Talk to any of the older village folk about local shops and they will tell you of the days when shops gave every customer personal attention and service. They will also tell you about days when flour was sold by the stone, scooped out of a large bin and filled into strong brown paper bags. Sugar was kept in containers and sold in blue paper bags. Butter and lard was cut and patted to the customer's orders. Salt was broken off a large block if required in a small quantity. Housewives with a large family would purchase a half or full block. Vinegar was sold by the half-pint or pint from a barrel and filled into the customer's own bottle. Sweets were sold in three-cornered bags. Bacon was cut from the roll, and all the scales had weights. In fact most people will go on to tell you that shops had a real sense of place in the community, these days it seems that shop assistants find it hard to even smile at their customers, let alone make conversation. This page looks back at our village shops, the characters that ran them, and the fond memories we all have of these places that have all but gone. If you know of any shops we have missed, or have any information on those listed, please add it to the comments box at the bottom of the page. All information submitted will be used on the site.
Smiths Handyman Shop
This shop was next door but one to the Travellers pub up to the late 1980s, it sold everything from wall paper, paint to clothes lines, pegs and bicycle lights. The couple that run the shop were Mr and Mrs Smith, It had shelving floor to ceiling with the counter running the length of the two internal walls with a tiled floor. It was a 'proper' shop with a display cabinet and a counter and you had to ask for what you wanted - well before the days of self-service. I remember we used to buy paint from there from time to time, the gloss paint was not like the paint you buy today, it had the strong lead smell to it. We also got clothes pegs from there, the old dolly pegs that you don’t see in the shops today. Mr and Mrs Smith were always really nice; as far as I am aware they still live there, with the shop now converted into part of the house. Towards the end of the 1980s the shop became a pet food shop before closing.
Lime Pit Lane sweet shop
This shop was on the end of the row of terrace houses next to the half moon, at its heyday it was a successful grocery and general dealer. George Cooper and his wife Mabel both the shop and row of houses just after WW2. They prospered and in around 1960 retired to a large house on Oulton Hill. The next owners were Ray and Barbara Bastow. Ray was a miner and they sold up around 1964 I think. The next owners were the Pickles (Harold and Edith). Harold worked for Greens Economisers in Wakefield and he was much older than his wife. I think they were gone by the early 1970s. The shop was later owned by the Lawson family, before it closed in the early 1980s and became somebody’s front room.
The Mace, Canal Lane
This shop was a Mace during the 1970s/80s then was taken over by Ronnie and Frieda Schofield. The shop was again taken over and became an Off Licence, but due to it hardly ever being open it closed in the early 1990s, after having been completely re fitted. The building is now used as a house.
The shop opposite Lane Ends football field was owned by the Wollin’s family from after the war up to the early 1990s. Anyone who went into the shop will remember it as a real Aladdin’s cave; I was always amazed at what you could get in there. It was what you would call a real old fashioned shop. The counter ran all the way round the internal walls, and all the walls were shelved floor to ceiling. If you picture the shop in open all hours your almost there. George Wollin ran the shop up to the 1980s when his son Richard took over. He and his cousin Jeff had worked in the shop for many years before Richard took over. Again if you picture the character Arkwright in open all hours, Jeff had the same humour, he was a real diamond geezer. Every time you went to the shop you would be in there half an hour laughing and joking with him. The shop was sold in 1992 and is still trading.
Situated on Canal Lane this shop was a brick lean to one the side of a row of terrace houses. The Shop sold groceries, paraffin, pet food, pigeon food, and much much more. It was always fully stocked; the shelves were so full they bowed with the weight. The shop was run by Ernest Sheard; he had a delivery van and would give people groceries on the tick. Whatever you went in the shop for he had! The shop was taken over by another generation of the Sheards on the late 1980s, during these years the shop became a newsagents, however it continued to sell pet food. Around the mid 1990s the shop closed down, like so many others in the village.
Top shop Baker Lane
This has been a shop as long as anyone can remember, it was known back in the 40s as the “Top shop”.
Originally situated on Canal Lane, the store relocated into the premises of England’s Butchers some years ago. The business then expanded into the premises next door and now makes award winning pork pies.
Brearleys Post Office and Handy Man Store
This shop has been owned by the Brearley family since at least 1910 (the building still is). Originally a row of three shops, which were Brearleys shop/ Post Office, Steels Butchers and possibly a fish mongers? In later years Mr Brearley bought the whole row and made the two shops on the right into the handy mans store keeping the post office/shop on the left. Old Mr Brearley worked in the handy man store; he always had the paraffin heater going. Village kids use to save their pocket money and buy fireworks there in the weeks leading up to bonfire night. The two were eventually knocked through into one shop by Duncan Brearley who changed the shop into a supermarket/ Post Office. The store is now leased to the Co – Op.
Lindleys Shop, School Hill
The shop opposite old St Peter's, near to the church gates was owned by Mrs Lindley, before that it was owned by a Mr Abson. It always looked a bit sparse and was never over-stocked. All the school kids would stop off at the shop to get sweets. It wasn't on the way to school for some, but there always seemed to be a diversion!
Giggles, fancy dress/joke shop
This was opposite Gordon’s Tyres on Aberford Road. It sold every thing from silly string and custard pie foam – a real favourite with kids of the day
Rehal’s Off License
Don Mason and his family ran this shop before the Rehal family took it over in 1981. Everyone will remember “Jim” and his family (his family still live in the house next to the shop), he had a great sense of humour and his laid back attitude ensured he was well liked by all.
