Bradder Street

I can remember the shop at the top of Bradder Street and I  remember the “Top Shop ” as it was called then sold just about everything.


Early on in my time, the 30’s, the shop was owned and run by Mr and Mrs Norman, who incidentally used to live in one of the terraced stone houses that are still standing aloft on Quarry Lane, still overlooking ” Fatty Man’s Bank “. They had one daughter Betty, she was very good friends with my sister Ina. Betty married Herbert Peat, the fish man who stood the market, and whom I went to school with and played a lot of football with in my foot balling years. Mr and Mrs Norman ran the shop until it was taken over by a Mr and Mrs Wharton in the early 1950’s.

Outside the shop

If you look at the top picture, between the railway telegraph pole and the corner of the side of the shop was the back yard where all the empty pop crates were kept behind the wall of the yard.

Inside the shop

The actual shop was classed as a corner grocers shop. Walking through the door, on the left was a covered cupboard type window where all the unwrapped sweets were displayed in open cardboard boxes. Underneath was chopped firewood in bundles, also an empty pop bottle crate turned upside down so youngsters like me could stand on and choose what sweets I could get for my half penny.

Facing you as you walked in was an opening that was where the vegetables, potatoes and such were kept, along with a set of scales and weights for weighing the potatoes.

To the right of the opening was a counter with a glass casing on top, behind which was a large Pat of butter,  at the side of which was a very large bacon slicer with a very large roll of bacon attached for slicing.

On the floor in front of all this was a bank of Biscuit Tins, the top row having glass lids for viewing the biscuits. In the corner to the right of the tins was a large Hessian sack of sugar, in the sack was a scuttle so you could fill a blue bag with sugar.

To the right of this was the main counter where everyone got served. Behind the counter were shelves of all kinds of necessities of the times. Either side on top of the counter were two different types of weighing scales, one for weighing the foods such as butter, bacon, sugar, lard, and cheese etcetera. The other was a brass pendulum type of scale, mainly used for tobacco and other things that required the more intricate weights.

To the right of this counter was another large window were all the non foods of the day were stored and displayed, and when some local resident passed away, notification and a vase [of flowers] from all the residents was displayed. There were many advertising features screwed to the walls and doors of every corner shop, which did include many brands of cigarettes.



The Top Shop
Alan Curtis
Inside the Top Shop
Alan Curtis

Comments about this page

  • I remember both the top and bottom shops very well from my time there. Mr Wharton owned the top shop he used to have a box of sweets under the counter for us children l used to go in the shop and say can l have a look in your box, he pulled out the box and for just a few pence for that was all l had, l could get a lovely bag of sweets. We children used to take ages choosing our sweets  but he never complained, he was such a lovely  lovely man.

    By Sue Moore (10/02/2016)
  • I remember the Top Shop and the owners  just like that TV show open all hours that was part of my teen age years  when I was living on Bradder .

    Gary Noble


    By gnoble (12/09/2014)
  • Hello Tom, Bradder Street for years suffered from the mining industry subsidence. I recall the house we lived in having to have new ceilings and relaid floor tiles in the 40’s and 50′. The whole area was a warren of underground mining activity. Having said that, no house ever fell down. Most of the repairs were facial and the damage minor, and were all habitable with a few alterations. Looking at the area today, one can conclude that there were other reasons for the demolition of the whole street.The whole area became an industrial area. The roads to the area were not made for the kind of traffic that frequent industrial estates, which would have been in the equation when the old but beautiful viaduct was also demolished. It was called Progress!

    By alan curtis (04/12/2013)
  • I was talking to someone who took over the bottom shop in the 60s and she said they applied for planning permission to change the shop front, and were told don’t bother, the street is being demolished next year!!The previous owner said they had no notification and no one else was aware. Were the houses unihabitable!! That’s the usual reason.

    By Tom Shead (03/12/2013)
  • Alan, what wonderful sketches as always from you. Thank you so much for taking time to draw the pictures describing the top shop of Bradder st. As you know my grandad Leivers was born at number 81 next to the shop in your drawing and if you had never told me this then I doubt very much that I would have ever got to know where abouts number 81 was on the street. And to get a visual as well, I am most grateful to you for this. I think your drawings are excellent. Your like an Albert Sorby Buxton of the 21st century.Keep the pictures coming.

    By Simon Leivers (28/03/2013)

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