Wednesday, January 17, 2018

BRIGG BUSINESSES OF THE PAST: HOW MANY DO YOU REMEMBER?


Some Brigg businesses have come and gone as lifestyles and shopping habits have changed, while others have stayed with us since the 19th century.
How many of the following do you remember or, in some case, still visit?
Brigg Video, near The Monument, and Videorama, in the Market Place, thrived when hiring VHS video cassettes to watch at home was all the rage in the 1980s and 1990s.

But then satellite TV and videos for general sale at affordable prices  came on the scene.
 

Shops in Brigg Market Place during the 1990s, including Videorama (second left).


Local cobblers were not helped by the influx of cheaper shoes from abroad and the arrival of the throw-away culture in which folk just buy a new pair, rather than have old ones repaired.
Maybe the current drive to recycle will see the wheel turn full circle and cobblers make a comeback.
Did you get fitted for new shoes at Walker's or Shoefayre - now both lost to the town centre?
We are pleased that Jaylaurs, on Wrawby Street, still does clothing repairs and alterations.
But today sees some folk just discard trousers or an anorak when the zip becomes faulty.
Dry cleaners also suffered in an era when people found they could buy machine-washable garments, such as men's suits, at low cost from companies like Matalan and even some major supermarket chains.
Brigg no longer has a specialist sports shop in the town centre. Do you remember Lincsports on Wrawby Street? But we have far fewer sports teams  and active players in the town today than was the case in the second half of the 20th century.
Record Village sold the latest 45 rpm discs and cassettes to townsfolk before  the era of online downloads.
Sankey's - today's specialist  sweet shop - follows in the footsteps of 'Goodie' Binns' premises on the other side of Wrawby Street decades ago and Miss White's  tiny premises on Bridge Street.
We've lost Instones, the notable cheese specialist, and fresh bread and cakes made on the premises by Bowen's (Grammar School Road and Wrawby Street) but thankfully still have Dunham's (Bridge Street).
 
A section of Wrawby Street in the early 1970s, showing Foster's (extreme left) and Bowen's, with part of Water's shop front just visible on the right.


Barnard (butcher's) and Wallhead's (outfitters) have also been with us for many decades - the latter since the 1890s.
The same goes for Peacock & Binnington - the agricultural engineers on Bridge Street, which more recent established a store of its own.
Thomas Bell, on Bigby Road - today offering "everything for the horse & rider, pet lover, country enthusiast and more" - can trace its history back to the 1870s.
 



Among lamented losses in recent decades have been the Yorkshire Electricity and British Gas showrooms, where you could pop in and pay your quarterly bills by cash or cheque over the counter.
This reflects the trend of direct debit/standing order and now online payments.
 
Curry's Brigg shop, right, in the early 1970s, with Smith's cleaners on the left.


National giant Curry's branch beside the County Bridge has gone, but you can still get electrical appliances from long-established Spencer Molloy, on Cary Lane.
Brigg Photolabs, on Wrawby Street, where you could take films to be processed and leave with a folder of glossy prints was not helped by the rise of digital cameras.
But it had gone by the time mobile phones with internal cameras came along.
Shaw's and Bradley's - both now memories to many - used to provide Brigg secondary school pupils with their school uniforms.
Television sets used to be very expensive in relation to the average wage.
As a result, there was strong demand for repairs and servicing by businesses like Capp's, on Albert Street, and Ernie Taylor's (Wrawby Street).

Founded in the early 1960s, Sherwood's - still trading on Bridge Street - no longer offers model railway items and toy cars; it now concentrates on cycles.
Pub-wise today we are still very well served for a small market town.
But Brigg has lost the Brocklesby Ox and the Ancholme Inn (both later demolished to make way for housing) and the Queen's Arms, though this building is still standing, having latterly traded, for some years, as a restaurant.
The Yarborough Hunt, which closed in 1967, has since been brought back into use and has now been considerably extended.
Newsagents like Richardson's, Jack Clark's, PaperLincs (two shops) and O'Connors have all gone.
Brigg remains well-served by hairdressers/barber's, with a new one in the latter category opening fairly recently on Bigby Street.


