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Market Place

Here we are at the Market Place again; it would seem that what was  Dodds or Mackenzies shop is now the Council Offices, although the Chemist, Post Office and the National Provincial Bank are all present, then just in the photograph is Hintons.  It hasn’t changed much over the years, the car in the picture makes me think the early 1950’s.  Do you agree?

Post Office

Do you remember Loftus Post Office looking like this? I do although not the ladies in the doorway; it was Mr Middleton ( I think they called him unless you know better) who worked there then. We now have identified the lady on the left as Florrie Woodall, she later married Thomas Jones c.1923 – he became the head gardener at Skelton Castle – and they were the parents of Deryck Jones.

Updated information courtesy of Olive Bennett.

Inside the Bank at Loftus

What a lovely photograph – taken in natural light – clearly showing the clerks busy at work.  Notice the assay scales on the front counter, the pens in their inkwells and what looks like the only light source in the building – no wonder banks always closed at 3.00 pm! No bullet-proof glass in those days! This interior today is much changed, lighter and seemingly more spacious.

Loftus Market Place

Yes it’s the Market Place, but looks to be a very old picture; in the foreground the fence is wooden and not iron as it was later. On the left of this photograph Fenby’s general dealers can be seen; this is now Barclays Bank. Next is the old cottages removed for the construction of the present Arbroath House, then Riley’s emporium (this was replaced by the Regal Cinema). We then come to Charles T. Cammell’s shop, next is William Maxwell Race’s premises followed by the Golden Lion Hotel. These premises are the source of the old joke about a Race between a Camel and a Lion in Loftus Market Place.

Derick Pearson also advises us: ”This is older than one I have which was dated 1910 also my great-grandfather who had farms at Tranmire, Redmire and Low Wynns Farms, used to travel to Loftus for provisions and had an account with a shopkeeper before that time. He told me a tale some 55 years ago that there was once “A race between a camel and a lion Loftus Market Place. He let me ponder as a child for some time before telling me the truth; which was… There is Camel’s shop on the left of this photograph and the Golden Lion on the right of the photograph with Race’s shop in between. Hence the ‘Race’ between the ‘Camel’ and the ‘Lion’. So one of these may well be those shops.”

Image courtesy of Joyce Dobson and Keith Bowers, also thanks to Derick Pearson for the information.

We’re Back Again.

Now we can see Arbroath House as a three storey building on the left of the photograph, it looks as though the road has been made up and I love the car in the picture, could this be the 1930’s?

Oh No – Not Again!

The title sums up the image, the cinema is here, Covell the butchers is pictured complete with  Hillman Husky delivery van and bicycle in front of the shop. The bus looks like Kelly Watson’s Bedford bus; Eric Johnson tells us: “I remember Kelly Watson’s buses with the wooden seats, Ohhhh were they uncomfortable?  You didn’t want  to be travelling far on those!” Malcolm Covell tells us: “Yes it is my dad’s Hillman Husky in front of our shop, after that one we had a red one with a white roof (very posh!!); I think that was about 1956. Then in 1962 we got a black new model Morris Oxford. I think your date of 1950 is just a couple of years optimistic , I would put it at 1952. Yes I also think it’s Kelly Watson’s old Bedford bone shaker. I’ve got one or two photos somewhere I know I’ve got one from outside the angel inn looking across the empty market place to our shop with my dad and elder brother Dennis on the shop doorstep. It will be about 1955 / 56.

Thanks to Malcolm Covell for the update.

Wool Fair, Market Place, Loftus

Once an integral part of community life in Loftus (and under different names every rural village in England). This would have been – as well as the place to sell your wool – one of the hiring fairs which shaped a young man’s life for the next 12 months. Now, with a brief revival in the 1980s, another attempt was made in 2013 with the intention to attempt the Fair annually. The Image Archive hopes the organisers are successful.

Wool Fair, Loftus

Another view of the same fair – this time with the obligatory urchin posing in the shot.

Loftus Wool Fair

The Victoria County History  – A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 2 1923 – among the description of Loftus, includes:”A yearly wool fair is held in June.” However William White’s History and Gazetteer 1840 states: ”A market is held every Thursday, and fairs for cattle on June 24th and 25th, and on the Thursdays before May-day and Martinmas.” So although we appear to yet another image of Loftus Wool Fair – it is possible many other activities were going on at the same time, hence the variety of stalls and well dressed nature of all attending. Could this possibly include a hiring fair?

Image courtesy of Olive Bennett.

Loftus Market Place

The annual Loftus Wool Fair was the greatest event of the year for the town. It was held for two days, beginning on the Friday nearest to 25th June. On that occasion families from all round the area met in Loftus to join in the activities. The fair was held until the early 1930’s. The Cleveland Village Book written by the Cleveland Federation of Women’s Institutes tells us: ”Loftus has been a market town for many years and has always provided a focal point for the outlying areas. The ancient Wool Fair continued until fairly recently, the final one being in 1938, with the advent of the Wool Board.  A committee was formed to revive the Wool Fair and in 1989 a very successful attempt was made to do so, although the inherent ’wool’ of the Wool Fair was replaced by a feeling of celebration of an old market rather than the selling of the fleeces as in the old days. There is a building: situated between the present Post Office and the Town Hall which was previously the wool warehouse.”

Image courtesy of Joan Yeoman.