Tuesday, 17 December 2013


Marks & Spencer


In 1884 a young Lithuanian Jew called Michael Marks went to Leeds, an inarticulate immigrant who could not speak English, he managed to obtain £5 credit from a local wholesaler and he set up a ‘Penny Bazaar’ in Leeds Market. ‘Don’t ask the price, it’s a penny’ was his slogan. Business prospered and Marks went into partnership with his friend Tom Spencer. The rest is indeed a legend.

A  feature in Leeds Market Hall is an elegant clock mounted on an antique cast-iron pillar  presented by Marks & Spencer, 100 years later in 1984.


The  Co-op


The former Lancashire weaving town of Rochdale, now in Greater Manchester, was the birthplace of the legendary Gracie Fields.  
On 21st December 1844, following a bitter strike,  local weaver’s each subscribed a sovereign and the Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society commenced trading in Toad Lane.  This was indeed the very first shop in the worldwide Co-operative Movement and the same shop is still there in Toad Lane (a corruption of T’owd lane – the old lane) which has been a conservation area since 1978.

The  oldest  shop’s


A chemist’s shop in the Market Place in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, has been in continuous use since 1720.  It claims to be the oldest chemist’s shop in England.


A shop in the High Street, Pateley Bridge in North Yorkshire, claims to be the  oldest sweet shop in England.

and the oldest post office is at Sanquhar in Scotland.


Congratulations to this Sea Food Restaurant in Cromerty in north eastern Scotland, who have awarded themselves two Michelin Tyres.

The Scottish Ell


The Scottish ‘ell’ was a measurement equivelent to 37 inches.   It was very important in the Scottish market place that this measurement was strictly adhered to and officials made every endeavour to ensure that it was.   
The Cathedral graveyard at Dornoch, once part of the market place, preserves a flat stone just 37” long which was formerly used for measuring cloth on sale in the market.  
On the wall of the Ell House in Dunkeld is a metal ell measure which was used to check that any measure used in their market place was accurate.

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