Friday, 19 February 2016

Drawing on our memories of colourful pastimes
Happy days at No.20 Kirkgate where many Silsden children looked longingly at the toys and crafts in the window of the Paint Box while the grown-ups waited for the bus.
 The premises today, having reverted fully to living accommodation.
The Paint Box was originally opened by sign-painter Stanley Boardman, who later became famous for his 1920's Boy series of distinctive paintings of his Keighley childhood. This photograph was taken soon after Janet Pawson took over the business in 1967. Mrs Pawson was there until 1974 when she and her husband Brian, with their three young children, moved to Lancaster to run a newsagent's shop.  
Brian Pawson (left) is pictured with Stanley Boardman. Mr Pawson was a radio and television salesman with Dyer's in Keighley and then in Briggate, Silsden. Mr and Mrs Pawson left Lancaster in 1978 to open a grocery in Gargrave, which they ran jointly until 2000. They still live in Gargrave. 
The characterful parade during the late 1940s. Beer's was a grocery, which became Carter's in the late 1950s. The office on the left belonged to Harold Crane. The plaque by the door says Food Control Office, where post-war ration books were issued. Two building societies were also run from this office and most utility bills could be paid here. The Paint Box premises were then a private house, as now, and first became a painter and decorator's shop belonging to the Sanderson family. After the Paint Box period, Carol Smithies ran a ladies' hairdresser's at No. 20 and her husband Bob was a barber there. Photograph from the late Kevin Bower's collection.
Previous uses of the premises now attractively occupied by the Flower Gallery have included a craft shop and Sizzles and other cafes. The solar panels on the roof may have been good for the environment but possibly inappropriate in a conservation area.The panels had been installed by the landlord of the flats but were removed on February 28.