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The Andrews Pages Picture Gallery : Lancashire
A selection of photographs, prints and postcards. Some have personal or family connections
Market Street, Manchester
Market Street, Manchester, LAN

This card dates from a similar time to that of The Shambles elsewhere on this website and was received by Ann's great aunt Hilda Walker when she was visiting Llandudno. It shows open topped trams heading for Palatine Road. They ran on lines in the road, each pulled by a pair of horses attached to the pole between them. The tram car at the back of the three facing the camera appears to have come off the rails. Whether the crowd in the street were watching this is unclear. The image is too dark to see if the driver was still on his seat behind the horses, though he might have been.

Not all the shop signs are readable but J. H. Bacon was at No7 and the clock was advertising Batty and Sons of 9 Market Street. The long ladders belong to the window cleaners. Judging from the time on the clock and the sun awnings and shadows we believe the photo was taken from the Royal Exchange, looking eastwards. Note the gas lamp in the foreground.

The firm of W. Batty & Son was established about 1841; an advertisement annnounced that they were "a gold and Silver Centre selling seconds stop watches, betrothal rings priced between £1 and £100 in 1888 and sold athletic prizes at Wholesale prices"[1]. Just as war was to break out in 1939 Batty's were intending to move to new premises at 25 King Street "in Manchester's most exclusive shopping centre"[2]. Later that month Manchester's Chamber of Trade were recommending the earlier closing time of 5.30 p.m. in October, with Batty's already having agreed to this at both their shops[2].

J. H. Bacon was also well established. Mr. Bacon advertised the improved French Shirt in 1854, which he had perfected, claiming it fitted with a precision and ease hitherto unattained![3] By 1903 the firm had moved to St Ann Street[4], which helps date the picture.

Bolton Evening News, 1 April 1903
The Last Horse Car in Manchester.

The Manchester Carriage and Tram way Company ran their last tramcars in the city of Manchester last night, and to-day for the first time the Corporation is the absolute proprietor of all the cars within its boundaries. The company was formed 38 years ago, and has been controlling 150 miles of track in Manchester, Salford and outlying areas with an equipment of 520 cars and 5,200 horses. By arrangement the Manchester Corporation has re-laid and electrified the track, whilst the company continues to run, being compensated for any loss throughout these conditions. The Corporation tramways have now a total length open of 140 miles, with many new sections still in course of construction.

Benjamin Love observed in 1842 that "Besides increasingly rapidly in extent, the towns of Manchester and Salford are annually improving in the elegance of their appearance. ... Owners of good property come forward to meet the proposals of the "Committee of Improvement", and, consequently, widened streets become ornamented with good houses. Market-street is a notable example: from a dirty narrow lane it has been converted into one of the handsomest streets in England" ... A footnote points to the source of the money to pay for these works had come from the profits of the Manchester gas works some thirteen years before, with improvements to ten streets (including Market Street) costing upwards of £230,000."[5].

Lewis's and the Royal Hotel

Lewis's famous store
Lewis's, on Market Street, was Manchester's premier store. It opened in 1877.
It was at one time known as "the Universal Providers"[6].
This undated card shows the building, with its distinctive tower, before the 1914-15 rebuild.
On the right is the former Royal Hotel, which was partly on Market Street and partly on Mosley Street.
The trams, by this time fitted with a headlamp, were no longer horse drawn; the driver can be seen
in the driving position at the bottom of the stairs in the left hand vehicle. Before 1908/9.

Lewis's was my grandmother's favourite shop; everything could be bought here. When I was a girl, and reluctant to have my hair cut, I was once bribed because there were wooden animals to sit on in the store's hairdressing department. I also have a vague memory of live animals at the top of the building.

The first store in the Lewis's chain had opened in Liverpool in 1856. Almost anything could be purchased from its Manchester branch. For example, the public were going to be perfectly astonished when they saw Lewis's Velveteen coats, made by the cleverest tailors in Manchester. They were beautifully lined and finished, and retailed at 20 shillings each[7]. In 1892 a new department selling horse clothing of every description - from woollen sheets and hoods to bandages, knee caps and surcingles - was opened[8]. Kelly's Directory of 1909 listed Lewis's as Cycle Makers, Dealers, Agents; both Importers of and Dealers in Fancy Goods; as Hatters, Hosiers and Glovers. Their range was extensive and they needed larger premises.

