A glimpse of Laygate’s past, posted online recently, prompted thousands of you to take to social media to recall the many shops you used to spend your money in.
There were so many favourites – Shane’s, Dawson’s, Young’s, Olsen’s and more – all of which added to the appeal of the area; something Lesley Hepburn captures in her comment: “Eee was a lovely shopping place, no need to go downtown, everything was there.”
So what made it so popular?
Derek Miller recalls: “The Handy Shop, my introduction to music, 3s 3p per single,” while Angela Pattison says: “I remember Axlebands, they used to sell all sorts of clothing. I used to go there on a Friday after work and buy myself odds and ends, also Shane’s we always got our coats from there.”
Margaret Brown revealed how, “I lived in south Frederick Street for a few years, loved Peeps baby shop, Shane’s and a good variety of shops eg fruit shops, grocery, newsagents, pawn shop, Salkelds bakery, clothing etc everything on two sides of the road”.
Marilyn Winlow also gave a shout out to Shane’s, saying: “Got my conie coat from there,full outfit for£20,and Allan’s at Laygate, my mam used to go there to buy a clothes ticket every Easter to buy our outfits;those were the days.”
Trisha Oley was another fan of Shanes ... “remember getting my long leather mac from there ... thought I was the bees knees”.
Memories also came flooding back for Alison Campbell, who posted: “Remember the pet shop at the bottom, forgot what it was called. Great memories of a bustling street, helping carrying bags up Reid Street bank ha ha, my mam shouting ‘hurry up’,” while Lynn Mckenna recalls: “The buzz of Allan’s store, it was an outing in itself, then the Allan’s money if I’m right, and when done upstairs for chips and what ya had left we all put in and kept for the walk back home to the Nook.”
Gillian Fithye took to Facebook to say: “When I started work, I opened my first adult (!) bank account at the Laygate TSB branch, on the corner of Green Street. Long gone.”
David Ord sang the praises of Allan’s, telling how “mam took me there many a time, Green Street and Fregga Street were thriving then. Two banks opposite each other and Dawson’s Chemist”, while Anne Newby said: “Myself and my hubby worked in Allan’s departmental store,” and Linda Wood recalls “thinking you were rich when you spent your provi ticket in Allan’s”.
Ted Nichol revealed that: “Allan’s had a tunnel under the road so you could go from one shop to the other shop across the road,” while Kevin Bell also shared some Allan’s memories, saying: “The department store had it’s own credit card, unheard of then. You could get goods on appro; if you liked them you could keep them.”
Mavis Moore revealed that she “used to live in that area, in Corbridge Street, and worked in Allan’s when I left school and then Gallon’s in Frederick Street”, while Jacqueline Hassan said: “Wow, brings back amazing memories, it was a great shopping place in its day – I even got a kitten from the pet shop and brought her home in a box on the bus.”
Richard Main shared an affection for the area, writing: “I loved Laygate. There was a comic shop for a while and I had my first proper haircut near the newsagents, and there was the Douglas fruit shop too.”
Shelley Sullivan Desborough recalls “Vasey’s fish shop, rabbit and game hanging in the window”, while Adele Hume says: “My mam used to take me to Porretta’s for a milk shake and a savoury sandwich then to Armbands for ribbons for my hair.
“I also remember China Craft in New Green Street, the kids toys were upstairs, the paper coins from Allan’s running up the stairs to the cafe on the top floor; also remember getting a duffel coat from Shane’s.”
Marie Simpson also has treasured memories of Porretta’s, recalling how “their savoury dips were lovely! I used to love it when my mam took me in there”.
Gillian Young took to social media to say: “I used to go to Hammonds every Friday when we finished work, buy some material to make a dress to go the weekend,” while Geri Smith declared: “So sad, it’s practically gone now.”
Dale Robertson Bonton. next to barclays bank
Marilyn Winlow Ah god Dawsons,me and Ann Mcclusky worked together,good times to xx
Jacqueline Hassan Was that Allen’s ? I worked at Lloyd’s bank on the corner of new green street!
Denise Houston Shane’s coat shop any type they had it
Sheryl Mckenna It was smithsons got my ears pierced
Deborah Mcleod Hedley youngs massive shop sold everything loved going in with me mam
Elizabeth Guttridge When i was a kid, used to get me school shoes at allens, hammonds in fredrick st.
Steven Anthony Daglish Blake What was the name of the butchers or bakers that use to do chicken on a spit and sell 10 chicken wings for £1 used to go every Saturday with me dad
Ron Glendenning Don’t you mean 1 and tuppence for a 78
Sheila Moscrop Gillian that was the best shop ever
Margaret Smith Ridley Is that you in the headscarf Shiela xx
Sharon Simms Great day out at Shane’s for Easter clothes
Anne Newby Certainly had a variety of shops very bustling area
Norma Coates Worked there on the underwear Dept .Prams and baby’s Dept across the road. Don’t recognise the place now
Sandra Wanless Darlings the chemist for a policemans bottle when you had a bad chest
Lynn Watson I worked as a nursery nurse in Laygate.
Dorothy Adams Baby in the pram outside the shop, never thought twice then !
John Groombridge Pet shop was olsens
Kevin Flett i noticed last night that in the hobbit the troll king uses a system like allens had of sending the money thru tubes and wires ,,,
Stephen Jones There where shops there and in the Town Centre as well, that’s my memories, NOW, This town is going to be a ghost town
Tracey Davison Fredrick Street. Excellent shops.
Sarah Pascoe Interesting shops.
Denise Joyce Remember little jewellers where i got my ears pierced... about 45 yr ago .. cant rmbr name tho. Sure it was opposite were greggs shop is now.
Norma Bolingbroke Loved all the shops so much to see it was well worth the visit,happy days
Marilyn Winlow Remember buying my daughter’s baby clothes from ‘jackies’ xx
Fred Finch Anyone remember Bruce & Hall’s mini department store?
Pam Trotter Shanes we went there for our Easter clothes
Sandra Wilson Value stores got my first maternity smock their sharps butchers
Sheila Moscrop Some good memories
Julie Summerson Used to love it xx
Sarah Hallimond Second hand shops
Diane Hart Porrettas cafe xx
Paul Watts The Curiosity Shop
Bernie Collins Shanes
Esther Porter Shane’s