VISITS

Saturday, 14 July 2012

West Street.



The West Street of today (2012) is mainly a mixture of Turkish, Polish, Indian, Chinese and other foreign shops so let's return to a better time when it was a beautiful part of our quaint old town and all the businesses were English, and in a lot of cases owned by local people. The photographs are all of West Street in different years.



First of all the year 1956.
One of Boston's favourite hairdressing salons, "The Cameo" was situated in West Street which also provided manicures, face massage and sold various cosmetics. Stan Cooper had a shop that specialised in the sale of motorcycles, new and second hand and also did repairs and spares, he was also an agent for James pedal cycles. Scotney's sold jewellery and did watch and clock repairs.


One of the grandest shops was Day's, founded in 1884 by Charles Day and was being run in 1956 by his sons Charles and Fred Day. Mr. Charles Day junior's opinion in 1956 was that West Street had "changed a great deal in the past few years". I wonder what his thoughts would be now !


Howes and Davies, a men's outfitting shop, prided themselves on their personal touch and L. F. Vere's "Select Cafe" was popular in the town, not only for a cup of tea but for their wedding and birthday cakes as well.


This building was pulled down and the Regal Cinema built on the site.

H.M.Hames shop supplied all baby requisites and had done so since it was established fifty or sixty years before, in 1956 it was owned by Mrs. D. Parvin whose Father founded it.

Extreme left: The old Boston Guardian newspaper building.

No matter what you wanted in the way of office equipment Eastern Counties were able to supply it from "typewriters, duplicators, dictaphones and adding machines to every type of printing and stationery" and in 1956 the firm celebrated its tenth anniversary, it was founded by Mr F.J. Taylor in the front room of his home in Eastwood Road, Boston.


Best's furniture shop, The Eagle pub is on the extreme right.

The Pop Shop, well patronised by the younger generation, commercial travellers and lorry drivers alike for "a nice cuppa" was very popular. For many years before the building was used as a pawnbroker's shop and in 1956 the Pop Shop had been there for seven years.
Ron Diggins had his Radio, TV and electric supplies shop in West Street in 1956 and was equally well known in Boston for his "Diggola" with which he provided music for many local functions.


Here I will give a few of my own memories of  West Street buildings and businesses that have disappeared in my lifetime.
Scotneys Garage was where P.C.World is now and next to it (on the corner of Trinity Street) was a little model shop with a huge tree outside of it. The Royal George pub, the friendly little Post Office (run by Mr. Kirton I think), The Regal Cinema, The Wimpy Bar, Cheers clothes shop,



Scotneys jewellers, Stanwell's butchers, Jimmy Wards herbal drinks, Arme's,


The Police Station at the side of the Municipal Buildings, Cheshire's furniture shop, Pop shop, Arnold Green's, Dr. Usmar and Dr. Kaleba's surgery, Parkinson's, Boston Guardian building, Don White's cycle shop and the Labour Exchange.

19 comments:

  1. Billy, i love this blog and think again what you've provided is an incredible insight into a forgotten past but I do think you're a little harsh in your opening paragraph. West street was a run down, seen better days, neglected street throughout the late 80s, 90s and early 00s, populated by transient video game shops and dodgy pubs, it's treatment epitomised by the shocking decision to pull down the art deco regal centre. It's to the credit of the wave of immigrant Bostonians that they've rejuvenated an urban blight with their own colour and I bet some of the owners of these shops and restaurants would provide interesting narratives about how they came to live and prosper in the town to match some of the amazing stores of old Bostonians youve previously articulated in this fantastic blog

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  2. the model shop was owned by mr burnett billy, also down west street was meads shoe shop where i got my first pair of denson winkle pickers from ,happy times great site billy keep it up

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  3. Billy, this is a great blog and I love coming on here and reading about the town and even admit to being old enough to remember some of the places that are no longer standing.

    But.....

    Lets not drag the race issue up here eh, what on earth would West St be like if it wasn't for the immigrants opening up shops and restaurants down there? I'll tell you what it'd be, it'd be a no go zone for most of us because squatters would have moved into the shops and druggies would be loitering about all hours. Boston isn't ideal at the moment but surely its better to have a street full of open shops than one full of closed shop, regardless of which ethnic group the owners belong to......

