And there's more...
Since we published our book about the old shops of South Bank in November 2019 we've had responses from people which add to the story.
South Bank Stores
There are plans to reopen the shop on the corner of Balmoral Terrace and Count de Burgh Terrace. This shop was an early grocers, Joseph Easey from 1909. William Robinson took over in 1922 and lasted until 1939, when Harold Kirby took his place. By 1949 it was A E Thorns, who lasted until the mid-1980s. Later it was Cox & Taylor off-licence, then Dave's, Hall's, J & M, and then Cox's Corner Shop. Until recently it was known as South Bank Stores, but has been closed for a while.
Sara Winlow has been seeking support from the community for her planning application for a rear extension, to enable her to fulfil her plans for the shop. However the City Planners are recommending refusal at their meeting this week (6 February 2020). See here for details.
Len Stamper told us about a woodyard in Trafalgar Street, run by 'Fishy' Foster, who was involved with the local angling fraternity. The woodyard was also used by Challengers plumbers, who had an accumulator charging business, where people took their 2 volt wireless accumulators to be recharged. This was needed regularly for people to heat valves for receiving radio broadcasts. See the Museum of Technology for more information about this topic.
Len told us about the location of the woodyard: from 60 Balmoral Terrace, a corner shop, follow the wall of the property down Trafalgar Street to the lane, the other side of the lane was the woodyard.
It appears that no. 28 was originally Challenger's plumbers front shop and office, the workshop being behind and the right-hand side of the woodyard. The sawmill itself was on the left, immediately through the big double gates. The next part of the yard was open but roofed over for storing the timber, the very bottom of the yard was a secure shed walled off from the rest of the yard. This was the area used for splitting and making up the bundles of sticks. Sticks could be purchased, together with bags of oven wood at the yard, but most of the sticks were taken in a special wheelbarrow to the various local shops. Also large quantities were taken to the Co-op warehouse at Clementthorpe.
Eye witness accounts of the wartime damage to Nunthorpe Grove
Stephen Lewis reported in the Press from two eye-witnesses to the damage in Nunthorpe Grove, following his recent features about our book.
Ronald Coulson grew up in South Bank and remembered seeing the Halifax crash. "I was nine years old," he said. "There were four or five of us at the corner shop on Victor Street. We heard this 'bang!'. We looked up and could see this plane, going around in the sky and coming down. It was on fire. We went up onto the bar walls and saw it go past Nunthorpe Road. Then there was a hell of a bang. Afterwards we could hear a sound like machine guns going off. It was quite loud. The guns and bullets in the plane had caught fire. It was quite frightening."
Ronald also remembered the York Blitz of 1942. He lived with his family in Victor Street. There was a cupboard under the stairs. They huddled there when the air raid sirens went off and at one point heard the distinctive whistling sound of a bomb seemingly falling straight towards them. "It was very frightening!" Ronald recalls. The bomb missed them - but hit the Bar Convent instead, killing five nuns.
Damage to Nunthorpe Grove in 1945 (Hugh Murray)
Another reader, David Thomas, also remembered the bombing of 1942 and the aircraft crash three years later. Three bombs fell on the Nunthorpe estate on April 29, 1942," he said. "The first totally demolished 19 and 21 with 23 and 25 being badly damaged and pulled down afterwards. The second bomb fell in the garden of our house (number 41), destroying the back of 39 and 41 but this was rebuilt and we returned home in October 1942. The crater was filled in later. The third bomb demolished a pair of semi detached houses in South Bank Avenue."
A fuller account of the 1945 disaster can be found here.
Darran Walker tells us that he still tends the grave with flowers at Fulford Cemetery (1/Q/16) of one of the rescuers in the 1945 disaster, Soldato Natale Giovacchini, who was an Italian PoW, aged 36.
South Bank Social Club
A. J. Peacock suggested that the Chapman family were very much involved in the creation of South Bank Social Club - William Chapman De Burgh and his sons John Cooper Chapman De Burgh and Arthur Edward Chapman De Burgh. York's two MPs were said to be frequent visitors. Members were allowed to run up a slate of 2s 6d a week and apparently it did great business when Buffalo Bill's Wild West Circus visited the Knavesmire in 1904. In 1910 it had a membership of 410.
Again from A. J. Peacock: In 1903, for the third time, J. J. Hunt & Co. applied for four outlets (two pubs and two off-licences) on the Bishopthorpe Road Estate. An objector was John Richard Swales, who, in a remark that aroused no comment in those more innocent days, said 'he took a great interest in the young men of the district' and thought a pub in a area was the 'first step to slumdom'. Councillor Vernon Wragge said 'that if J. J. Hunt was refused permission to build pubs again, they would get round the law and build a club'.
At the end of the 1903 sessions, the Temperance reformers said they had achieved a considerable victory. The bench turned down both the wet and the dry applications for the Bishopthorpe Road area, so condemning the inhabitants there to a walk of half a mile or so to get a pint (or two).