The forgotten industries of Fetter Lane


A roundel made in Fetter Lane, presumably in the late 19th/early 20th century. Mr Dearlove is listed as a ‘whitesmith’ in the old trade directories of the time. In the mid-20th century Fetter Lane had an ice cream factory, and later Red Rhino records had warehouses there.

Photos taken in Red Rhino’s premises in Fetter Lane are on Facebook.

Any Fetter Lane/Red Rhino/Capaldis memories/thoughts welcome. Doubt anyone has memories of Mr Dearlove’s whitesmith’s business, but he made a very handsome roundel for one of the gates of our city walls.

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  1. Peter Atkinson

    Memories of the Fetter Lane area ===== Almost next to Capaldi’s going up hill was a Castrol Oil Depot that my Father managed in the 1950s and 60s(on behalf of Flowers Transport that were opposite housing quite a number of lorries, mainly Bedford trucks owned by William Bridge and Son ex Lord Mayor of York) distributing oil in drum type units to garages around the area that were poured into storage units on the forecourts then hand pumped into oil cans that were used to pour into vehicles. I enjoyed many days out with the driver Jimmy Dunn a great Guy,on deliveries. We also lived for short time at the Elephant and Castle Hotel just round the corner from Fetter Lane on Skeldergate opposite the Remploy Factory.I hope this is of interest.

    • Susan Major

      Peter – we’re currently preparing our next book, about Bishophill. Can we include your memory of Fetter Lane please and any more you may have?
      Susan Major, Clements Hall Local History Group (


    I believe the Ice cream factory was owned by Herbert Cox and Son and think it may have been sold to Capaldi. There seem to be the remains of the “and Son” still showing faintly on the building.
    If anyone can confirm this or even has a photo of it in its earoier incarnation I would be very interested.

  3. James Chapman

    George Dearlove is my 3rd Great Grandfather and was apprentice whitesmith to John Fryer who did plumbing and bell hanging. The C should really be a G but has warn over time.
    I have contacted York Heritage Trust about it but they haven’t done anything as yet.

    • K Dearlove

      G Dearlove was my Great Grandfather.His son was Walter Dearlove who trained as a Blacksmith (but later went into Nursing).
      His eldest son was also called Walter (my father).

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