Bridge Street, Brigg, in the early 1970s. Left to right: Dunham's bakery, W Sherwood & Sons and Ike Tutty's (note the traditional pole). PICTURE FROM THE KEN FISHER COLLECTION.


Hands up those Brigg men who remember making visits to Ike Tutty's for a short back and sides in the 1960s and 1970s?
This experienced barber was on Bridge Street, near Sherwood's.
Ike had many regular customers so you always had to wait your turn.
After finishing a trim he would inquire whether his young customer wanted "the spray."
This was a sweet, slightly perfumed concoction aimed at your head by squeezing a rubber ball on a hand-held atomiser device.
Another alternative, for more senior customers, was a dab of Brylcreem.
Men's barbers back then offered "something for the weekend" to men (Durex condoms).
Although the contraceptives never seemed to be asked for by name, they were on open display.
So you had to wonder why it was what Monty Python called in their 1960s and 1970s TV comedy of the time a bit "nudge, nudge - wink, wink! Know what I mean?"
Fish and chips were once the only type of takeaway available in Brigg, unlike today.
Popular chippies decades ago included Morris's, Jack Wattam's and Evy's (Glebe Road).
We are pleased to say that the former Neall family fish and chip premises on Coney Court and The Garden (Grammar School Road) are still going, despite changing hands a number of times.
The China Garden takeaway occupies premises used, in former decades, by the renowned K's Korner Cafe, offering traditional English cuisine.
Similarly, the Bridge Street building which houses Simon Ho's China Royal restaurant (with takeaway facility) was a cafe in the 1960s.
National companies to depart the scene in Brigg have included Binns (the department store chain) and Dewhurst (butchers).
Family firm Varlow's, in the Market Place, sold quality garments for many years.
Parker & Cladingbowl, who might best be described as haberdasher's, occupied large premises on Wrawby Street, having moved from a smaller shop not far away.
Tierney's - toys, tobacco, sweets and fireworks - did likewise.
The recent closure of the Greggs outlet in Brigg reminds us of the earlier arrival, and subsequent departure, of Baker's Oven, just a little further along Wrawby Street.
FW Woolworth was one of the world's most famous retailers of the 20th century, and it's easy to forget that it had a sizeable presence in Brigg for some decades.
They are now occupied by Martin's and the Post Office.
We still miss Turner's pork butcher's, on Queen Street - a notable family concern selling  pork pies, sausages and other Lincolnshire delicacies. And also Waters, on Wrawby Street - another notable local butcher's business.
Jackson Shipley's iromongery premises were on the other side of Queen Street, close to Norma and Ray Neall's Larry Arnold off-licence.
Among shops to change names but keep trading over the years, Dent's convenience store later became a Spar and  then came under the Nisa banner.
A similar shop on Atkinson Avenue, run by the Lilley family from the 1960s, was enlarged in subsequent years and is still serving the needs of those who live on the Springbank housing estate, and further afield, as a Spar.
George Hewson, the renowned councillor and public servant, had a shop on Colton Street serving Newlands.
There was once a Co-op store on Glebe Road, on the site of what's now a pre-school.
The Co-op has announced plans to open new stores throughout the UK during 2018.
Will it choose to make a welcome return to our town?
On the other side of Glebe Road was what amounted to the primary/junior school tuck shop, run by Mrs Gray in the 1960s.
It is still open today, under different ownership, selling a wide range of convenience goods to folk in that part of town.
Button's operated something similar on Bridge Street, many customers coming from the close-at-hand Brocklesby Ox caravan site.
Those who were children in the 1960s will recall Ernie Robinson's shop on Grammar School Road, selling pop, groceries and sweets.
Many residents of nearby Hawthorn Avenue used it as their local convenience shop.
Long before 'pound shops' became  such a familiar feature of town and city centres, Brigg had Gwen's Bargain Shop, on Bridge Street, near the White Hart pub.


