The Heart of Penistone Market Town

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This page is slowly going off the rails but is being updated in batches and the updates are not yet complete. You might find more repetition than usual here. It is hard to keep up.

This introduces you to the main shopping street, which has seen many changes but its general appearance over the last century would be familiar to our grandfathers. Market Street starts close to St Mary's Street, with the low address numbers at that end. Clark's Chemist is No. 1 but their address is Market Place, not Market Street, because their old entrance used to be around the corner. Market Street passes the top of Shrewsbury Road to meet the High Street right in the middle of the shops opposite Park Avenue with No. 1 High Street being Gregg's food takeaway. Then it is High Street all the way towards Cubley until Green Road and Mortimer Road beyond. That means that Penistone Library is on High Street.

Although the appearance of our town centre has been fairly static, there have been a lot of comings and goings and this page might best serve our interests from its historical record. These thumbnail pictures are all shapes and sizes from before when I standardised them. Some are very old, too small or very poor quality. My apologies for that.

The Changing Face of the Town Centre
Shop-front refurbishments, licks of paint and new signages appeared in 2005, financed by the 'Market Town Initiative' which also provide the signposts. But let's go back a bit further in time, to get this page rolling. In the 1950s, Penistone had an employment agency (Job Centre), a Midland Bank, a National Westminster Bank and an electricity showroom. Older residents will remember Penistone's old retail market on the site of the current Spar supermarket and how open it was to the elements with its corrugate iron coverings (Market History). The Spar did not at first occupy the whole building. It had a wallpaper shop next door.

Across the High Street, some will remember coffee smells wafting from Ferguson's shop (now the dentist's) with a coffee grinder strategically placed just inside the door. What is now Café Crème was the Conservative Party office, with occasional jumble sales to raise funds. It was dormant for a long time and looked derelict until it became a Halifax agency/financial adviser for several years, then later SJ's Café. A higher floor was Penistone FM's studios from 2009 until it moved into the new Penistone 1 complex.

There was a Jubbs's next to the Conservative office (Café Crème) for many years which became Burton's travel then 'Travelworld' before changing into the Barnsley Hospice charity shop. In what is now the Post Office, local radio ham Raymond Smith had his radio and tv shop for many years with another Mr Smith next door selling sweets (American Hard Gums in my case). The old Post Office was located down the lane next to the old vicarage (now a private road) with a sorting office around the back. That building is still in use for Royal Mail. What became the Yorkshire Building Society (closed in 2021) had long served as Charlesworth's clothes shop (official supplier of PGS uniforms). Next to that, the current ladies' clothes shop, Zeanti, had been Clay's tobacconist shop in the 1960s.

Skip to the other side of the lane and what is now an e-cigarette shop had been Lancaster's estate agent with another ladies' clothes shop and the Rose and Crown (now a law firm) on the corner with Shrewsbury Road. Around the corner in what is now Harrington's butcher shop was Frank Platt's electrical shop. Still on Market street is Ward's fish and chip shop and another butcher's shop. Next to that, what is now the Cinnamon Spice Indian restaurant and take-away (see below) had been Fieldsend's freezingly-cold greengrocer shop. It never needed a refrigerator, no matter what the weather.

On Market Street, across the road from Shrewsbury Road, we have a butcher's shop which was once the 'World of Video' shop in the 1980s, run by 'Maz.' It became Chuck McBurney's betting shop after VHS tapes bit the dust. It is now a beer shop in 2021. Stepping back in time somewhat, the late RN (Dick) Brownhill had a betting shop on the ground floor of the tall building to the left of Back Lane. In his later years, Mr Brownhill was well-known for his interest in local history and he showed videos and gave talks on the subject. Around 1980, Paul Kellet bought the bookies from Mr Brownhill. That part is now a greengrocer's shop and a card shop. Risden Woodcock's hardware shop was somewhere on that row ("It's coming in next week"), possibly near Purdey's wallpaper shop and the current estate agent's by the ginnel.

After the current betting shop and butchers, the Spread Eagle public house was always a busy (and rowdy) place but has changed hands innumerable times. It did some decent food too. A bit further on, the Balti House Indian take-away has been there a long time (straight across the road from its competitor Cinnamon Spice). Then we have the Old Crown, which was always quieter than the Spread. On the corner of St Mary's Street was the National Westminster Bank, renamed Natwest and later to go the way of all banks. The building was being renovated in 2020 for some other purpose but then it all stopped and someone broke a window in 2020. Who knows what will happen there?

Across the road had been JT Smith's big furniture shop. It was renovated to be re-branded as Jaytees in the noughties and went on-line at the same time. They also had the Shrewsbury Road carpet and curtains shop as an annexe but that was taken over by new owners. A long time ago, JT's also had a shop in Thurlstone. Jaytees furniture shop was struggling against the competition but the last straw had been when the rent was greatly increased by Barnsley Council on behalf of Penistone Grammar School Trust.

