Tuesday, 21 June 2011

MARY COSTELLO IN KINDERTON STREET 1973


From time to time in this series of photographic memories we  feature what we like to call 'Middlewich personalities' and here's one of them: Mrs Mary Costello, specially posed outside the family's grocery shop in Kinderton Street. Note the extremely dilapidated state of the shop by this time. It was in its final days before demolition to make way for the wider version of Kinderton Street which runs from Holmes Chapel Road railway bridge (or Station bridge) down the hill to join St Michael's Way at the Town Bridge. The Costello family had shops in various parts of Middlewich over the years. There was one in Wheelock Street and another, long gone, on the corner of Brooks Lane and Booth Lane,  backing onto the canal tow-path on the approach to the bridge over the canal junction. There does not appear to be enough room for there ever to have been a shop there, even if you allow for possible road-widening, but there is  a tell-tale curve in the bridge parapet showing that a building once stood there. If you have a photograph of that shop we'd be delighted to see it and feature it here.

Update (May 2017)



The shop in question appears at the very beginning of this precious bit of film footage:

GLIMPSES


Returning to our Kinderton Street shop, you can just make out that the window display was in the traditional style with canned fruit and toilet rolls in little pyramids. The child on the extreme right will be in her mid to late forties now (I think it's a little girl, but it's a bit hard to tell  with that 1970s 'page-boy' hairstyle)
Incidentally there's a good view of this shop in 'Middlewich' by Brian Curzon and Paul Hurley ('Images of England', Tempus Publishing 2005) but it is mysteriously and unaccountably labelled as 'Leadsmithy Street'.
Mary was the wife of Clarence Costello, councillor and one-time chairman of the UDC. She only died in recent years in her 90s.

12 comments:

  1. On Facebook Geraldine Williams said: The shop on the corner of Brooks Lane/Booth Lane used to be a bakery, owned by Hamnett's. They also had one of the earliest mobile stores - ie a little green Austin 7 van from which they sold bread and cakes. I loved being at my Granny's in Sutton Lane on Fridays when she bought lovely lemon curd puffs from the van!

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  2. Thanks, Geraldine. Was that shop later run as a grocery by the Costellos, or is time playing tricks with my memory again? (Comment from Facebook)

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  3. ‎...and am I right in thinking that, at one time, they had two shops running simultaneously with Clarence down in Wheelock Street and Mary in Kinderton Street? (Comment from Facebook)

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  4. ‎...and if so, which closed last - Wheelock Street or Kinderton Street? By the way, it's nice to remember Mary in this way. When my Mum was very ill towards the end of her life Mary, who lived just across the road in King Street, took her under her wing and supplied her with home-made pies and cakes. In fact some of the pies filtered down to us. Mary's meat and potato pies were the ultimate in food luxury, making the celebrated 'Howe's Pies' look a bit silly in comparison. Mary was a very kind lady indeed.(Comment from Facebook)

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  5. On Facebook Geraldine Williams said:
    Yes, Clarence did take over Hamnett's as a grocery store, and yes, the Wheelock Street and Kinderton Street shops were run simultaneously as you describe. I imagine that the Wheelock Street one was the last to close as I can remember Mary Costello working in it, presumably after the other one was demolished.

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  6. Yes.I think you're right. Thanks for the info, and apologies for throwing so many questions at you! (Comment from Facebook)

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  7. On Facebook Geraldine Williams said:Glad to be of service.........!! hahaha

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  8. On Facebook Geraldine Williams said:Nice to hear the comparisons of the pies: Middlewich seemed to go into mourning when Howe's closed!

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  9. At the risk of being run out of town on a rail, I must say I never rated them very highly. You can get much better ones today at Cynthia's or Reid's in Wheelock Street. We had them for a while at ERF Middlewich on Saturday mornings, but got fed up with them and the pie run was switched to Dave Brooks' in Winsford. In my opinion the 'Wonderful Howe's Pies' myth grew up because people believed what other people told them, not what their taste buds told them. (Comment from Facebook)

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  10. On Facebook Geraldine Williams said: Oooh! You're a brave man - talk about 'light blue touchpaper and retire'..........!!

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  11. My partner Lynne comes from Huddersfield, in real pie territory, and, when she first came to Middlewich was offered 'a real treat' in the form of a Howe's pie. She pronounced it 'nowt special' and was amazed when I agreed with her. The other great Middlewich fast food claim to fame, about the superiority of Etta Mault's fish and chips was, and is, fully justified. As you can gather, we're very keen on health food. (Comment from Facebook)

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  12. On Facebook, Geraldine Williams said:

    Etta Mault - LEGEND!

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