Leys Avenue

Images from the past

By Daphne Knott

Lilian Anderson
First Garden City Heritage Museum
Early shops
First Garden City Heritage Museum
A day out
First Garden City Heritage Museum

How much has Leys Avenue changed? Do you remember what it was like in the past?

Do add a comment or look at the Are You Being Served? pages on this website.

This page was added on 15/06/2010.

Comments about this page

  • There was a small shop in Leys Avenue, next to Squires Dairy, where you could buy all manner of household goods, brushes, brooms, cleanser, etc. and I believe paint and wallpaper. I’m not sure, but it may have been called Cakebread & Robey.

    By Bob Forster (02/05/2021)
  • I remember that my sister worked in the Home & Colonial store just up from the arcade in Leys avenue,think it was around mid to late fifties. I left Pixmore secondary school in 1962 and went to work at the Palace cinema as projectionist for about five years. Also done a bit at the Broadway as it was owned by the same company. The Beatles were booked to perform at the Broadway but got cancelled because they hit the big time. Remember Gene Vincent comming very popular at the time. Have some fond memories of the cinema’s.

    By Pete Williams (22/10/2020)
  • Squires Dairy, I remember very well, up a couple of steps, a narrow shop with counter running down the right hand side, it always had a lovely smell. Thinking about Woolworths, at the back of the store it had a hardware section and also rolls of Lino. To this day I can recall the smell as you went to this area.

    By Geoff Harris (25/08/2020)
  • The Billiard Hall was actually above Burtons, mens tailors just up from Woolworths. It was not uncommon for this in other towns. In the 1950s here is a list of shops I remember starting with Leys Avenue. Hoopers (chemist) Spinks (men’s clothes) Nobles (John Noble sweet shop) Letchworth Bacon Shop, The Wool Shop, Sketchley (dry cleaners remember the lady in the window mending nylons?) Bakers (newsagent) The Willow Cafe (Notts the Bakers) Rowlinsons (men’s tailors) Nicholls (diapers and ladies clothes) W H Smith, John H Green (furniture store) W B Moss &Son (lovely grocery store) The Health Food Shop (owned by Moss my favourite, lovely sticky buns in large glass case) Marshalls the green grocer next to which was an Opticians. The other side of Leys Avenue, Andersons (sweet shop, remember Mr Anderson always had a matchstick in the corner of his mouth), The One Hour Shoe Service (owned by the Coles family) Several shop fronts which started with one and gradually increased selling furniture (think it was Reeds will check) Pyman (jewellers) Thackers (tobacconist Sid Thacker was quite a character) Bustins (men’s, ladies and children’s shoes. Had the machine which X-Rayed your feet) Rand (electrical shop) Spinks (the larger store selling ladies clothes, habidashery etc) Bradburn ? (Butchers) Boots the Chemist. Gavin Jones (green grocer) Woolworths (who remembers the machine that sold hot salted peanuts?) McFisheries (wet fish) Burtons (men’s
    tailors) Brookers (furniture also had the top shop in The Arcade) across from The Arcade was another ladies shop, name escapes me, The Maypole (grocers) Llewellyns (lovely hardware store also sold seeds and bulbs) Findlays (tobacconist and men’s hairdressers). I might not have these all in the exact position order, but these are the shops I remember opinion Leys Avenue. I will add names from the other streets at a later date.

    By Geoff Harris (19/08/2020)
  • Anyone remember the billiard hall above Woolies? I never saw the inside was not old enough! Squires dairy ? and W H Smith where every week I bought a transparent folder of postage stamps for my collection. Encouraged by Mr Borer headmaster at Pixmore School who had a fabulous collection of stamps, and greatly approved by the geography teacher Mrs Gardner who said collecting foreign stamps was a great help in learning geography.

    By EDWARD BADGER (12/06/2018)

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