JT's were forced to close, and so the rent dried up completely. In 2017, the former Jaytees was transformed into two connected businesses, Cristello's Gin and Wine Bar and Cristello's wedding dress shop. Work on the building had included pumping gallons of water from the cellar. Because of BMBC's licencing conditions, the two businesses were not allowed to be open at the same time. See the History Section for more detail and pictures of old Penistone.

To the left of Jaytees was Mrs. Bailey's cloth shop from the 1960s which became Porter's DIY shop in the 1970s, great for mixing paint to your exact colour. It changed hands but continued as a DIY shop until well into the 'noughties.' In the 1960s, there had been a dentist above the DIY shop, accessible from the alley. In recent times that became the Mint, a gent's hairdressers for a time but it fizzled out. The DIY shop went out of business after rents were doubled (thereby earning no rent at all) and it lay empty for a couple of years before becoming the Pennine Letting Agency after major damp-proofing work. And I do mean major major work. Then it became Butcher Residential.

That corner of Penistone has had some very difficult times. With different landlords, at least three businesses have been driven out of business by their rents being greatly increased: The DIY shop, JT's furniture shop and, more recently, the very popular antiques shop run with its adjacent tea shop on the same corner. The antiques shop became 'the Vault' cafe and 'speakeasy bar' whatever that is.

Formerly the Midland Bank, in April 2016, HSBC bank abandoned Penistone. It closed and made an arrangement with Penistone Post Office to take over some of its activities. Other HSBC Branch closures were at Almondbury, Denby Dale and Holmfirth at around the same time. Then in 2017, Penistone's last remaining bank, the Natwest, announced its closure for June 2018, again with some sort of arrangement with the Post Office.

Market Street in the 60sThe Arthouse

Penistone had never been much of a cafe-orientated town until recent years, when several cafes sprang up in quick succession. Now we have the Arthouse Cafe on Church Street, Cafe Generations on St Mary's Street, Cafe Crème on High Street, the Gregg's take-away put in some tables and chairs, The Loft Coffee Shop (behind the Spread Eagle), Ward's Cafe (fish and chip shop), Julie's Cafe by the Trans-Pennine Trail (formerly a road-side caravan) and most recently The Vault (November 2019) as a bistro and 'Speakeasy' on the top corner of Church Street. It is unlikely that the Vault will sell illicit liquor as in the original US speakeasies.

Further afield, the Windmill Cafe at Royd Moor was refurbished and expanded in 2019 and a new one, the Bistro in the Barn, popped up off Lee Lane, Millhouse Green. Yummy Yorkshire Ice Cream Co (Delph Farm) expanded its coffee shop into a bigger eatery Near High Flatts with hot and cold (or even very cold) things to eat and Sunday dinners (you will know by now that 'dinner' that means 'at dinnertime') and they have events such as Christmas markets and a tractor rally. A small Thai Restaurant appeared on Windmill Lane, High Flatts in recent times (much recommended).

Local public houses have taken a hard bashing over recent years. The Wentworth Arms, Britannia and the Rose and Crown have all closed down but The Smithy Arms micro-pub (and micro-brewery) has opened at the bottom of Bower Hill, Oxspring near the Waggon and Horses. Other micro-breweries have been talked too. See the Cafés page for more about the, er, cafes.

Market StreetHigh Street
Market StreetNatwestOwl

The Start (or End) of Market Street
The first wide picture above is a rainy view of Market Street from the early 2000s and more or less the reference point for this little tour. The white car just beyond the light-coloured Spread Eagle is entering Back Lane, on its way to the marketplace or more likely the Spread Eagle car park around the back. Clark's chemist is the building on the left. If you stand outside Clark's Chemist entrance, look up at the largest chimney stack across the road and look for the owl. It's there, believe me.

The next wide picture is a bit closer. Below them is a similar view to the first but from Jaytee's upstairs window, where their furniture and settees are on show. The Old Crown is the most prominent building on the right of the picture. It is a very old pub and was listed in the West Riding Directory of 1837.

People watchers like me would sit on benches outside either the Rose and Crown, the Spread Eagle or the Old Crown, watching boy racers go by with screeching tyres and thumping noises, like some sort of external heart pace-maker. The Rose and Crown closed down to become 'Pennine Law', an incarnation of the former Dransfield's Solicitors, which were on Church Street.

The middle picture above is of Natwest Bank, right on the corner of St Mary's Street (to close in 2018). On very old photos there was a hardware shop on the same site. Just off the picture to the right is a ladies' hairdresser on St Mary's Street. For many years it was in the Swallow family and famous for its standard 'short-back-and-sides' haircut. It stood empty for years before the new business came in.

