Saturday, 28 January 2017

Remembering Kingspot on Barlow Moor Road

Kingspot, circa 1980s
I went looking for pictures of Kingy today.

It was just one of those places we took for granted and long before Pound Shops it was somewhere you could get a bargain.

Here could be found everything from washing pegs, to happy colourful toys and that fabulous print of the San Francisco Bridge at sunset.

Much of what was on offer was plastic and sometimes I wondered whether they had their own plastic factory somewhere east of Hong Kong.

A post box and a sun shade, May 1959
So it was no surprise that Kingspot was always full and getting round the shop could be a challenge which often involved avoiding the buggies, and shopping trollies as you worked you way down the two isles looking for a washing up bowl and ending up instead with two plastic imitation Flying Ducks to hang above the plastic water fountain.

Our kids always seemed to be in their usually when the latest craze for BB guns hit Chorlton which I suspect followed a few days after a new consignment of cheap toys had arrived from China.

It was no different from when I was growing up.  Back then there seemed to be the regular season for marbles, cap guns and fag cards which on reflection also coincided with the latest shipment of cheap toys from abroad.

In its way Kingy was just a shop version of the market stall, but as we don’t have an old fashioned market in Chorlton this place did the business.

Sitting in the sun,April 1959
It was for a while an institution and there will be many of a certain age with fond memories of the place.

So far only the one picture of the shop has come to light and so I thought I would contrast it with a time before those plastci toys and pegs and pictures were available.

And so here are two taken in the spring of 1959 by Mr Downs who was responsible for many other fine pictures of Chorlton in the 1950's

Shirt sleeves and overcoats on that April day
It was clearly a bright day and some at least of the shop keepers had those canvas sheets over the front of the windows which performed the double task of protecting the display and advertising the business.

Bright as it may have been some waiting by the bus station had opted not to trust that April sun and walked out in overcoat and head scarf.

Others however were just sitting watching events pass by.

Now I first posted the story without that picture of Kingspot and I have Wendy to thank for pointing that it
was already there on the Chorlton facebook site and to Brian who gave me permission to use it  all of which goes to show the power of social networks

And just ours after this story was posted Jean Kingsberry left a new comment Which deserved to be included in the text.

"Thank you for your kind comments.

We rented 360 Barlow Moor Road for 21 years before we were able to buy it.

The flat above was our first home when we got married in 1970, we sold in 2005. My mother-in-law, Eileen lived there from 1972 until she passed away.

Many remember her and the several small dogs she took for walks over the years.

All the family worked in that branch at some time. My father-in-law, Harry, my husband, Keith, our son Craig and daughter Andrea.We retired in 2008, after selling our last shop in Urmston, and now live in Cyprus."

Location; Manchester

Pictures, Kingspot, circa 1980's courtesy of Brian Lee Williams, east side of Barlow Moor Road, May 1959, m17609, and west side by the bust terminus, April 1959, 17610, A H Downs, courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council,

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