Leyland Historical Society


Jack Frodsham, who provided much of the information for this article, started work at the Towngate store in 1926, when the manager was Bob Ryding and John Staples was under manager. Built in 1900, this was typical of the Co - op stores of the period, being centrally heated by coke stoves with cellar and upper floor storage access to which was by a door which is now built up.

The hoist can still be seen at the rear of this building which is now occupied by Bill Nickson Cycles at the rear but a Turf Accountant at the front of the premises. This shop had a delivery service which included the Runshaw area of Euxton.            

Leyland Lane

 Located on the corner of Cowling Lane, this busy store had a big order trade. Two boys cycled the country district of Moss Side and Ulnes Walton twice a week taking orders which were then delivered by horse and cart. In the 1930's a George Woodley was manager here followed by John Staples.

On the other corner of Cowling Lane was a Co - op drapers with Nellie Baron, the manageress. The small shop next door which is now a vet was a boot and shoe repair shop and cloggers.             

Main Store, Towngate       


The first stage of the redevelopment of Central Leyland by Metrolands began with the new Co - op Superstore and the adjacent shop units and open air market.

What started in 1970 as a modern, thriving store gradually succumbed to the changing economic climate of the late 1970's / early 1980's finally closing down in 1987. Since then it stood empty merely adding to the scene of dereliction until the wholesale demolition that came before the birth of Tesco town.

As a bit of media history, the postcard to the right, (yes it was a postcard though who would want to send a card to a loved one back home of an empty market scene...)  featured in a television advert campaign for a series of the Mighty Boosh starring Noele Fielding. Well you did ask....

The Society still requires details about the Bannister Drive shop which has been identified as being next to the Chippy in the row, but any further information would be much appreciated.  Thanks again to the members of Leyland Memories Facebook Group for their assistance.

 The Cross Chemists 

                                                                                                                                                 With the closure of the main store on Towngate, the Co - op acquired the newsagents at the Cross, known to generations of Leylanders as Threlfalls, and moved their Chemists Department into this property where it remained until the Co Op left Leyland for good.

Royal Avenue, Wade Hall / Bannister Drive, Broadfield

Following an online discussion on Leyland Memories on 10th January 2016 we have confirmation that there were a further two Co Operative stores opened in the mid 1950's though they only seemed to last for  maximum of 15 years before being closed.

They were both situated in the council housing areas of Broadfield in the case of  Bannister Drive and at the end of Royal Avenue where it met Queensway on Wade Hall. In each case there were six shop units with flats being above, the Bannister Drive ones as shown below are still in situ, the Royal Avenue were demolished and replaced by a single story shopping unit within the last ten years, the only photograph I can find is a detail from the aerial view of St Mary's High School from 1968, to the right here.

The photograph below was taken inside the Royal Avenue shop in 1961 and shows left to right Teresa Parkinson, Josie Billington (now Hartley) and Jerry Billington (no relation). As a matter of record, the shops in the row were from left to right " the Bread shop (Darwens), Co op, Vegetable shop, Hardware shop, Chippy and Newsagents with cigarette machines on the side of newsagents. After the Co op moved out it became a Hair Salon.

Hough Lane 


This shop was purchased by the Co - operative Society from Mr. Parkinson who ran the Cash Corner general store. For many years, Frank Holmes was the manager of the shop which later became a turf accountant and is now a charity shop. .                                                          

Hough Lane Chemists 

For many years this was known as the Central Pharmacy run by Mr. M.A. Simmons M.P.S. His own product, Nervac, was famous locally and was known as the 15 minute headache cure( as advertised above in the Parish Magazine).

The premises were on the corner of Northcote Street and Hough Lane, the shop closing when the chemists were transferred to the new store on Towngate  in 1970, eventually moving to the newsagents at the Cross.