09th March 2016
Teddy Boy attraction on Bishy Road
During much of the last century, one half of the premises now occupied by Trinacria on Bishopthorpe Road was a gentleman’s outfitters. In the 1920’s it was Tom Dixon, and then from the 1930’s until the mid 1960’s it was John Shillito Piercy. However many people will still remember Leeming & Salisbury, which lasted from the 1960’s until the late 1990’s. Although it was a very traditional shop, with high quality tailoring, it had a particular reputation for tailored Teddy Boy drapes.
Although the Teddy Boy style first appeared in the 1950’s in Britain, there was a particular revival in the 1980’s.
Kate Radley is here in the centre with Mr and Mr Salisbury in 1986
Kate Radley was the alteration hand at Leeming & Salisbury and worked at the shop for 21 years until it sadly closed down in the 1990’s. She told us about the Teddy Boy drapes: “Yes there were drainpipe trousers, really tight, and there were all different coloured jackets, hip length. They were very very smart, with creeper shoes – brothel creepers – with the very thick soles, and bootlace ties. Outfits weren’t off the peg, they were made to measure. ”
Jim Sotheran has told us that he and his friends used to buy all their Teddy Boy gear from Leeming & Salisbury, as they were the only one in York who stocked it, including George Cox shoes. Jim says: “He was a good tailor and very much respected by all the York Teddy Boys at the time.”
Jim Sotheran in one of his outfits in the late 1980’s
Leeming & Salisbury supplied many other requirements. Kate says: “I think the memorable things were race days, the amount of men that came without ties, and so they would dash back from the racecourse, fly into the shop and buy a tie. And we often said we should have had a stall down on the racecourse. Later we expanded into large men’s wear – kingsize. And that was good, because we were the only one around. We also did the waistcoats for the porters and people at Middlethorpe Hall, which were a brown livery with metal buttons, and we did uniforms for the Archbishop’s staff.”
Kate Radley in teddy boy outfit
The shop interior was very attractive, with beautiful wooden fittings. Laura told us about “lovely gloves, those knitted cotton layered ones, and socks, from wooden drawers under the glass counter. And I still have an old waterproof from there, hanging in the allotment shed for emergency showers.”
Rob remembers the shop window had a particular yellow celluloid film to limit damage from sunlight.
Beautiful interior of the shop
Mr Salisbury with Kate Radley on his retirement in 1996
Do you have any more memories or photographs of this or any other shops nearby? Please let us know by contacting 01904 466086 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.