The Royal Hotel was offered for sale on 12 June 1907[9], but nobody came forward to buy it. The auctioneer provided a brief history of the hotel, stating the land had first come on the market in 1814; it was first sold to a Mr. Potter who built a mansion, the next owner was a Mr. Lacey who was "a proprietor of mail coaches and a posting business, who turned the house into an inn called the Royal Hotel and the New Bridgewater Arms. In the year 1827 the site and buildings were purchased by Mr. Bannerman, uncle of the present Prime Minister" (i.e. the P.M. in 1907). Mosley Street was then a fashionable place to live in 1827 and Bannerman's wish to build a warehouse there created some alarm[10]. By the time Love was writing the Royal Hotel (then given as a coaching house on Market Street), was one of the principal inns and hotels in Manchester[5] although the advent of the railway was shortly to end travelling by stage coach.

Lewis's acquired the Royal Hotel in the early summer of 1907. They intended to extend their existing premises and it was also mooted that a much needed street improvement might also be brought about[11]. There then followed a rather bizarre sequence of events regarding the hotel's licence. They wished to open a restaurant and wanted the licence to continue, but this was refused by the City's Special Licensing Sessions in 1908[12]. The following February it was refused again, on the grounds that the premises had been pulled down. The owners intended to build shops and offices[13]. They must have been relieved when "the licence was finally restored after exhaustive inquiry"[14].

The next we hear of the store's expansion was at the end of 1914. "In the next few weeks the huge building of Lewis's ... will be of the hands of the contractors and the architects ... along with the various firms associated with the demolition of the old and the erection of the new premises":[15]. Lewis's ceased trading in Manchester in 2001.

Recognition of one small part the Royal Hotel had played in the City's history is the addition of a red plaque, placed on the side of the present building. It states that "The Football League was founded on 17th April 1888 at the Royal Hotel, which stood on this site".

More about the trams

Market street, 3
The card's sender wrote that "This is said to be one of the busiest
spots in the world, on a Tuesday & 2 or three more days in the week.
Even more traffic than in London. You know this place is a big Cotton
centre & that accounts for it". The tram in the centre was on its way to Belle Vue.

Whilst the earlier trams had upper decks that were open to the elements, the city invested in improving its passengers' journeys and added a roof to its double decker cars. Those in the above image still had the external stairs to the top deck and the driver was exposed at the front of the cab. The overhead cables transmitted the power to drive them but, inevitably, the wires cluttered the streets.

In 1923 it was announced that Manchester was to have some more new tram cars in the near future. Mr. Mattinson, the general manager of the corporation's tramways, stated that "Some of the older single truck cars will be broken up, and as much of their material as possible used in the construction of the new cars, about half of which were to be built at the Hyde Road works". In addition, the tramways' employees were being canvassed for suggestions to improve the design[16]. In the 1926 picture below we can see quite a change in style. Whilst the ends of each vehicle were still rounded, the stairs and the drivers were finally on the inside.

Market street, 4
1926. A previous owner has described the trams and noted that the first automatic
signals in Manchester were installed at this junction about 1928. The front car was a 1924-26
type, later fitted with upholstered X seats in the lower saloon only (in about 1930-35).
The second car was made about 1921/23, the first post war type.
The bogies of both were originally of wood throughout.
Notice the corporation dust cart next to the first tram.
Also the overprinting of 3 Manchester newspapers: The Daily
Dispatch, the Daily Sketch and the Evening Chronicle.

The Royal Exchange

Almost all the images of Manchester featured a tram of some description and even the very grand Royal Exchange of "Cottonopolis" had tram cars trundling by.

Piccadilly, 1905
The card's sender wrote:
"This place is in the centre of the Town Where a lot of the business Gentlemen meet". The
Market Street side of the Royal Exchange had shops on the building's ground floor. The grand
entrance on Cross Street was behind the classical Corinthian portico, which was topped by an
entablature with a triangular pediment. On both sides were two flights of wide stone steps.
On a frieze near the top of the building today are the words:

Love tells us that The Exchange, on Market Street, was opened to the public in 1809 and was extended in 1838 under the guidance of the Manchester architect A. W. Mills. The area where the merchants assembled then became "the largest exchange room in Europe"[5]. He was describing the first Exchange, demolished about 1867 and then rebuilt. It remained The Exchange until 1851, when the day after Queen Victoria had visited the city the building became the Royal Exchange"[17].

