02nd December 2020
All change on Bishy Road
Now that lockdown has finished we're pleased to welcome some new traders to Bishy Road, as well as other changes. It's another step in the history of local trading. If you want to find out more about the history of our local shops, our books are still on sale at Pextons and at Frankie & Johnny's.
Susie Brown has opened Fully Woven on the corner of Darnborough St, previously the antique shop. Her business has moved from Boston Spa, where it's remembered by many customers over twenty years as the Yorkshire Curtain Exchange. She no longer sells second-hand curtains, but now specialises in new furnishings, sourcing fabrics directly from mills. Her curtains are fully lined and interlined, offering excellent insulation. Susie also runs an upholstery service and supplies all kinds of blinds.
There was a grocer here in 1881 and the old photo shows an early bootmaker, Almond’s, around 1895. But then it became John Garnett, corn and seed merchant, for around sixty years in all, until 1974. Robin Wetherill took over the shop here in 1975, trading as Bishopgate Antique Centre, after a period managing the Bargain Centre further along the street. His antique shop was an Aladdin’s cave of fascinating items, but after 55 years on the street he retired and closed his shop in 2019.
The Bishy Weigh has undergone a major refurbishment recently - see our photos. This shop was a butchers from the late 19th century until 1972, and locally people will remember it as Swinton's Insurance more recently. The Bishy Weigh opened in 2018, the first eco pantry in the area. It’s a weigh-and-pay shop for people to reduce their use of plastic.
Shop owner Alice Hildred said "When I opened The Bishy Weigh two years ago, it was in the knowledge that the shop would evolve over time in response to my customers’ needs. I knew it was foolish to try and predict or pre-empt this too much, so kept the decor and shelving simple (and on the tight start up budget!) when we opened in 2018. It is lovely to have been able to make some improvements at this stage in response to how the business has evolved, and to give it the best possible chance of continuing to thrive. The furniture and decor are now much warmer and convey a lot more of the store’s personality. I love the use of reclaimed wood in a number of areas around the shop! And most importantly the changes have allowed us to expand our range where we didn’t have room to before, and to be the most useful shop we can be for our customers."
In another recent change, we now have new owners at the Good Food Shop, where Ruth and Dan have taken over the business from Carol Costello. They now have a new shopfront and say "Having lived in South Bank since 2004 and on Bishopthorpe Road since 2010, we wanted to work within our thriving and supportive community. We are excited to have taken over the Good Food Shop in 2020. Whilst we are in difficult times we hope to bring about some positive changes to the shop which has been an important part of the community for so many years."
This shop was established as a delicatessen in 2005, by Caroline Lewis, who had moved around the corner from Scarcroft Road. Before that people will remember a newsagents for many years.
We're also welcoming a new barber, Q, to the shop which previously sold vaping equipment. They're about to undergo a refurbishment so we'll report on that in a few weeks.
Fruitique have launched their temporary Christmas shop in the empty Betfred premises over the Christmas period, for their Christmas trees and other seasonal items.
Sadly another of our local shops will be leaving by the end of the year. Walter and May, on the corner of Scarcroft Road and Nunmill Street, will close but retain their online business. We wish Beth well for the future. This corner shop has housed many traders over the last 130 years, starting with George Newbald tailor in 1893. More recently it has been a greengrocer (for over 50 years), a delicatessen and an art gallery.