Co-op (Wakefield Industrial Society), Aberford Road junction with Ferry Lane
This shop stood on what is now the grass verge next to the bus stop at the top of Ferry Lane.
The Grove Newsagents
This paper shop closed about 15 years ago, at one stage you could even get a hair cut in the back room of the shop!
Bakery & Hair Dressers Aberford Road
These two shops stood between the Graziers and the top of Ferry Lane, the building later was used to manufacture timber windows before later being converted into houses.
Lesley’s Hairdressers Lake Lock
Originally the shop was on the first floor in the building that stands on Lake Lock Road opposite Saint Peters, on the junction with Intake Lane. It moved to the ground floor premises of the same building in the late 1980s, replacing the Drapery shop. The same shop is today called Blades Hairdressers.
Long Causeway Barbers
This was in a wooden hut on Long Causeway and was in use in the 1960s
Clog shop (next to Rehal’s on Lime Pit Lane)
This was a timber structure that was set back from the road; it was in use up unto the early 1950s, Local man Terry Asquith ran the shop for a number of years
Intake Lane Blacksmiths
This building on Intake Lane was demolished in the early 50s to make way for the prefab housing.
This shop was run for many years by a Mr Croxhall, he was later the head of Wakefield Council (Croxhall Drive in Stanley is named after him).
Robin’s Video Shop
Robin Sykes converted part of the old cow sheds at the end of Intake Lane into the village’s first video rental shop in the early 1980s. He is a real character and still lives in the village today. Most people will remember visiting the shop and being greeted by his dog Timber. In the summer Robin and Timber would always be sat out front of the shop.
Kens Fish Shop
Now a takeaway at the end of Canal Lane
Kevs Fish Shop
Previously Hygienic Fisheries, Kev bought the fish shop in the early 1980s and went on to buy several others in the area.
Karleen’s Fish Shop
This fish shop at Lane Ends was run by Karleen for many years; a lady named Margaret also worked in there.
The Grove Fish Shop
Now a takeaway.
Other Village shops
Aberford Road Post Office, Groceries store Lee Moor, Myers fruit & Veg store (Long Causeway and then Lake Lock), Slater’s Fruit & Veg store, Long Causeway, Barbers shop on Long Causeway.
The Tabernacle Barbers
This was a large wooden shop that stood on what is now the Library. It was also used as a meeting place for the local men, many of them being unable to read would welcome anyone who could read to them from books and newspapers.
Ferry Lane Shops
General store on row of houses next to Dunbrick
This shop was opposite the Rugby pitch on Ferry Lane. In the 1940s it was run by run by Sally Hutchinson who was partially blind. My dad used to go in there to buy cigarettes and always tried to claim he had been short changed due to her being partially blind – she never had none of it, blind maybe, but clued up when it came to teenagers.
This shop was on the end of Ash Street,on the end of the row of terrace houses that stood between the Ferry Lane Sunday School and the Methodist Chapel. After it closed the building was converted into a house, if you look closely you can still see where the windows were (on the Ash Street side of the house).
Ferry Lane Mini Market
This was built in the 1960s to replace the two shops at the front of the Chuggler which were closed when the row was condemned. It has also been a Spar and has recently again changed hands
Bolton’s shop, Ferry Lane
This stood near to Saint Swithins Farm on the right hand side going up Ferry Lane
Chuggler Bunk shops
These two general stores stood on either side of the archway into the yard, Doris Ingham and her mother ran the shop on the left up to the row being condemned in the 1960s. The shop to the right was run by Percy and Mabel Hoare, the couple continued to live in the building when the shop closed in 1957.
Chuggler Bunk wooden fish shop
This stood at the end of the row of houses.
Hargreave’s Butchers, two fish shops, Co-Op (Wakefield Industrial Society), Bottomboat Post Office, Mr Tate’s shop.
1922 Trade Directory for Stanley
Stanley Lane Ends
Asquith, George Wagon and Horses P. H.
Beales, Charles Shopkeeper
Brearley, Jas. FDK Grocer, Post Office
Britton, John William Boot Repairer
Gill, Joseph Grocer
Cox, William Beer Retailer (Travellers)
Hargreaves, William Butcher
Kirk, Lavina (Mrs) Newsagent
Moore, Robert Farmer
Scott, Benjamin Shopkeeper
Smith, Albert Beer Retailer (Wheatsheaf)
Steele, Charles Butcher
Sturdy, Thomas Grocer
Taylor, Hannah Shopkeeper
Working Mens Club Joseph Ramsden (Sec)
Shillito and Bell Joiners
Arundel, Joseph Shopkeeper
Hancock, Isaac Ship P. H.
Hargreaves, Arthur Butcher
Lamb, William Boot Maker
Moon, Frederick Shopkeeper
Smith, Benjamin Beer Retailer
Smith, Edwin Masons Arms P. H.
Smith, John Shopkeeper
Tate, Abraham Shopkeeper
Wakefield Industrial Society Branch
Watts, Frederick Ferry Bridge Inn
Working Mens Club Mark Firth (Sec)
Stanley Victoria Club Alfred McDonald (Sec)
Smales, Fred Beer Retailer, Bread Baker Lane (Gardeners)
The Post Office in Stanley was controlled by Thomas Baxter in 1911. At Lake Lock James Frederick Brearley was sub post.
Shop advertisments 1970
Remember any of these?
More to follow