The old Cloth Hall
The cloth hall failed as a business in the 19th century but the building had housed a variety of businesses over the years. Clark's Chemist took part of it over in 1899 and eventually took the remaining sections until it became the large shop it is now, and still in the hands of the Clark family. The special display shown below-left was from their centenary celebration in 1999, when each window had its own historic theme.

In the 1960s, Clarks had only the left side of the building, with the Globe Tea Company on the right. The Globe's entrance was on the front of the building where Clark's is now. At that time, Clark's entrance was the middle arch of the Market Place side, facing the Midland Bank which became HSBC and later closed. Clark's old entrance was seamlessly converted into a window and now there's no trace of the old doorway.

There was another row of arches on the ginnel side of the building, now bricked up (last picture here), and that is where the entrance to the old British Legion (on an upper floor) had been before it moved out in the 1970s. Before 1925, the British Legion had been the White Bear public house. The snowy church view below puts the building into context, at the start of Market Street and close to Penistone Church.

AB Clark Clark's side
Clark's front
Snowy Church Clark's ginnel

Up the Street
Penistone Mug from Hallmark Card ShopThe first picture below is of Cinnamon Spice (just after Clark's ginnel), which had been Fieldsend's greengrocer many years ago. Going up its stone steps, Fieldsend's was a very cold shop with no need of a fridge, even at the height of summer. I always pitied the frozen shop girls working there. It has changed hands a few times since then. After a long stint as a café run by Frank Wordsworth's sister, it became Hanwell's café for a few years then 'Carolina's' Italian delicatessen with adjoining café for three or four years. In 2007/8 it became 'Cinnamon Spice', a licensed curry house with a new interior and a good hygiene rating. It sits directly opposite the competing Balti House take-away (which was Horns Inn until 1926).

Next door is Peter Holmes' butcher (red awning), who has occupied this shop for as long as I can recall. The Yorkshire word for a fish & chip shop is a 'Chipoyl' (or 'Chippie') and Ward's chipoyl is next door. Bert Saville had it a long time, followed by Cedrick 'Edric' Foster (who still lives in the area). He took it in the 1980s. Edric also established the 'Saddler's Cafe' around the corner for a cup of tea or a meal, conveniently close to the bus shelter and public toilets. The Yates' family took the business over in the 1990s but the name changed to Ward's some time in the next decade when Penistone shops had some council funds provided to tidy up their frontages.

My favourite at Wards Chip Shop Café is egg, chips and mushy peas, washed down with strong tea. It is a small, friendly place with regular customers and a good place to zone in to the local community (and tune into 'The Grapevine'). Pictures below show the chip shop and café, as seen from Shrewsbury Road, and you can see a door to the barber's shop above the cafe. The bottom row pictures were taken from their window, when it was called 'Scissor Happy'. It is still a hairdressers but in a more traditional style. Top-right is an inside view of the cafe. The plastic chairs have been replaced by better ones.

Shrewsbury Road leads past Harrington's Butcher, the former Frank Platt's electrical shop (where I bought my telly, washing machine, vacuum cleaner and a radio or two), also: the church, The Paramount theatre and a few more businesses before reaching the Railway Station.

Cinnamon Curry HouseChipsChipshop Cafe
Saddler's CafeCo-operative StoreLooking towards Co-op

Crossing the Road
Now we are on the right side of the road in the next set. The first picture below is an old shot of Back Lane leading to the new Market Barn, which is more or less where you see the cars parked. The radio advert said "Battle through the rain and gales", to encourage people to spend their money in Penistone's retail market. This is now the site of the £multi-million Market Barn, built entirely from oak by Carpenter Oak of Totnes. So many changes have taken place in this area and the Market Page hopes to explain it all. The shop just visible to the right is Duncan Roberts' Butcher shop, with a carrier bag tied to its awning to stop pedestrians bashing their heads. Duncan is a well-known character.

Next door used to be the 'World of Video' but is now Chuck McBurney's betting shop, visible in the 2008 picture below, complete with rainbow. Rather quaintly, we call a betting shop a 'Turf Accountant' or 'Bookie' and the windows are, by law, screened out. Go back further and the old red and white sign had read 'RN Brownhill' - referring to an earlier bookie's shop belonging to local historian Dick Brownhill. Chuck McBurney's is conveniently close to the Spread Eagle pub next door, which was hovering on the brink of closing permanently in 2014 but has bounced back as a sports pub.

To the right of the Spread Eagle is Belle Visage beauty parlour. Next to that was Howard and Co. solicitor, now in 'Penistone 1' on St Mary's Street. The shop was formerly Simon Blyth estate agent which also moved around the corner to Penistone 1. The Balti House is next and then the Old Crown. High up on the Balti House wall is printed 'Bentley's Rotherham Ales', belying its older use as the Horns Inn public house (see the Old Inns page). Apart from some cosmetic changes, anyone from a century ago would instantly recognise these buildings.