When the letters containing the names of the architects who submitted plans and designs for the new Royal Exchange at Manchester were opened in 1866, it was found that Messrs. Mills and Murgatroyd of Manchester were the firm the committee had awarded both the first and second premiums to[18]. In 1869 their architects' report showed that most of the foundations that could be constructed without interfering with the new build, begun the previous year, were completed[19].

Tenders for an extension by architects Bradshaw, Gass and Hope were invited in 1914"[20]. The building eventually opened by George VI on 8 Oct 1921"[21]. Unfortunately, an incendiary bomb in 1941 ruined the interior. Yet this remarkable building graces central Manchester to this day, a symbol of the industry and trade that created the city[22]. The tower and dome are still part of the building but the impressive entrance and the steps are no more.

1. "Market Street Manchester". The National Series. Printed in Britain. Before 1903.
2. "Manchester Market Street". Raphael Tuck & Sons "Charmette" Series. Manchester, No.4759. They also published this as no 4758. Tuck were Art Publishers to their Majesties the King and Queen. Printed in Holland (in stamp box). Unused.
3. " Market Street, Manchester". Chromotyped in Hessen. Undated and not posted. A handwritten message to the recipient is written across the back.
4. "Market Street, Manchester". Valentine's "Valesque" Series. Copyright Picture. No.98529, published in 1926.
5. "Royal Exchange, Manchester". No publisher, N. E252.-33. Made in Germany. Undated, no address, but handwritten message.
Postcards in the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Written, researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.


[1] "Sporting Chronicle", 7 August 1888 and "Manchester Evening News", 14 December 1921 (when they occupied both 7 and 9 Market Street.

[2] "Manchester Evening News", 1 September 1939 and 29 September 1939.

[3] "Bolton Chronicle", 18 February 1854. Advertisement for J. H. BACON, Practical Shirt Maker, Hosier, and Glover, 6, Market-street, Manchester. They claimed they had a "Large Assortment of Fancy Cravats and Scarfs, Railway Wrapper etc".

[4] "Slater's Manchester, Salford & Suburban Directory", 1903 [Part 2: Alphabetical Directory].

[5] Love, Benjamin (1842) "The Hand-book of Manchester: Containing Statistical and General Information on the Trade...", published Manchester by Love and Barton, Market Street. Second Edition. The first edition was published in 1839.
Love also quoted a work called "England in the Nineteenth Century" (no author), which discussed "The Exchange at Manchester" - "The Exchange may be regarded as the parliament house of the lords of cotton; it is their legislative assembly ... [which] assembles every Tuesday..."

[6] This comment was published in the "Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal", 27 June 1919 but, to date, the first time it was used to describe the Manchester Store was in 1886.

[7] "Manchester Evening News", 14 June 1882.

[8] "Manchester Evening News", 16 April 1892.

[9] "Manchester Evening News", 11 February 1907. On offer were two shops, offices and a warehouse at No.124, 126 and 128 Market Street as well as 3 West Mosley Street. The site covered 1325 4-9 square yards.

[10] "Manchester Evening News", 13 February 1907. The British Prime Minister mentioned was Henry Campbell-Bannerman, who was P.M. 1905-1908 and the first to be officially called The Prime Minister.

[11] "Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser", 25 June 1907. The Royal Hotel Site. Acquired by Lewis's.

[12] "Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser", 2 October 1908.

[13] "Yorkshire Evening Post", 20 February 1909.

[14] "Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser", 6 April 1909.

[15] "Daily Citizen", 14 December 1914. The New Lewis's. Big Transformation Scheme.

[16] "Manchester Evening News", 5 October 1923.

[17] "Morning Herald", 17 October 1851. The Queen was visiting Lancashire.

[18] "Illustrated London News", 27 October 1866.

[19] "Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser", 18 March 1869.

[20] "Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser", 27 May 1914. Manchester Royal Exchange. To builders and Contractors.

[21] "Daily News", 7 September 1921. The King and Cotton.

[22] Manchester has a long association with cotton/fustian. Love (above) quoted an Act in the reign of Edward VI (Statute 5 and 6 Edward VI., 1552) as a Tudor reference to cotton in Manchester. There was an earlier one, from the reign of his father (Statute 33 Henry VIII, 1542). However, a Will held by TNA provides an even earlier date for someone either working with or dealing in cotton in Manchester - the short PCC Will of John Bone, Cotton Man of Manchester (PROB 11/20/234).

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