LETTER: Buzzing social scene in bygone Nelson centre

I WOULD like to thank the many readers who contacted me regarding the one-up and one-down shop at the bottom of Barkerhouse Road, Nelson, known as Holroyd’s.

It appears the mistaken pancakes were, in actual fact, stew and hard-type oatcakes; there were also crumpets and many other delights to be had.

While reminiscing, I got to thinking about the days when myself and my younger brother, Ray, who were around eight and nine respectively, were sent to my grandfather’s barber shop, Harry Marsden’s in Brunswick Street. We were both horrified when, on my father’s instructions, a crew-cut was performed because, in those days, longer hair was the order of the day.

At the time, we both went together to a Saturday afternoon matinee where we had the choice of going to the Palace or Grand cinemas. We always preferred going to the Grand as along the way, we could stop and watch the accordion player with his monkey outside Coulton’s Stationers in Market Street and I could let my smaller brother in for free in the fire escape situated next to the roundabout.

Later in life, as we entered our late teens and early 20s, Nelson centre was still a big draw but for different reasons. This was for the nightlife which was then a buzzing and vibrant scene. We had the choice of going down the Trax below the Station Hotel or maybe the Sands which had numerous name changes; there was also the less-than-appealing El Tropicano, for reasons I won’t go into, or perhaps the more up-market Hawthorne’s which catered for, as advertised, “the nicer people” which, at that time, we definitely weren’t.

Sadly, Ray passed away a few years ago in a motorcycle accident but I know he shares my sentiments of a bygone Nelson centre.


Leeds Road, Nelson