Starting at No.1 Deardengate (Market Place End on the West Side), I remember this in my childhood as a wool/haberdashary sort of shop and was run by Miss Dawson and run later by Elsie Berry (see note from Sue Ashton below). (see photo top right), then later probably within the 1970s, it was taken over by Michael Kay who partnered with Syd & Pat Barnes when they had it has Top O'Th Town Studio and they sold paintings and did picture framing etc from here. In more recent years the owner of No.1 was the late Dr. Eugenie Cheesmond who at first had it has a health food shop and later turned it back to a private residence. For many years there was always a bus stop outside where you caught the bus for Hud Hey and Stonefold. The gardens and front door was on the side approached by a cobbled street at the end of the street was a old building now demolished, but the main usage of this Street was to gain access to the Co-op Hall which lie high above on the third story of the Co-op Buildings and the entrance was here. The Co-op Hall was regularly used in the 60s and 70s for weddings and other private functions. It closed down in the 80s and was later re-opened as a Snooker Club which lasted for some years...
After the grand Co-op Buildings there is a small opening which was a shortcut to the rear of the Co-op Buildings and also led down to what was the Co-op Abbatoir's, this was closed down in the 50s. but even today within the red bricked building which has taken the place of the old Abbatoir there is the "slaughterman's creed" which lies on a tablet and built into the wall of that building...
The first shop on Lower Deardengate (West) was a chemist owned and ran by Mr. Haworth (Haworth's Chemist), but if not mistaken it may have been two shops knocked into one, not too sure about this but seem to remember a double front, in recent years it was acquired by Rossendale Council and up until 2007 was the Neighbourhood Offices from which it represented the local council. Going back again, next door was a bakers called Partington's, and then in the 70s/80s it was the booking office for Kirkhams Coaches, and besides this sold Birthday and Christmas Cards etc which it continued to sell even after the Coach Firm had ceased to operate. Many years prior to this I used to run the Coach firm booking office for Mark Barnes and Sons, which was just around the corner in Ratcliffe Street, but when Kirkhams took over the business of Mark Barnes their booking office was moved around the corner and into this shop on Deardengate (nowadays as I write 2009, the shop is a Gents Hairdressers. The next and last shop of the row before you met Ratcliffe Street was Elsie Berry's who ran a wool shop and then later it became Bill Scott's shoe shop and then Mollys Shoe Shop..
Then you have Ratcliffe Street and crossing over, the first business which is on the actual corner is the National Westminster Bank (which used to be called the District Bank). Next to the Westminster Bank back in the early sixties were three terraced shops. After the Bank building the first was Jack Hayton's Newsagents, Jack was well known in the town for playing with his musical combo at many town functions, Jack played the organ. And next door to Jack's was Finlay's Tobacconist, you may remember the black and silver cigarette machine, Finlay's staff used to drag out every night and block their doorway with it. Dave Rothwell lived straight across the road over his Dad's shop and remembers to this day the sound of money clattering into the machines coin box at all times of the night. This was also coupled with sounds of the occasional punch up on the pavement lower down outside the British Legion. And the last in the row was Rigg's Baby clothes run by Olga Rigg who was married to Bob Zabrowski who had a small deli higher up in Deardengate across from the Library.
At some point in the the sixties or early seventies the bank extended and knocked through into what had been Jack Hayton's newsagents which obviously then left the remaining two shops (eg: Finlays and Riggs) and these today are a Barbers and the other was a sandwich bar and now changed again to a chinese restaurant. After the back yard gate was the start of the next block with Mills Toy Shop in the late 1950s. This later became Jack Hayton's newsagents, and although Jack left many years ago its still the same sort of business today. Then we have the ginnell which leads to Deardengate Fold. The next business has always been the Royal British Legion Club and they bought next door and knocked through to extend, but before this the shop had been a greengrocers and fishmongers originally owned by Mr. Graham and managed by Mr. Billy Dewhurst.
The next shop down was a opticians and jewellers, which was later acquired by Phillip Pratt. The next shop down during the 1940s was a grocers called Wilkinsons ran by Mr. Johnny Knowles in the 1950s. After the grocers shop was Tommy Hollins who had the shop before moving to Manchester Road where everyone went for their school uniforms. Nurse Lightfoot (a retired district nurse) bought the shop from him and started the wool shop and she lived there for many years. Later the same shop was taken over by Brenda Wilkinson in November 1980 and she ran it until May 1987. Brenda came out because of the 1980's depression. Next door was a shoe repairers called Harry Barne's, which later became Gillams. And the final shop before the Coal Hey opening was Les Haworth's barbers.
After this gap was a upholsterers and also it was run at one time by Ian Smith who sold "cut price stock" novelty items etc. Eventually it was taken over by the Roebuck and integrated to extend their floor space.
Crossing over Charles Lane you had several more shops before you reach the top of the Grane Road Junction.
Just on the junction with Grane Road was No 101 Deardengate which up until the early 1960's had been Taylor's Corner Cafe. Then later Mr. Taylor went on to own The Disk at 28 Deardengate up until 1975. (next to Cissy Greens (then Ashworths)and included in the (Deardengate-East) blog.
Sue Ashton from Crete, kindly sent the following information (12th Feb 2011)"I have a vague recollection of going to that shop in my childhood - around 50 years ago, late 50s, early sixties - and I think it was being run by Elsie Berry. I think she had moved from Lower Deardengate. I remember going up a few steps and seeing her sitting at her sewing machine - she had, in my child's mind, a huge neck - I think I heard it was a goitre but I don't know how true that is. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm mistaken. My mother used to buy her knitting wool there - she used to have it "put away" and then collect it a few balls at a time, as needed. You can't imagine being able to do that nowadays, can you!
John Taylor added (12th June 2011)
"Re the area of Deardengate below, just before the British Legion was Mill's toy shop in the late 1950's. Also Sue Ashton is right Elsie Berry did run a wool shop in lower Deardengate and the notable thing was the absolute "tip" it was, how she ever found anything was a marval, but she did!
My parents had "Taylor's Corner Cafe" at 101 Deardengate till the early 60's then my father owned "The Disk" at 28 Deardengate till 1975.