The second and final installment from last week’s article involves the remainder of the Bamber’s Yard area. Immediately below is an aerial image showing the complete area including the remaining part for the conclusion of our journey into the past of the Bamber’s Yard labyrinth.Advertisement
It is most probable that Prestonians of a certain age, at some time, will have walked along George’s Road down to Chapel Walks and Lune Street or vice versa. The familiar sight of the Mears & Co. Ltd. overhead walkway across George’s road will be remembered by many.
In the adjacent image we are looking along George’s Road from Bamber’s Yard to Lune Street in the distance. There is Reg Daniels garden machinery shop on the left hand side and we would see many small shop premises along the way. To the right hand side there were three shops, Forshaws the bakers on the corner which was a former clothiers shop known as Preston, Brooke & Co. Ltd., then there was a farmers shop which was formerly W & M Boothman, mantle warehousemen, followed by Squirrell & Co., boot factors and Mears & Co. Ltd warehouse which continued to the other side of Georges Road via the overhead walkway mentioned earlier.
Mears & Co. Ltd extended along Guy Street, a small street which can be seen to the left side of the image just before the white cabin, to Aspinall Street which was at the other side of Guy Street.
Further along George’s Road we would eventually arrive at a point where, on the right hand side of the road, St. George’s Church is situated and has been since it was erected in 1723. At that time it had a brick edifice and since then, in around the mid 1800’s, it was encased in stone as it is today. This church was originally built as a chapel of ease to St. John’s, the Parish Minster in Church Street.
When looking along Chapel Walks facing towards Fishergate there was T. Bilsborough & Son, the plumbers shop which extended through to Lune Street.
On the left hand side of the road there would have been J.A. Crook, Agricultural Engineers which was a family run business and in 1902 was called A.W. Crook, Seedsman as seen in the adjacent image. As in many instances of architecture in those times a considerable amount of attention was paid to detail and this building was no exception with its quite ornate and elaborate entrance. It seems that Edwardian splendour was commonplace even in the small alleyways of Preston.
Walking further along towards Fishergate we would arrive at the junction of Chapel Walks & Aspinall Street and on the corner was the premises of the former Carnival Dancing Academy known as ‘Casino De Danse’ which would eventually be the premises of the 55th Division Association Club. In earlier times the 55th Division Club occupied a conversion of the Imperial Hotel in Lord Street. When Ribble Motor Services purchased the premises to construct the Tithebarn Street Bus Station the club was removed to the Chapel Walks building. In 1963 the club premises was sold for £20,000 to make way for the shopping centre and was removed to Church Street, where it remained until its recent closure. A little further along from the 55th Division Club premises we encounter a general merchants store, an auctioneers, a veterinary surgeons, A. Greenwood, engraver and a small gospel room.
Walking closer to Fishergate we would notice the large garage services yard of the premises of A.E. Roberts & Co. Ltd which was the former rear entrance to William Harding’s Carriage and Harness works of Lune Street. Now almost at the Fishergate entrance of Chapel Walks there is the St. John Ambulance Hall, seen in the adjacent image, which I am sure that many of you will remember well, this old established place. Just across the road from the Hall, at number 4 Chapel Walks, there would be the Law Debating Society building which incorporated the Law Society, Law Library. I have often wondered where all the books from the library eventually found their way to but from what I understand they are not in the Harris Public Library.
Alas, that is the end our journey of this fascinating and long gone place in Preston. I do hope you found it of some interest; historical or personal.
A very well known Flickr acquaintance of mine wrote to me recently about the alleyways and streets in the Bamber’s Yard area saying, “If they had remained they would now be filled with boutiques and art shops of all sorts, and described as ‘quaint’. Preston would have an authentic tourist attraction.” I would find it difficult to disagree with him. What do you think?
Next Week: Considering that Easter Monday is close upon us the subject will be Avenham Park from its inception to the 20th century.
This is a weekly series showcasing photos each week from the brilliant Preston Digital Archive which is an online archive of images of Preston’s past