Glossop Heritage Trust

Number 1 High Street West, Glossop's Noted Corner Shop.

The Corner Shop was the name given in the 19th century to the premises at number 1 High Street West, which originally had the domed roof which featured in the design, by Matthew Ellison Hadfield, of Glossop Town Hall, the foundation stone of which was laid on 28th June 1838, the day of Queen Victoria's coronation. The design included a similar dome at the western end of the complex but it was the only part of the original design which was not completed.

The original design for the Town Hall complex
The original design for the Town Hall complex.

The land which came to have the addresses of numbers 2 & 4 Victoria St and 1 & 3 High St West was first leased, for 91 and a half years, on 25 March 1844 which, according to a report in the Glossop Chronicle in 1938, when Burton's opened on the same site, was the date that the Manchester & Liverpool District Banking Company opened its premises there. However, it appears that other businesses were already trading on the site, and continued to do so whilst the bank was there.

The earliest documentary evidence we have of the other businesses which occupied The Corner Shop are from the first edition of the Glossop record (2 July 1859) which carried advertisements for three businesses in “Bank Buildings”: James Hardman (a boot & shoe dealer), his son Henry (a chemist & druggist) and J. Robinson (a tea, coffee & spice merchant and tobacconist). There are only census listings and trade directory entries from earlier years. They don't include detailed addresses but by analysis of them, together with subsequent records we can say with some degree of certainty who was there.

J Robinson advert 2 July 1859
          
H C Hardman advert 2 July 1859
          
J Hardman advert 2 July 1859
Advertisements for the three businesses in Bank Buildings on 2 July 1859.

The 1871 census is the first which lists the property numbers for High Street West. However, by matching known connections (Charles Collier being the son of Thomas and Robert Proctor being the successor to Thomas Peacock Wreaks) we can use the enumerator walking orders in the 1851 and 1861 censuses to identify which properties the different businesses occupied.

Bank Buildings 5 High Street West 7 High Street West
2 & 4 Victoria Street 1 High Street West 3 High Street West
1871 Census   William Parker (Chemist & druggist) John Beard (Draper) Charles Collier (Grocer & corn miller) Robert Proctor (Chemist & druggist)
1861 Census Samuel Robinson (Grocer & tea dealer) Inhabited but no one slept in it James Hardman (Boot & shoe dealer) and his son Henry (Chemist & druggist) Charles Collier (Grocer) Inhabited but no one slept in it
1851 Census Samuel Robinson (Tea dealer) Robert McDonald (Druggist) James Hardman (Boot & shoe maker) Thomas Collier (Tea dealer) Thomas Peacock Wreaks (Druggist)

From this we can assume that the portion of “Bank Buildings” occupied by Samuel Robinson and trading as J. Robinson (probably the John Robinson, Grocer, Howard's town listed in Pigot's directory of 1842) was what is now 2 & 4 Victoria Street. Pigot's directory of 1842 also listed James Hardman (Boot and shoe maker) and both the exors of Samuel Collier & Thomas Collier (Grocers) in Howard's town. Presumably they occupied what would become numbers 3 and 5 High Street West

As an aside, it is interesting to note that both James Hardman and Samuel Robinson married sisters of Thomas Collier. James Hardman married Nancy Collier at Glossop Parish Church on 10 July 1834 and Samuel Robinson married Hannah Collier at Littlemoor Chapel on 9 June 1847.

The result of that analysis is that the first occupant of the domed Corner Shop (other than the Manchester & Liverpool District Banking Company) that we can place with certainty is Robert McDonald, shown in the 1851 census as a 27 year old druggist born in Belford, Northumberland.

