took part in musical evenings at home. Others might learn to play the harp such as this one made by Sebastian Erard in the early 19th century, or its more portable imitation the harp-lute or harp-ventura. Various experiments were made in the 1840s with free reed instruments such as the reed organ in the window sold by Thomas Molineux of Manchester. These led to the development of the concertina (the one in the window was made by Lachenal & Co.) and the accordion.
For those with no musical skills there was mechanical music provided by musical boxes and later by organettes, polyphons and the pianola or player piano. The latter combined in one instrument the piano and the piano player (patented in 1897) like the one in the shop made by Orchestrelle Co. and sold by Hime & Addison of Manchester. This was pushed up to the keyboard so that its 65 fingers could strike the piano keys in response to a punched music roll worked by a bellows powered by the foot pedals. About the same time the phonograph with recordings on wax cylinders became commercially popular. It was later superseded by its rival the gramophone which used discs and had a large horn to amplify the sound.
The printer is shown as the publisher of the local weekly newspaper "The Salford Reporter" which was founded in 1879 by Peter Hampson as the 'Pendleton Reporter and Weaste Times'. It later became the 'Salford City Reporter' and passed out of family ownership in 1948. Printing was first introduced into England in 1476 by William Caxton and even after the introduction of mechanical power in the form of the cylinder press in the mid-19th century, printers continued to use the two hand presses seen here for taking proofs. The Columbian, known in the trade as an 'Eagle' was invented in 1816 by an American George Clymer, although this one dates from 1849. The smaller Albion press was introduced in 1823 by J.W. Cope and the engraving on the brass cap here reads 'Hopkinson's Albion Press 1839'. In 1862 they cost £12 each.
On the compositor's desk is all the equipment he needs to set up the type in the metal frame called a chase from which the impression is made on the sheets which were then hung up to dry.
Henry Radclyffe, Toy Shop
Around the dapple-grey rocking horse, almost a symbol of the nursery, are many of the toys and games which delighted Victorian and Edwardian children, and which today show us life of the past in miniature.
For the girls there is the doll's house, the dolls perambulator, tea-sets and a variety of dolls with wax and china faces. For the boys there are the tin soldiers, many made in Germany: some represent scenes and troops in the Franco-German war of 1870, while others have red coats for the British market. There are also mechanical toys including a steam railway engine with a paraffin burner. For all the children there are books and annuals, often with a high moral tone, and games such as the diabolo, marbles, yoyo, whips and tops, and board games such as solitaire and squails.
E. Morand, Tobacconist
Eugene Morand was a cigar merchant of Chapel Street, Salford in 1874 when tobacco could be bought at 4d. (1p) an ounce. The Muratti mirror advertisement came from a tobacconist's in Broad Street, Pendleton. It is said to show the actress Lillie Langtry who became known as the 'Jersey Lily', the title of her portrait by Millais which indicated her birthplace and beauty.
Various methods of enjoying tobacco have been used in this country since Elizabethan times. It can be chewed, taken as snuff or smoked. Clay pipes were largely replaced by ones made of German porcelain and meerschaum (a mineral found in the Black Sea which can be easily carved) and later by briar. Cigars became popular after the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 and cigarettes after the Crimean War in 1856.
A variety of items connected with tobacco are shown here including a smoker's companion and special matches known as 'braided lights' with large heads attached by cotton thread to help 'lighting up' outdoors.
William & Mary Room c.1695
Before the industrial revolution, most houses in Salford were timber-framed and this building was reconstructed using timbers from a house which became 'The Rovers Return' in Shudehill and was demolished in 1958. Inside is early 17th century panelling from Kenyon Peel Hall, Little Hulton, and a staircase from an old house in Gravel Lane, Salford. The furniture illustrates fashions in the late 17th century, such as the high-backed walnut chair and the gate-leg table. Also typical is the marquetry decoration on the cabinet and on the fine long-case clock made by the famous Joseph Knibb of London, c.1700. This type of clock protected the weights and pendulum seen on the lantern clock on the back wall. Galileo devised a way of using a pendulum to control clockwork in 1641, but the first pendulum clock was not made until 1656. The portraits on wood are of Sir Robert Honeywood and his wife Frances Vane who were married in 1631 and were painted by Gerard van Honthurst (1590-1656). Sir Robert went as Commonwealth ambassador to Sweden in 1659, but was recalled at the Restoration of Charles II the following year. Pricket candlesticks (like those on the mantelpiece on loan from the V. & A. Museum) were more common when candles were not made in moulds but by dipping wicks in wax or tallow. As a result there was no standard size and it was easier to place early candles on a spike than into a socket.
The Blue Lion
Corner site public houses were popular and this one is reconstructed from a number of local ones such as the Wellington Inn, Rochdale, now demolished. On the window frame is an 1878 advertisement for 'Westward Ho' tobacco on loan from W.D. & H.O. Wills Ltd.
