Halmer End – The Changing Face of High Street

 

Researched by Clive Millington

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

Note 1: The name Halmer End (instead of Halmerend) has been used in the production of this article (except where stated). Whilst this remains a controversial issue, the Society does not wish to enter into any debate on the subject.

Note 2: Several ‘shops’ included in this article were nothing more than the front rooms of houses, used as a means of providing extra income. This was how many shops evolved in the local villages; the successful ones eventually being converted into proper shop premises. Others lasted for only short periods of time and as a result are only recorded today in the memories of those who used them many years ago.

Note 3: Fish was sold from a cart which visited weekly, and milk was sold from a milk float carrying churns, from which milk was poured into jugs. Other visitors were a man on a bicycle who sharpened knives etc. by means of a wheel attached to his bike, and a hurdy-gurdy* man who stood outside the school and also sold trinkets (*a musical instrument played by turning a handle).

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

The lower end of High Street at its junction with Station Road (to left) shows part of the original Halmer End school buildings at left. Immediate right is the grocer’s shop which adjoined the Railway Inn. The early licensees were also grocers. Following closure of the shop the building appears to have been rebuilt and has since been part of the public house. The large building which stands by the group of people in the middle distance is the Staffordshire Knot beerhouse.

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

The same view in 2007 with the Railway Inn at right. Next is a new no. 12 and higher up is the gap in the houses where nos. 22, 24 and the Staffordshire Knot (no. 26) once stood. The old school buildings have also gone.

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

A similar view shows more of the original school buildings at left

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

Fact file: Halmer End School

The first school opened in 1849. It was enlarged by 1875 when it became Halmer End National School. The title changed to Halmer End Council School in 1909 and rebuilding followed in 1913. By 1929 it was Halmer End Senior Council School and, following a re-organisation of local schools, it became a Senior Mixed School in 1938. The infants’ section which had been in the old buildings was closed at the same time. The infants were transferred to schools at Alsagers Bank, Wood Lane and Audley. The infants’ school buildings were retained, mainly for use as a kitchen and dining hall, but a section was used for art classes. In 1944 the name changed again, to Halmer End Secondary Modern School. It was enlarged in 1966 and again in 1980 by which time it had been given its present title of Sir Thomas Boughey High School, named after the original landowner. The old buildings were demolished in the 1980s. (See Audley Community News nos. 12-14 for article on the 1938 re-organisation of local schools)

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

The Railway Inn is now no. 10 High Street, but adjoins no. 1 Shraley Brook Road which is just visible to right of photo

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

The Railway in 2007

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

Fact file: The Railway Inn

The public house was also known as The Railway Hotel and is now The Railway. The address has changed too over the years, being classed as Shraley Brook Road first, then no. 4 High Street before its present address. Its name comes from the Audley Branch Line of the North Staffordshire Railway, from Alsager to Keele, which opened in 1870 to goods traffic to serve the local collieries. The public house was situated just yards away from the railway line and when the line opened to passenger traffic in 1880 Halmer End station was erected alongside the junction of Shraley Brook Road and what then became Station Road (see article The Audley Railway in Audley Historian no. 4).

 

Licensees: Dates are those for which records have been found. The intervening years could be covered by those listed or by an unrecorded licensee.

William Highfield 1871-1880

Eli Turner 1881-1888

Charles Lawton 1891-1896

William Highfield Turner (son-in-law of Charles Lawton) 1900-1906

Catherine Turner (widow of William H.) 1907

Thomas Warburton 1908-1910 (Owned by Woolfs Brewery Co. in 1910)

Moses Heath 1911-1916

Arthur Steele 1921

William A. Janion 1924

Albert Johnson 1928

Frank Price 1932-1936

Frederick Tipper 1939

George Tipper

Florence Dukes 1950-1960

George Aldridge

John Machin 1970-1995

Michael Clayton 2000-2001

Howard Richardson 2005

Stewart Barbour 2008

Steve & Julie Johnson 2009

Lisa Jayne Hassall 2016

 

The following is a licensing application from 1901 by William Highfield Turner:

 

 

The Railway is now the only public house in High Street.

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

The oldest parts of Halmer End School were still in use as a kitchen and dining hall when this photo was taken

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

This 2007 view, minus the old school buildings, shows the main school building in Station Road. The plaque in the wall, just to the left of the lamp-post, can be seen in detail in the next photo.

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

This is the foundation stone of the old school building, recovered during demolition and placed within the school grounds above the spot where it now rests. It was moved when the area was landscaped and a new wall built shortly before the photos were taken.

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

This view in the snow of December 1976 is taken from inside the school yard, and shows at left the buildings which were once at the rear of the Staffordshire Knot. Those buildings along with no. 24 High Street in the centre and no. 22 on the right were all demolished later and two bungalows built on the site.

