The Heart of Penistone Market Town

This page introduces you to the main shopping street through Penistone. It has seen many cosmetic changes but the general appearance has not changed significantly over the last century. Market Street seamlessly blends into High Street at the junction with Park Avenue, with Gregg's being No 1 High Street and the latter continues quite a long way to meet with Mortimer Road. These thumbnail pictures are all shapes and sizes before I standardised them. Some pictures are very old, very small or very poor quality. My apologies for that.

The Changing Face of the Town Centre
Older residents will remember Penistone's retail market on the site of the current Spar supermarket, and how open it was to the elements (Market History page). They will also remember the coffee smells from Ferguson's shop (which became the dentist's); also Risden Woodcock's hardware shop (it was always 'coming in next week'); Purdey's wallpaper shop; Raymond Smith's Radio and TV shop; another Mr Smith next door selling sweets and Charlesworth's clothes shop (official supplier of PGS uniforms) which is now the very excellent Yorkshire Building Society. In the 1960s, Clay's tobacconist shop was where Zeanti is now, next to Charlesworth's. There was also wallpaper shop next to the Spar which later became part of the Spar.

Fieldsend's freezingly-cold greengrocer shop was very popular but they never needed a refrigerator, even at the height of summer. That is now the Cinnamon Spice Indian restaurant (see below). Going back to the 1950s, Penistone had an employment agency and an electricity showroom.

Cafe Creme is the last shop before the dentist but it had been the Conservative Party office with over most of the time, occasional jumble sales to raise funds. It looked derelict until it became a Halifax agency/financial advisors and later a café. In the same building, still owned by the Conservatives and above the current Café Cremè, Penistone FM's studios arrived in 2009.

Shop-front refurbishments, licks of paint and new signages appeared in 2005, financed by the 'Market Town Initiative'. The long-time travel agent which later became 'Travelworld' had now turned into the Barnsley Hospice charity shop. The 'World of Video' became Chuck McBurney's betting shop. Mrs. Bailey's cloth shop next to JT's became Mrs. Porter's DIY shop in the 1970s, it changed hands again but continued as a DIY shop until well into the 'noughties'. In the 1960s, there was a dentist above the DIY shop, accessible from the alley. That is now the Mint gent's hairdressers.

The DIY shop went out of business after its rents were doubled (thereby earning no rent at all) and lay empty for a couple of years before becoming the Pennine Letting Agency after major damp-proofing work. Then it became Butcher Residential. JT's furniture had a refurbishment, to be re-branded Jaytees and moving into on-line business. They also had the Shrewsbury Road carpet and curtains shop but that was taken over by new owners.

In April 2016, HSBC bank 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. Then in 2017, Penistone's last remaining bank, Natwest, announced its closure for June 2018, again with some sort of arrangement with the Post Office.

In 2017, work was going on in the former JT Smith's furniture shop to turn it into a new business (as yet unknown). It which had been driven out of business through greatly-increased rents imposed by Barnsley Council on behalf of Penistone Grammar School Trust. The work included pumping gallons of water from the cellar.

See the History Section for more detail and pictures of old Penistone.

Market Street in the 60sThe Arthouse

Café Changes
Various eateries have been and gone over the years. The Vicarage Tea Rooms (by the old Post Office) enjoyed a long reign but finally closed in 2008, leaving elderly organ concert visitors with fewer options for a sit-down meal and cup of tea. That was to change. The Rose & Crown stepped in with food and refreshments, then a new cafe sprang up in place of the Halifax office. SK's Café opened in June 2009 and was popular from day one, later to be renamed Café Cremè.

In a relatively short space of time, three more cafes arrived to supplement Ward's Chippie/Café and (for a time) the three pubs who did food. 2010 brought along The Loft - an upstairs coffee bar near the market. In 2011, the ArtHouse Café arrived on Church Street and introduced Penistone to a new experience, with a delicatessen, café and art gallery combined. 2013 brought along two new ideas: The Vintage Tearoom, adjacent to a new antiques shop near Penistone Church and Greggs installed seating for customers to eat and drink there. Café Generation was the most recent, in 2014, and an eat-in cafe or restaurant has long been proposed for the coal drops, when they eventually become shops. See the Cafés page for more detail.

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 StreetHigh Street
Hallmark flies the flag
Cafe 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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