Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The butchers, the barber and the cobbler pictured above are among the town's longest-serving shopkeepers.
The taxi office is a more recent arrival. These landmark  properties in Bradley Road go back at least 200 years
and are part of an area steeped in local history. In the early 1800s, what is now the shoe repairer's premises
was a cottage where Jonas and Hannah Throup raised 17 children. Jonas was Silsden’s chief constable and
also a woolcomber and brewer.
Barber Jeff Walbank's shop has changed little since he moved to Bradley Road in 1972 after three years in premises near Silsden's old fire station. Jeff, who is repainting and reflooring the shop to mark his 40 years' tenure, is equally well-known as an accomplished musician, as a dancer and DJ at 1940s-themed events and as a metal-detector. 

Mr Bryan Smith has run the cobbler’s and shoe shop at 2 Bradley Road for the last 30 years, since his father, Albert, retired. Albert Smith moved to Bradley Road from Skipton in 1963 but at first occupied the shop next door that is now barber Jeff Walbank’s premises. The switch to the cobbler’s present location came in 1972.

The Bradley family’s butchering connection with the former cottages in Bradley Road goes back to shortly before the Second World War.The late Fred Bradley’s shop was originally in the premises now occupied by the barber. The butcher moved next door to the present shop in 1946. His son, Peter (pictured above), took over in 1973. Peter was joined by his son, Philip (pictured below), in 1977. At one time all three generations worked together in the shop.
The Silsden Steeton taxi office opened in Bradley Road nearly 10 years ago. Some 40 taxis operate from here and from a base at Steeton. Manager Mr Mahboob Rashid is pictured in the doorway of the cottage where Mary Anne Shuttleworth (pictured below), born in 1854, ran a grocery shop for many years. The shop had been opened around the mid-1870s by her father, Jonas, who sold and repaired earthenware lamps before the family became grocers.