The interior has a public bar (hence the name 'pub') which would have had spittoons and sawdust on the floor, and a bar parlour for the better class of customers. A notice indicates that only those under 13 will not be served, while on the bar counter is a gold changer of about 1900 where customers could obtain change for gold coins (the sovereign [£1] and half-sovereign [50p]. The barman too could use it as a safe for gold coins from the till.
Until the introduction of crown corks, in 1892, a variety of methods were used to close soda water bottles. The egg-shaped bottle, patented by William Hamilton in 1814, used a cork but because it lay on its side the cork was kept moist and the soda did not go 'flat'. This one was made for John Townsend, mineral water manufacturer of Salford (fl.1850-1907). Another bottle, patented by Hiram Codd of Camberwell in 1875, used a glass stopper which was held in position by the pressure of the gas. The one on the table was made for Groves & Whitnall of Salford (fl.1868-1972). On the mantelpiece is a skeleton clock which once belonged to the Bennett family of Buile Hill.
Music was provided by the upright polyphon, a type of musical box of the 1890s, which has changeable 20-inch discs operated originally by a penny (1/2p)
John Hamer, Chemist and Druggist
This shop recalls the name of John Hamer who, about 1865, took over a firm first established in 1809 just six years before the first Act of Parliament regulating the buying, dispensing and selling of drugs and medicines was passed.
Trading as Hamer & Lewis's after 1899, the shop opposite Pendleton church was demolished in 1966.
Around the shop are a variety of drawers and storage jars containing the drugs used in the small dispensary partitioned off from the main shop. On the bench are the mortar and pestle, pillmaking machines, apothecaries' scales, moulds and other apparatus used in the preparation of medicines. Before the National Health Service began in 1948, many could not afford to consult a doctor and went instead to the local chemist who gave his expert advice and sold his own remedies. Today the standard packs produced by pharmaceutical companies have largely replaced the need for dispensing.
By the end of the last century many chemists had begun to sell a variety of patent medicines, toiletries and other items connected with the sickroom and nursery which were displayed in the counter showcase and shop window. The window here includes a tongue scraper, various inhalers, medicine spoons and babies feeding bottles. Also displayed are Mather's Balsamic Plasters 'as used in the Scutari Hospital' where Florence Nightingale had nursed during the Crimean War of 1854-1856, and material from the herbalist shop of Newbold Stanyer in the former Ellor Street.
On the shelf above is a large glass carboy filled with coloured water which, by 1900, had replaced the mortar and pestle as the sign of the chemist and druggist. Other signs used by the chemist are the cone of green crystals and large decorative species jars such as the one inside the shop marked 'Rhubarb'.
Mrs. Driver, Bleeder with Leeches
When she retired in 1912, Amelia Driver had practised in Bury Street, Salford, for at least 25 years and no doubt she learnt the craft from her mother-in-law, Mary Driver, who was leeching in the 1860s. Amelia used to obtain the leeches from a herb shop near the Shambles in Manchester and used them to treat black eyes and bruises. She also became known as 'the plaster woman' because she had a secret recipe which she made up into an ointment popular with many local people.
The trade sign above the door is the red and white barber's pole which represents blood and the bandages barbers used in former times when they were allowed to carry out minor operations such as bloodletting.
Typical of 19th century industrial housing, this cottage provides a single living room on the ground floor where the family washed, cooked and ate, with a single bedroom above reached by the plank ladder against the wall. The cast iron range has an oven on one side and a water boiler on the other while in front of the fireplace is a home-made rag rug and beneath the window the slop-stone for washing. All were once common features of every working class home. As there was no piped water this had to be carried in from a communal stand pipe outside.
To the left of the range is the boiler for the family wash and nearby stands the five-legged 'dolly peg' to turn the washing in a dolly tub. On and near the mantelpiece are a potato masher and a thible (or porridge stirrer) made of wood; a pottery money box which would need great skill to extract the savings without breaking it; and a cylindrical wooden spice box.
The shaving mug has a perforated top to hold the soap and the shaving brush could be dipped in the hot water below through the projecting lip. They were used with cut-throat razors and died out in the early years of this century with the advent of the safety razor and the dry shaver.
Typical of this style of cottage interior are the pottery Staffordshire dogs, Goss china and pictures. The family Bible rests on the chest of drawers near the glass fly-trap. From the ceiling hangs an onion once thought to ward off disease and purify the air, while the glass walking stick was believed to attract germs which could then be removed by careful dusting.
A.C. Renk, Jeweller and Pawnbroker
The Renk family were never in fact pawnbrokers, but for nearly a century traded as jewellers and watchmakers in Salford before closing in 1956.
Outside the shop is the pawnbroker's sign of three golden balls which are also the symbol of St. Nicholas who is said to have redeemed some children from slavery with three bags of gold.
At one time a weekly visit to 'Uncle' was part of working-class family economy. Stacked on the shelves inside are bundles of personal possessions which were usually pawned on a Monday and redeemed again at the weekend. In the window are displayed a variety of items which have not been redeemed and are now for sale.
