Lawrence Rd was our main shopping area and the stores there bring back memories . . . Baines' Shoe Shop at the corner of Alderson did a steady business in patching and repairing shoes of all types. Lewis' were our greengrocers, Marsden's our fishmongers, and Mum bought her hats at Armitage's. Our newspaper supplier was Philips the tobacco shop. "Smith's The Chemist" was distinctive because they had a large clock mounted high above the corner of a side street. A traditional red phone booth was located at Liscard St, and always seemed to be occupied. The large and imposing Methodist church at the corner of Salisbury and Lawrence Roads had a deep open basement surrounding the building, topped by a wrought iron fence. Thoughtless people tossed papers and rubbish through the fence.
About 1948, I became interested in bicycle racing, and went into W. G. Twiddle's store on Lawrence Rd to buy some metal toe clips and leather straps. Never having used them before, ex-racer Bill Twiddle showed me how to lace the strap through the pedals and to tighten them up. Another bicycle shop was Harrison's on High St, where they had a superb Raleigh bicycle on display. This had been used by current World Sprint Champion Reg Harris. Other bike shops were Dickinsons on Tunnel Rd, and nearby Fothergills.
Memories of local places
One day, I was cycling along Edge Lane and wanted to get to Wavertree Rd. So I took an illegal shortcut through the lovely Botanical Gardens. I had not gone very far when a gardener yelled at me to stop, but I ignored him and raced on. The yelling had been heard by another gardener, who stopped me and berated me heartily.
The Salisbury Laundry was at the bottom of Salisbury Rd, and nearby was Dr Garret's medical office, Smithdown Rd Hospital and the cemetery. A popular joke was that when you became ill, they took you to Dr Garret, then the hospital, then the Salisbury Laundry (where they wrapped you in a sheet), and finally took you across the road to the cemetery!
Wellington Rd brings back memories, as I almost lost my life when a car hit me head on just as I was cycling through the tunnel under the railway. I was rushed to Smithdown Rd Hospital and later, the Southern Hospital. Another memory is of the telephone exchange at Lawrence and Wellington, staffed by a seemingly-huge collection of good-looking ladies.
At school, there were two donated tickets to attend a football game and see Liverpool F.C. play. The teacher held a draw, and I was the winner. So I took a long walk to Anfield and joined the crowds . . I was NOT impressed! They were half-drunk, noisy, and boisterous to an extreme. There were no seats in my section, and I was scared with all the pushing and shoving, so at half-time I went to a cop and asked to leave. He refused, saying that if he opened a gate, then the mob would swarm in.