Echoes of the past: Patiently waiting in Thornton Square

Waiting in Thornton Square for a men's day trip out
Waiting in Thornton Square for a men's day trip out

With not a lady in sight it looks as though the two vehicles seen here in Thornton Square are preparing and waiting for all their passengers to arrive for a men’s day trip out somewhere.

Looking at the style of clothing and flat caps some of the men are wearing this is likely to be in the late 1920s.

Looking beyond the motorised char-a-banc’s - now there is a word you don’t hear often these days, even in its shortened version. Does anyone still say, ‘we are going for a ride on a chara’ or have we forgotten that and say ‘we are going on a coach ride’ instead?

Anyway the street in the distance is Briggate before all the buildings were demolished as part of the 1960s/70s re-development of the town centre. The small shop window on the left was 40 Briggate, the home of Mr J. Earnshaw’s watch making and jewellery business. I only ever recall visiting the shop once when the expanding strap on my watch broke.

Opening the shop door the overhead door bell rang and immediately you were greeted by a musty smell, a sign of age. I handed my watch to Mr Earnshaw he could see the problem and promptly mended it as I stood watching. To my amazement he took it apart again, gave me a ticket and said it would be ready at the end of the week. Having watched him I explained I could not wait that long and left the shop with my watch in hand. I repeated and copied his actions and repaired it myself whilst sat on the number 47 bus going home to Stoney Lane.