Robert McDonald is listed in the 1855 Post Office Directory as a chemist & druggist, & agent to the Mutual life office, in High street but he is not listed in Slater's directory of 1850. Slater listed five other druggists in 1850, one of whom was Thomas Wreaks. Of the other four, only John Bennett does not appear in the 1851 census (John Booth was in business in Market Street, John Kinder in Chapel Street and William Tomlinson is listed with his parents in Spire Hollin). Thus, whilst Robert McDonald is the first we can definitely say traded as a druggist at The Corner Shop, it may be that he was preceded by John Bennett, who was listed by Slater but does not appear in the 1851 census.

As we know, from the Record advertisement, that Henry Charles Hardman was in business at the Corner Shop in 1859, presumably it was he who took over from Robert McDonald.

There is no uncertainty about the next change of ownership. An advertisement in the Glossop Record of 17 June 1865 announced that Henry Charles Hardman was retiring and that the business had been bought by John Hardman. In contrast to the Collier connections, John appears to have been no relation to James and Henry. Henry Hardman “retired” at such a young age in order to run the farm at Hurst which has father had taken some years earlier. James had advertised the farm to let in March 1864 but continued to live there, with Nancy, until his death on 5 March 1870.

Advertisement in the Glossop Record of 17 June 1865
Advertisement in the Glossop Record of 17 June 1865.

In addition to carrying on the business of a chemist & druggist, John Hardman also sold “Teas, coffees and spices of the finest quality” and practised as a dentist. It was as a dentist that John Hardman obviously saw his long term future because he sold the business at The Corner to William Parker in 1869 and started to practice as a dentist from the Post Office in Norfolk Square. Subsequent census records show John Hardman (described as a dentist) living at 47 Norfolk Street and then at Ingle Nook on Dinting Road.

The first advertisement for William Parker (and his “Labratory” at Bank Buildings) appeared in the Glossop Record on 29 May 1869 and the Glossop-dale Chronicle and North Derbyshire Reporter of 17 July 1869 carried an advertisement for John Hardman as a Surgeon Dentist at the Post Office, Norfolk Square. Parker started placing larger adverts in the Chronicle on 30 October 1869, possibly because Robert Proctor also started running advertisements having just bought the business of the late T. P. Wreaks at 7 High Street West.

W Parker advert 29 May 1869
          
W Parker advert 30 October 1869
William Parkers adverts from May and October 1869.

As we have seen, William Parker was listed in the 1871 census, which took place on the night of 2 April, but it seems he was already preparing to give up the business. The Glossop-dale Chronicle and North Derbyshire Reporter of 4 March 1871 carried an advertisement stating that the Household furniture, Shop fittings and Stock in trade of William Parker would be sold by auction on 6 and 7 March. About 6 months later, on 16 September 1871, the Chronicle a carried an advertisement by Henry Charles Hardman stating that he was re-opening his business at No 1 High Street West.

Advertisement in the Glossop Chronicle of 16 September 1871
Advertisement in the Glossop Chronicle of 16 September 1871.

When Henry left the business again isn't known, though the Post Office Directory of 1876 shows him as a farmer at Hurst. That directory lists four chemists in High Street West but, similarly to the 1850 directory (above) we know from other records that Henry Kinder, Robert Proctor and William Tomlinson were not at number 1. The fourth entry in the 1876 directory is for John Henry Kershaw, Chemist and druggist. We know, from Morris's directory of 1878 and Kelly's directory of 1881 that John Henry Rosson occupied number 1. Possibly, therefore, Kershaw is a misprint for Rosson or perhaps Kershaw preceded Rosson. It is during Rosson's occupation that we have the first photograph of the shop, complete with its dome.

The Corner Shop when Rosson was in business
The Corner Shop when Rosson was in business.

John Rosson was destined not to stay very long as he got into financial difficulties. The Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser of 13 June 1882 reported that the first statutory meeting of his creditors of John Henry Rosson had been held the previous day. His liquidation was listed in the Leeds Mercury of 24 June 1882 The difficulties possibly arose out of tragic personal circumstances as his wife, Jane Ann, died in October 1880 aged only 28. The 1881 census records John Rosson as a 28 year old widowed Chemist and dentist living at 3 Shaw Street with three small daughters, aged 3, 2 and 1, and his 76 year old widowed mother. It certainly can't have been easy for him. John Rosson himself died at the age of 37 in October 1889.