Syd Whelpton's car showroom beside the A18 in the 1970s.

British Leyland cars are now long gone but you could follow the slogan to "Buy British" decades ago with motors made in this country, available from Syd Whelpton, on Bridge Street; Sass's, beside the A18 at Monument Garage; and later Glacier Motors, at the southern end of Grammar School Road.
Ford cars could be had from Smith Parkinson, in the Market Place, whose premises were converted to offices by Grimley-Smith some years ago and are currently occupied by land and property agents Brown & Co.
Did you buy wallpaper from Penny's and visit Jan's Pantry and Wise Guys?

 

Did you pop into the Wold Florist and fill up your car's tank at Exton's (pictured here) near the Monument?
We lost Jackson's jewellery shop at the junction of Wrawby Street and College Yard, and Elwood's and Smith's ironmongery concerns in the town centre.
But the renowned Brian's DIY, on Wrawby Street, is still offering personal service to customers, as it has for many decades.
Younger readers might find it hard to believe that famous retailer W H Smith had a shop in Brigg, selling newspapers, magazines and books.
Its premises, near the Buttercross, are now occupied by Scalinis fish and chip restaurant and takeaway.
Renowned chemist Boots once had competition in Brigg from Timothy White's.
Melia's shop - next to the Coney Court archway - delivered groceries to the door, as did  George Mason.
Or did you buy  your provisions from William Jackson? Not the riverside superstore opened in the early 1980s but the shop that came before it on Wrawby Street.
That was later occupied by Poundstretcher - a  national firm that  pulled out of Brigg in recent years.
Do you recall visiting Lyne's Ropery and Alcoves?
Did you buy lemon curd and marmalade made in Brigg at the notable Spring's  factory?
It closed in the 1970s, as did Corah's hosiery premises on Bridge Street - known locally as The Stocking Factory.
Brigg once had its own specialist motor-cycle repair shop, Pete East's, and Leonard's gunshop, also on Bridge Street.
Kwik Save built Brigg's second major supermarket (after Grandways) in the 1980s, now occupied by Wilko's on Cary Lane.
Brigg banking has seen plenty of change (pardon the pun!).
The original Lloyds branch was on Bigby Street (now used by The Bank hairdressers).
The Trustees Savings Bank occupied the historic Wrawby Street premises now operating as Lloyds.



Layne's garage's frontage on Bigby Street later housed Brigg Snooker Club (pictured while boarded up) but has since been turned over to residential town housing.
Pupils at Glebe Road School in the 1960s were encouraged to take a shilling or two along every week to be deposited through an entry in their green Trustee savings book.
This laudable scheme got young people into the habit of regular saving in an era when hire purchase was frowned upon.
Most folk were against buying things they couldn't afford, so much so that hire purchase was  also known as The Never Never!
Brigg Blog realises that this is not the finished article. It's almost impossible to remember every business.
These are just some of the many that spring readily to mind.
Please email scoopfisher@aol.com with your own thoughts and suggestions.
We hope to revisit this topic at a future date with a follow-up article and further pictures from the past.


TOP IMAGE: Instones shop after closure. 

 
Ma's Restaurant and Coffee Shop, on Wrawby Street, in 1994. Today this one-time pub building is the location of the Deli Diner.  Wold Florists and Brigg Photolabs have departed but Pailthorpe's and Oxfam still have a presence in the town centre.
 
Jan's Pantry (left) in the 1990s.

Ford dealers Smith Parkinson in 1994, alongside the South Humber Business Advice Centre at 7 Brigg Market Place.

Pedestrianisation under way in the mid-1990s. The bank on the left was then TSB (not Lloyds). Beyond that we see the Shoefayre shop (now gone). On the right, Boots and Martin's are still with us but Poundstretcher has given way to Costa Coffee.

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