Saturday, 26 January 2013

Above: older Silsdeners will remember this single-storey stone building in Elliott Street at the
rear of Queen Street as "t'wooden hut" (pictured below) of their childhood where a tempting
array of sweets and ices was always an attraction. The stone property, built in 1989, was a
sandwich shop and then a tattoo parlour before being acquired in 2003 as a base for
caravan repairers and LP Gas specialists Keith and David Wilkinson. 

The wooden hut was almost as old as Queen Street itself.  A Miss Mary Stater, described as a retailer of confectionary, is believed to have been the first trader there from the late 1880s. Other shopkeepers down the years included two brothers called Hanson, in the 1940s/50s Mrs Grace Rose,  then a Mrs Fort and later a Mrs Bancroft. It was not the only wooden hut to serve shoppers in Elliott Street (see below).
Pictured above is Mrs Charlotte Throup in the doorway of a similar structure on the opposite side of Elliott Street, across the road from the school and adjoining the factory which became Briggs Printers. This hut sold vegetables, fruit and cigarettes and was opened by Charlotte's husband, Ethelred Bentley Throup, at the turn of the 20th century. Born in 1878, Ethelred had been apprenticed at the age of 11 to his father, Joseph Laycock Throup, a local greengrocer. (Joseph and his wife Emma had at least 13 children and many of them became local retailers or ran delivery services by horse and cart.)
Above: Ethelred Bentley Throup, in his shopkeeper's apron, is pictured with his son, Joseph, who is holding bananas. Joseph was born in 1912 so this photograph was probably taken around 1920. Older residents will remember Joseph, who died only a few years ago, and his sisters Emma, Mary and Violet.