Back Lane Market St Spread Eagle Balti House

Crossing the Road Again
Now we are back on the left side of the road. The next pictures are across from Back Lane. First is the now-closed (as of 2014) Frank Platts' electrical goods shop on the end of Shrewsbury Road, which became Harrington's Butcher shop. Next, the towering three-storey Rose & Crown on the corner of Shrewsbury Road, with Platt's just visible and an old BT telephone box. Unfortunately, the Rose & Crown's long history as a public house came to an end. It was re-shaped into offices for Dransfield's solicitors, which became Pennine Law. That phone box has gone now, as BT are trying to make their phone boxes disappear from the UK landscape unless they have listed status. The other remaining phone box is by Penistone Church. It is still operational.

Looking up the street after the Rose & Crown, see Penistone IX fashion shop (No.9), Co-op Chemist and Lancaster's estate agent. The picture is a little out of date. In 2015, the Co-op Chemist was re-branded as a Well Pharmacy. In fact the pakistan-based Bestway conglomerate had taken over in 2014 but kept the Co-op name on their pharmacies until 2015. Ours had been famous for its old weighing machine just inside the door until that fell beyond repair. Another victim of the national Co-op disaster was the Co-op Bank (former Britannia Building Society) closing down. After the Chemist shop in the picture is the Lancaster's Estate Agent which became an E-cigarette shop with Lancaster's moving across the road into the former Britannia BS/Co-op Bank premises.

A lane leads down to the Post Office sorting office. Until recent times, Penistone Post Office was down the same lane but moved into GT News on Market Street. Continuing along the street, we have Yorkshire Building Society (not visible here), Zeanti's fashion shop, the Post Office by the pedestrian crossing (former GT News and continuing as PO, newsagent and sweet shop), Greggs' food shop-sort-of-cafe, Barnsley Hospice charity shop, Hallmark card shop, Scrivens optician and Café Cremè at the end. These rather poor pictures of Penistone Parade were taken from the steps outside the Co-op.

Frank PlattsRose & CrownCo-op ChemistPost Office.
The shopsHallmark, etc.Parade 2001Parade 2001

Back to Market Street
The first picture below is a long view looking back down Market street and also out of date now. If you click on it, you will make out GT news (now the Post Office), Greggs' bakery, a red-fronted shop which was a travel agent (now Hallmark Cards), as in the middle picture. Hallmark cards always decorate their window for Yorkshire Day (unlike most others) and have a wide range of Penistone merchandise.

The red-fronted shop is now Barnsley Hospice and perhaps the busiest shop in Penistone. The Post Office could lay claim to having the most people in at any time, but they are mostly queuing. The 2013 panoramic shot covers all of that row of shops in a clearer way than the old picture. The last of the High Street shops are Scrivens opticians and Café Crème and, just off the picture, the dentists and the great little Adore gift shop.

Market Street
High StreetHallmark flies the flagCafe Creme

The Other Side
On the Park Avenue side is the Spar supermarket, with a small car park behind and some parking spaces at the front including the (often disregarded) 'disabled' spot. The first building on the High Street is the Co-operative Food Store. The Co-op had a makeover in 2004 when they installed a new bakery and again in 2010 with new isles, fridges and a lick of paint. In 2017, they had another make-over but took out some back room space to accommodate their new funeral parlour, accessed on Park Avenue and opened in December 2017. The staff say that 'Parlour' is perhaps too grand a name for their Co-op Funeral Services office.

The line-up on Market Street is: the Co-op, Images ladies' hairdresser, Cherrydale Chinese take-away (which had an upstairs restaurant until a death in the proprietor's family made it not worth continuing), next is the former Co-operative Bank building. That was previously the Britannia Building Society and became Lancaster's, Howard and Co solicitor on the picture moved to St Mary's Street, then we have Belle Visage beauty salon, Cheeky Monkeys children's clothes, Happy Days gift and card shop, the 4Life tattoo parlour and the entrance to Back Lane and Market Barn. It's funny that the description of 'Parlour' is only applied to funeral arrangers and tattooists these days.

Just around the corner on Back Lane, before entering the market area, there is Mane Man gent's hairdresser. Next after Back Lane, it's Roberts' family butcher, Chuck McBurney's bookie, trading as McBurney Racing, then the Spread Eagle. The Simon Blyth estate agents moved to St Mary's Street. Then we see the Balti House, the Old Crown and NatWest Bank on the corner with St Mary's Street, before it closes down in 2018. There are two Back Lanes in Penistone, with the Market Barn and Tesco car park cutting it in two parts. The upper part is by Penistone Bowling Club, just above the Tesco car park.

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