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

This old view shows the Staffordshire Knot at right, jutting out to the edge of the road, and opposite, in the first building, are nos. 1 and 3 High Street. It would appear that no. 1 was later incorporated into no. 3.

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

Fact file: No. 26 High Street - The Staffordshire Knot Beerhouse

 

Licensees: Dates are those for which records have been found. The intervening years could be covered by those listed or by an unrecorded licensee.

Joseph Malkin 1871-1884

Hannah Malkin (widow of Joseph) 1884-1889

Frederick Malkin (son of above) 1889-1898

Thomas Warburton 1900-1907

 

It is not known when it closed. The building was later owned by Len Harrison (see no. 68) and rented out. It was demolished some time after 1950.

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

This was Bowers’ grocery and sweet shop, occupying nos. 9 to 11 High Street, seen in 1972. The property to the left of view is no. 3, with no. 7 next to the shop and no. 13 at right.

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

The same view in 2008 with only no. 3 still standing

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

Fact file: Nos. 9-11 High Street

William Henry Bowers is recorded from 1928 until 1936 and his wife, Mary Annie from 1940. They lived next door at no. 13. William Henry set up the cycle and electrical business of W. H. Bowers and Sons (see Audley – The Changing Face of Church Street, part 1). The advertisement is from 1953 and is the only one found which gives both addresses for the business. Groceries and sweets were also sold in the shop.

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

These houses were nos. 19 and 21 High Street, seen on 1 January 1980 and later demolished on 14/15 April 1981. They and all other properties from nos. 7 to 29 inclusive have gone.

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

This was the wooden lock-up butcher's shop of W. T. Eardley, conducting business on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays. It's location has now been identified as in the gap between nos.21 and 25 High Street.

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

Fact file: No. 27 High Street

Dora Higgins sold herb beer in the 1940s.

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

Fact file: No. 29 High Street

The home of Mrs Emma Alcock, a draper and smallware dealer from 1892 to 1911. It was later the home and shop of William & Patty Davies. William is listed in 1928 as a confectioner.

 

 

 

A 2008 view of nos. 31-53

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

Evans’ shoe shop at no. 49 in 1974. It is now Castle Stores. The large house on the left is The Firs, once occupied by a mine owner. It was later the home of the Alsagers Bank schoolteacher, Miss Lucy Downing and her sister Kathy, who taught music.

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

A 2008 view of Castle Stores at no. 49

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

Fact file: No. 49 High Street

William Evans, a boot and shoe repairer was here in 1921. He also had the post office in Alsagers Bank. The shoe shop continued under Albert Evans until at least 1974 when the above photo was taken. It then became the clothing shop of Frederick Broad. By 1991 it was Castle Stores, run by Trevor and Lorraine Bryan, then Jeanie and Trevor Lloyd from 1999 until 2006. It is still here today, but under new management. Various owners lived in the adjoining no. 47.

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

A 2008 view of the terraces from no. 28 at right

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

Fact file: Nos. 34-36 High Street

The home and shop of Walter Richard Evans, a baker and grocer, from 1900 to 1921.

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

Fact file: No. 40 High Street

In the 1901 census Joseph Parker, earthenware dealer, was here with his wife Elizabeth, grocer, and son William, grocer. In the 1911 census Elizabeth is a small grocer's shop keeper and the property is described as a shop.

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

Fact file: No. 48 High Street

Frederick Cornes was a stationer and newsagent from 1880 until his death in 1928. His wife Jane continued the business until 1932. Reginald Fryer, a draper, tobacconist and general dealer, followed in 1936, then Joseph Fryer. Frank Sarsons, a dentist, used the kitchen of the property once a fortnight on his visits from his practice in Stoke.

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

Fact file: No. 54 High Street

Frederick Henry Harrison, a boot and shoe maker and repairer was here from 1911 to 1917. From 1936 this was the home of John William Venables, a haulage contractor and coal merchant.

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

A view higher up in the same terrace, with no. 56 at right, in 2008. The plaque on the wall can be seen in detail in the next photo.

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

Perseverando Place

Perseverando is Latin for "by perseverance" or "by persevering"

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

Nos. 66 (right) to 74 in 2008. Nos. 68 and 70 are named Minnie Villas and nos. 72 and 74 are named Holly Villas. Both pairs were built in 1887.

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

Fact file: No. 68 High Street

Leonard Harrison was a cycle and electrical dealer here from the 1930s until the 1960s. He was the brother of Albert (see no. 80). He sold radio and, later, television sets, repaired bicycles, recharged batteries for radios etc. and was an agent for Royal Enfield, Raleigh and Dawes cycles. He also had a shop in Audley (see Audley – The Changing Face of Church Street, part 5).