In August 2023, the charity shop Headway was at 47 Station Street. The charity works to improve life after brain injury. This charity shop had been there since at least August 2009. However, in October 2008, Buywise were there but the building was said to be “under offer“.
In response to this post, in November 2023, contributors on Kirkby-in-Ashfield People and Kirkby Living Memory Facebook Groups noted that it had recently closed. Tracey Parry Iliffe was one of these contributors. She had been the manager of the Headway shop. Pauline Chambers asked about this on Kirkby-in-Ashfield People Facebook Group on 7 November 2023. A mumber of contributors confirmed that it had closed. Tracey Parry Iliffe explained that “too much work needs doing to the actual building“.
In an earlier post, Jane Symonds, a volunteer at the shop expressed concern that the shop might close. She explained that Headway is a charity close to her heart as “it is for head injuries and I lost my dear brother with such an injury“. She noted that the shop provided a place for people to come for a chat and it also provided volunteers with valuable retail experience. In comments on this post, contributors appreciated the welcoming environment, convenient opening times, the low prices and the retail experience offered to volunteers, including students. They also commented on the good cause the shop supported.
I am grateful to Jane Phillips for pointing out, through a comment on Kirkby-in-Ashfield Facebook Group, that she worked for Klick Photography there until March 2004 when she was made redundant. The shop closed later that year. Jackie was unsure how long the shop had been there but she noted “we didn’t have access to upstairs even though no one lived there it was a rental cost decision“.
In 1941, Edgar Coates, an outfitters, was located at number 47. He had been assistant to Tommy Banks previously. At that time, it seems he also had a confectionery shop at 62a Station Street. I have assumed this later became his showroom at 64 Station Street. In adverts from both both 1953 and 1969, Edgar Coates had a shop at number 47 and a showroom over the road at number 64. In 1950 and 1953, he also had a shop in Mansfield Road Blidworth. It appears he opened the shop in 1933 and handed it over to Mike Abbott in 1976.
Miss C E B Lane
In 1928, Miss C E B Lane was a milliner at number 47. Her first names were Cassandra Emily Beatrice.
Both Lane Millinery and Coates Gents Outfitters appear on Jacques’ List of Station Street retailers circa 1920-1940.
Memories of 47 Station Street
In her book(let) “I Also Remember“, Edith Searson implies that this shop was next door to Newcombes and, for some time, Tommy Banks operated from here. Although, in 1928, he had a shop at 31 Station Street, he could well have operated from here at some point, perhaps with his assistant, Edgar Coates, later taking the business on.
In a comment on the Kirkby-in-Ashfield Facebook Group, George Roe recalled a vivid memory of going to Edgar Coates with his mother to buy a cap. He opened a big drawer full of them. Mark Stafford recalled that his grandad was in the war with Edgar Coates. Apparently, “he told me when I was young that it was him and Edgar won the war, a few tales over the years about them two…” He also noted that he went to the shop when Mike Abbott ran it.
In his book “The Mystery of Ernie Taylor’s Abdomen” (p73), Jonathan Evans refers to Edgar Coates’ shop on Kingsway noting that it was decked out in red and white when Nottingham Forest reached the 1959 FA Cup Final. I am grateful to Jonathan for pointing out on the Kirkby Living Memory Facebook Group that this was in fact an error and to Linda Knowles for helping identify that the shop in question belonged to a different gents’ outfitters, Edwin Wickins who was based at 26 Kingsway.
In more recent times, Mike Abbott had a clothes shop at 47 Station Street. He took over the business from Edgar Coates in 1976 and was based there until he retired in 1998. Apparently, he was also a cricket historian and was involved in a book about Harold Larwood by Duncan Hamilton. He also volunteered at Kirkby Heritage Centre. Chris Kidger noted, in a comment on Kirkby-in-Ashfield Facebook Group, that the Heritage Centre still uses the till from Mike Abbott’s shop.
Recollections of Mike Abbott and His Shop
In comments on Kirkby Living Memory Facebook Group, Frank Ball noted that “Mike Abbott is still around. He had a great shop“. Des Bud Chambers commented that he lives on the same street and that he thought he was now 81. Arthur Bend recalled him as a “top man“. David Meredith recalled having the odd drink with him in the Winston pub in the sixties/early seventies. He also commented, “used to buy quite a lot of my clothes from him also, a gentleman“. Jon Palfreyman recalled getting school uniforms there “a long time ago“.
Residents of 47 Station Street
In 1939, no-one was recorded as living at 47 Station Street.
In 1921, Albert William and Esther Lane were at 47 Station Street with their two children. The eldest was a daughter, Cassandra E B (b1896). The second is listed as a son but the name is transcribed as Edna William, born 1886. To be honest, that is what the name looks like but the age looks like 26 which would make the year of birth circa 1895. Albert was listed as a school master, Cassandra as a milliner (see above) and E William as a mining engineer and surveyor at New Hucknall Colliery. Also with them were two visitors, Bertha and Beatrice A Sharley. The latter was listed as a school teacher. Florence Burton was also with them and was listed as an assistant milliner.
In 1911 and 1901, the Lanes were also living there. In 1911, they occupied 45 also. They are listed as William Albert and Jane Esther in 1901. She is described as a milliner. Their children’s names are given as William Edrick (b1896) and Cassandra Emily Beatrice (b1897). In 1901, they had a servant Elizabeth Christian with them and, in 1911, an assistant milliner, Ellen Cheetham.