All decked out in finery for the Princess’s visit

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This is Commercial Street 1907.

In fact it is May 22 of that year and of all the things that stand out in this street view for me, it is just how narrow Commercial Street looks as compared to the same view now.

The occasion was the first ever Royal visit to Brighouse when Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, the daughter of Queen Victoria was invited to open the new Art Gallery which Alderman William Smith JP had financed.

Sadly for the people of Brighouse, who hoped to catch a glimpse of the Royal visitor it never happened.

Back to the Commercial Street view the property on the left is the corner of Webster’s at the bottom of Church Lane and a business that opened in Brighouse about the same year as the American civil war drew to a close in 1865.

On that basis it is probably one of the oldest businesses in the town centre.

The property on the right would be just about where John Morton’s butchers shop would be followed by a shop with a familiar name to many readers, Stead and Simpson’s , who were described as boot and shoe dealers.

This business in later years was below Woolworth’s between Market Street and Park Street. Next door was Wallace’s Ltd which was one of many grocers and provisions dealers in the town centre. Finally the last one we can see was the Ring of Bells which in those days was legally described as a beerhouse and was run by James Pilling.

Interestingly this Royal visit was on Wednesday, May 22 1907, which would normally have been a school day. I wonder if the procession has just passed by and these children caught on camera were on a school holiday period or were about to go back or thinking about or had even got a holiday from school for the rest of the day?