Echoes of the Past: Walter Sykes hit the high note

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I am sure many readers will remember the shop on the right hand side which is at the junction of Police Street and Mill Lane.

This view is in the early 1960s when it was Kershaw’s antique shop.

I recall visiting it on a number of occasions just to see if the post horn that was for sale was still there until I had enough money to buy it.

Thankfully it was and I kept the instrument for many years but was never really able to play it as it should have been.

The shop and most of the property on that side of the road was demolished when the new road was cut through the town centre.

The owner of the business moved to new premises in Heckmondwike.

Let us turn the clock back even further by visiting the same shop in the pre First World War years.

The date of the photograph remains a bit of a mystery, although the two large notices on the shop window state the new shop was to be opened on May 4.

The business was owned by Walter Sykes, a wholesale and retail pianoforte and music dealer.

Prior to the shop being opened on May 4 his premises were at number 4 King Street.

His first venture into business was a modest start in Rastrick in 1886.

This business did very well from the moment it opened and he soon realised that he would need larger premises and ideally more central to Brighouse town centre.

The business was so successful he decided to open another shop in Southgate, Elland.

Whilst the sale and hire of pianos was his main business he also sold many other different instruments which included harmoniums from Paris, organs from America and almost every type of percussion instrument there was.

Once having sold the instruments he opened another aspect to his business and that was instrument repairs and piano tuning.

Walter Sykes was one of the first Brighouse town centre businessmen to introduce higher purchase on higher valued goods.

Returning to the photograph the man standing in the doorway to the new shop is Walter Sykes.