    Just to add my observations, where PC World is now used to be Scotney's Volvo garage and in the corner was Mr Burnetts little model shop.....it was a very basic zinc and corrugated iron building but it was a great little shop......sadly it came down with the lovely big Horse chestnut tree in the mid 80's.

    BTW, does anyone have any photo's of Morley's Sports in wide Bargate from the 70's when they always had a load of Subbuteo in the window? I collect the stuff and remember spending a fortune in there on teams!

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  4. Sorry AndyB nothing racist intended, but Billy is quite correct comparing the type of business,s now trading in West Street as against those of earlier times, this after all is what the blog is about, and the changes in ownership Billy quotes are a matter of fact,"so what",looking back and thinking things were better or worse than now is a perfectly normal human trait, but one thing is certain West Street is already a no go area for many of us in the evenings due to the antics of large loitering groups of intoxicated patrons of the ever increasing number of Off Licences in that area.

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  5. Very sorry if it seemed I was being in any way racist as this was not intended. I have always got my nostalgia glasses on when doing the blog and if every shop in West street today was populated by English businesses I would still think the old days were better. I guess the truth is I'm just an old moaner, ha ha. All your points of view were put across in a friendly intelligent manner so thank you for that. Glad you enjoy the blog.
    Billy.

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  6. I would thank that with a very few exception in the very tourist trap places I loath like Cornwall, York's Shambles and The historic part of Chester you'll be hard pushed to find many streets with a plethora of local owned and run businesses. I think the closest you'll find round here is Louth which is a nice town with lots of local owned shops (and mercifully few phone shops!!) but its nothing like as big as Boston. I too long for the days of good honest local shops but those days are gone for ever with the advent of on line shopping and out of town shopping centers. Where will you get the good old fashioned service afforded by places such as Armes,Hutsons,Burnetts,Days,Morley's,Addy's, Ashley's, Vaughan's Delicatessen down Red Lion St, Pete Meadow's barbers of the same street.....the list goes on....? Like the stores the service is a thing of the past, we're now just an e-mail address in a database.

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    1. "Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away" ha ha.

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  7. No matter what anyone's personal opinions & views are Bill' for me this is the best blog on the net, i much prefer Nostalgia than the present Reality of today,keep it up Bill, for every old picture brings back fresh memories, love it........ Tez & Shirl.

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    1. Thanks Tez and Shirley, hope to see you soon.

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  8. fantastic photo's , enjoy them all ,didn't imagine the scene before the regal was built and what about DAY'S SIGNAGE over the top or what.

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  9. Also on West St/Rosegarth St was E.C.Stanwells Rootes Group showrooms, petrol pumps and workshop on Rosegarth st next to the "pop" factory, I used to work there late 1950s.

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  10. iused to go in the pop shop in west street every saturday for a cuppa and listen to the latest 45s on the juke box, les harris and his wife were great hosts,brilliant days

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  11. After reading some nice stuff in your article I really feel speechlessstreet teams

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  12. Can anyone tell me when Don White's Cycle shop closed? My father bought some fishing tackle from there in the closing down sale and I'm trying to establish how old the item is! Thanks in advance

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  13. Can't believe no one has mentioned Jimmy Ward's which was to the left of what is now Dunelms. I was born in 1962 and can just remember going in there for a glass of dandelion & burdock.

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  14. Regarding Jimmy Ward's, I thought you might be interested in the latest post on my blog. Yours is always a source of interest and education, so I hope it can be a two-way street. http://oldbostonian.blogspot.de/2013/08/jimmy-wards-sarsaparilla.html

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  15. I think Don Whites closed in the late 2000s, I think. Dawson's Tv bought Ainsworth's fish and chip shop on George Street for their offices and back room - the original tiles are still on the walls in there. I can't remember what was on the corner of George St. and West St. before Dawsons moved there.

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  16. Superb photos. I enjoyed your blog post. Thanks for sharing with us.

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  17. Have just posted a tale about number 55 West Street on my blog.
    http://www.taskerdunham.com/2016/10/the-man-with-hebrew-bible.html

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