Victorian Room, c.1895
The fire plate on the outside wall, with its symbol of a liver bird, came from Broughton Street. It shows the owner had a policy with the Royal Insurance Company which was established in Liverpool in 1845. The 1718 datestone is said to have stood near Bury Town Hall, Stanley being the name of the Earls of Derby.
Inside, the house is furnished with all the clutter of a Victorian middle-class family which was kept clean by cheap and plentiful domestic labour costing from about £10 per year plus keep. On the furniture stand; china and glass ornaments, stuffed birds and animals and items of shellwork, beadwork and woolwork, all popular in Victorian times. The room is lit by gaslight and oil lamps.
Papier mache furniture strengthened with wood and metal frames was popular in the mid-19th century and the chair in this room has a Patent Office registration mark for 1844. Against the child's high chair is a deportment board which was used to improve posture. In the corner is a piano with a 7-octave compass made by Collard & Collard about 1875 and sold by Spencer Binns of Chester Road, Manchester.
Georgian Room, c.1795
This room shows how a late 18th century room in the original Lark Hill mansion may have looked with furniture made by provincial craftsmen in the style of Thomas Chippendale, the famous English furniture designer and maker.
The table is set for tea with cups without handles like those used in China from where tea was first imported. As tea was very expensive the cups are small and the tea caddy can be locked.
The early square piano was made by Christopher Ganer of London in 1789 and has a 5-octave compass with the dampers operated by two handstops, not pedals.
The room is lit by candles and on the piano are some candle snuffers used to trim charred wicks which caused guttering. The long-case close was made by Major Schofield of Salford.
The 1762 datestone on the outside wall came from Chesham House, near Bury.
William Bracegirdle, Blacksmith and Wheelwright
William Bracegirdle had his business in Ordsall Lane, Salford, at the end of the last century, but most of the tools and equipment came from Salford Cleansing Department where they were used to repair horse-drawn refuse carts.
When horses were the main means of transport, the blacksmith's trade flourished in every town and village for not only did he make iron parts for wagons and carts, but he could make repair and re-temper craftsmen's tools and other metal articles for both industrial and domestic use. The trade quickly declined, however, with the coming of the motor car and lorry.
The forge is set out for use by a farrier who was not only skilled in making shoes for horses, but also in making shoes that would correct faults in hooves which were affecting the horse's gait. At the back is the hearth for heating the metal in which the fire was brought to a high temperature by air forced in by the bellows, and in front of it is the quenching tank to cool the iron. Nearby is the 200lb anvil mounted on an elm block and a swage block on which the metal could be shaped and worked with hammers, chisels, cutters and swages.
Louisa Greenhalgh, Dressmaker and Haberdasher
Louisa Greenhalgh's name first appears in local directories in the 1840s as a dressmaker, milliner and haberdasher in Bedford Street, Salford. Until the turn of the century, most dresses were still made at home or by a dressmaker who could work from fashion plates; hats and bonnets were sold untrimmed. There was therefore a great need for this type of shop with its accessories and trimmings.
Two items not seen today are the glove stretchers used to shape the fingers after gloves had been washed, and the dress clip which was attached to the hem of the skirt and linked to the waist by a cord which could be pulled to lift the long skirts of the 1870s when the wearer wished to cross a muddy road.
The mahogany door of this shop came from Hope Hall, which stood off Eccles Old Road; it dates from about 1750 when the Hall was rebuilt by Daniel Bayley, uncle by marriage of Lord Clive of India. His son Thomas Butterworth Bayley was connected with the building of the New Bailey Prison in Salford in 1790 which was demolished after Strangeways opened in 1871.
James Critchley, Clogger
Every northern town used to have its clogmakers who supplied the needs of many industrial workers, but especially millworkers and miners. James Critchley, whose shop was in Whit Lane, Pendleton, until it was demolished in 1965, supplied many who worked at the nearby coal mines and he could remember the early morning clatter of irons on the paving setts as the colliers went to work. Clog wearing reached its peak about the turn of the century, but went rapidly out of fashion after the First World War.
Inside the shop are the three types of stock knife used for cutting and shaping the sole which was usually made from alder or sycamore although willow, birch and beech were also used. On the walls are the cardboard and tin templates for the uppers which would be cut and made up before being attached to the soles by the clogger using the tools on the bench. To protect the soles and heels he would then attach the irons known colloquially as calkers. The shop is stocked with a wide variety of clogs for sale or awaiting collection after being repaired. Among those in the window are a pair of crimp clogs, a name given to clogs, with an incised pattern on the uppers which were kept for Sunday best. The long-toed boots have wooden soles 20-inches (51cm) long and the photograph shows a similar pair being worn by Mrs. Annie Bingham who appears to be copying part of the act of the famous music-hall artiste 'Little Tich'. In the side window is a notice for the services of a knocker-up who would use a pole, like the one leaning in the corner of Ackers Street, to tap on windows to wake up customers in the days before every family owned their own alarm clock. Near this window is a Penfold pillar box which was erected in Phoebe Street, Salford, between 1872-1879.
This page was last updated on 22 March 2007