Blossom Street remembered

Audrey lived on Blossom Street, in the 1930s and 40s, above the Forsselius garage building which is now the Premier Inn.

“It was a good place to live, we saw a lot of life. The big red double decker buses, the constant cars and when younger the horse drays outside the working mens club unloading. The horses being walked from the station for the races. Army Parades and church parades. Life was never dull.

I remember one night my brother and I were eating cherries and I dropped a stone out of the window as we were looking out, it hit someone and they looked around, but not up and walked on. This caught our imagination so we then aimed them for people, when someone looked up, we drew back into the window.

View of Blossom Street

I remember the policeman checking doors late at night too. My dad knew them and they would often stop and talk to him.

Charlie the landlord at the Lion and Lamb was a big tummied man and would stand on the doorstep looking out sometimes. The road held hotels too, The windmill on Blossom Street corner, I remember Mr. Hansells little daughter being led along the road on a pony by a groom as a little girl.

The shops along Blossom street were part of our lives. Almgills sweet shop with the adjoining tobbaconist which belonged to the Almgills, they had twin children I remember. Coxes icecream store, Shearsmiths motorbike and cycle shop.

It was a family street really. Mr. Hannon with his greengrocers shop. Rowsons fruit and veg. shop. Hargreaves fish and poultry shop. A big antique furniture repository too. I believe that went when the Odeon site was built. The English Martyrs school down its long entrance. Both Almgills sweet and tobacconist shop too.

There was Boatfields too on Moss Street right hand corner, with son Norman I remember. The Shearsmiths with their bike and Motorbike Store on the corner of South Parade.

We saw all the race meeting traffic, plus military parades, the church parades too from the English Maryrs church on Dalton Terrace.

Mr Rank and his son had the corner butcher, Mr. Flint his little tobacconist and alongside mens hairdressing salon. Storeys bookstore and Library. Parker and Watson chemists. The little church school under the shadow of the archway.

It was a a great place to live, we saw all major traffic come through from circus parades, to racehorses, to military and Salvation Army and many other events.

The Bar Convents nuns a familiar sight in their long black robes. The pupils from the convent standing at the bus stops waiting to go home. The big red doubledecker buses going back and forth. Brewery lorries and horses and carts too.

There was in fact all we needed to live really on Blossom Street and Micklegate.
The traffic was always there, but it was part of our lives and we didn’t really notice it or the noise.”

See also …

Audrey’s memories of Micklegate and Railway Street, the Forsselius garages on Blossom Street and Kitch’s garage at Clifton, and her memories of York during the Second World War

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  1. I remember Blossom Street nearly as well as Audrey as Hargreaves fish and poultry open air shop was my uncle and aunt’s. Billy and Eileen. They also sold fruit and veg and every Saturday I was their stock boy refilling the shelves. This was back in the 50’s. My dad used the kill the chickens which came in large crates from a farm in Crayke (on the right at the beginning of the hill) My mum worked at the shop every Wednesday and Saturday as did my Great Aunt Jessie. Eileen had a hairdressing salon upstairs. Their big back garden backed onto English Martyrs school and there were pear trees for scrumping every autumn. I remember Armgills and the tobacconist also. I believe the tobacconist had lost a leg in the war.

  2. Shearsmiths also had the most amazing display of model trains in an upstairs room. It was paradise for me and I bought many pieces of Trix sets.
    Another room featured bicycles and I got a red Raleigh for passing my 11+

  3. Bill Eastwood

    In the late ’60s I made friends with Duncan Greaves the son of the Landlord of the Lion and Lamb. Don’t know if his dad’s name was Charlie but he was genial and rotund. Shearsmiths sold motorbikes and had a “combo” sidecar outfit which went out to deal with breakdowns.

  4. Duncan Greaves

    Audrey has indeed got a good memory. I personally knew all of the people she mentions having lived at the Lion & Lamb for nearly 30 years. My grandmother moved to the pub in 1904. For the benefit of all and especially Bill, Charlie was my grandfather. After my grandparents passed away, my Dad John, became the licensee.

  5. C Turbill

    I worked as warranty clerk at Millfield Lane Poppleton in the 70s when Gerry Gray was a director but can’t think Of the other directors name can you help me

    • Chris Manson

      My dad worked at Forsselius in Blossom Street and in Neither Poppleton. He was John Manson and workshop foreman. Other names I remember was Ernie Basset, Joe Rolley, Alan Kettlestring, Richard Leonard, Bernard Kirby, Dave Linton and Chris Jarman. There are lots more. My dad has so many stories about the place.

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