The business was taken over by Thomas Bradbury, who is listed in Kelly's directory of 1888. Thomas Bradbury also met a sad end, committing suicide on 17 January 1902 by taking prussic acid (Hydrogen cyanide). He had apparently been unwell and complaining of pains in the head for some time. The business continued in the same name for some time after Thomas Bradbury's death, as witnessed by an advertisement in the booklet “Glossop, a Sketch from the Earliest Period” in 1904.

The Corner Shop and Town Hall complex when Bradbury was in business
The Corner Shop and Town Hall complex when Bradbury was in business.

Albert Waterhouse was the last person to run a Chemist business at The Corner Shop. He appears in only one available directory, Kelly of 1908, so the dates he was in residence are uncertain. We know he left before April 1910, however, because Charley Briggs advertisd in the programme for the Hadfield Wesleyan Church Bazaar, which took place on the 20th to 23rd of that month. The 1911 census records that Charley Briggs was in business as a Stationer and he is listed as a Stationer and tobacconist in Kelly's directory of 1912.

The Corner Shop when Waterhouse was its last chemist
The Corner Shop when Waterhouse was its last chemist.

Exactly when Charley Briggs gave up the business has not been established but it has been narrowed down to the early 1920s. He was certainly still in business at "The Noted Corner Shop" when he advertised in the programme of the Primitive Methodist Church Grand Victory Bazaar in March 1920. Kelly's directory of 1925 lists Harold Hawley as a Stationer at 1 High Street West and the right hand photo below displays newspaper headlines from 1924. The photo also still has the name of Briggs above the door. Hawley was the last to run a business in the premises as they were originally built, complete with the dome, vacating the premises prior to the publication of Kelly's directory of 1936, which contains no entries for the properties comprising “Bank Buildings”.

Briggs's Corner
          
Hawley's Corner
The Corner Shop as a Newsagent & Stationer run by Briggs and then Hawley.

The vacant buildings were then to undergo a massive transformation. The Chronicle of 9 July 1937 printed an article including the photo below under the headline The Disappearing Dome. It commented that “Another landmark disappearing” had been the comment of people watching the dome being demolished and that in about six months the corner would have disappeared and been replaced by a modem building for Montague Burton tailors. Just over a month later the paper reported that excavations in the cellar had uncovered the fact that “at some time in the past the Shelf Brook must have meandered over this site” (the course of the brook had been altered to provide more convenient water power for Howardtown Mills). It is interesting to note that Burtons wished to use artificial stone but the Town Council (as reported on 29 October 1937) insisted that natural stone be used.

The Dome being demolished, July 1937
The Dome being demolished, July 1937.

The Chronicle of 18 March 1938 carried a large advertising feature heralding the opening, on that day, of the new Burton store. It described the new building as “magnificent” and “A notable contribution to the architectural beauty of Glossop”. As was the case with many Burtons buildings, the first floor was used as a snooker/billiards hall during the company's tenure.

Drawing of the new Burton's store, 18 March 1938
Drawing of the new Burton's store, 18 March 1938.

Despite such a massive redevelopment, the Burton store lasted only a little over 20 years. A short paragraph in the Chronicle of 19 September 1958 noted that the branch had closed that week. A full circle was completed when “Bank Buildings” became a bank once more, with the opening of a branch of the Midland Bank on 16 November 1959. Conversion work on the building had been taking place for most of the year. The bank was rebranded HSBC in 1999, following the acquisition of Midland Bank by HSBC Holdings in 1992, but closed its doors on 6 January 2017.

Midland Bank in the 1960s
Midland Bank in the 1960s.

At the time of writing the building is undergoing another conversion, for use by an estate agent.

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Page last updated: 21 September 2018.
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