Mansfield Building Society
“Now”, the Mansfield Building Society occupies 48 Station Street. They have been there since at least October 2008.
“Then”, there was another grocer at number 48, J D Marsden Ltd. This was the post office that Mark Ashfield describes in “Christmas Pigs and a Summer Donkey” (p25). He identifies the postmaster as Jim Bailey. P. Office Bailey/Marsden Grocer appears on Jacques’ List of Station Street retailers circa 1920-1940.
Memories of the Post Office
Edith Searson, in her book(let) “I Also Remember“, describes how she applied to Mr Bailey for a job. She was told that she was too old! This was because she was a week over 16 and, apparently, for this job, she had to be under 16. She noted that she had finished school at 13 so had no special qualifications but she understood from Mr Bailey that age was the only issue. Also, she recalled that Mr Bailey was helped in the Post Office by his sister, Mrs Hepworth. She notes, “I regarded her with awe, as I seem to remember she had a gold tooth! I can’t be sure of this detail, remember please, I was only a child, 68 years ago.“
James Toon Bailey
I believe Jim Bailey’s full name was James Toon Bailey. He was born in 1887. Interestingly, according to the 1901 census, he was living with William Henry Wightman and was described as his step-son. His mother, Elizabeth, was William Henry’s second wife. His father, Elizabeth’s first husband, was also called James Toon. The younger James Toon Bailey had two sisters living with him in 1901 Alice (b1889) and Nellie (Helen) (b1893). Alice is the Mrs Hepworth referred to above as she married Harold S Hepworth in 1911. James Toon Bailey married Nellie Elizabeth Thorpe in 1906. In 1911, he and Nellie were living with her parents at the Musters Arms in Annesley, where her father John was landlord. James Toon Bailey applied for an exemption from military service to Kirkby Tribunal.
Memories of Baileys
Charles Reynard, in commenting on Kirkby Living Memory Facebook Group, recalled that Baileys had a pet shop, “As young lads my brother and l bred mice and hamsters. We sold the youngsters to a number of pet shops locally. One such shop was Baileys which stood next to the Trustees Savings Bank. Later the bank bought the pet shop and thus extended their modernised premises. The Bailey’s already had a second pet shop in Hucknall and continued their business from there. The loss of the pet shop meant we were no longer able to pinch a dog biscuit from the sacks outside the shop. Chewing a dog biscuit made the wait for either the number 61 or 84 bus decidedly more acceptable.”
I am not sure if this Baileys relates to James Toon Bailey. The description of the location seems more in keeping with the other side of Station Street where Lloyds Bank was (#37). Wightman’s were there and there is a family link between the Baileys and the Wightmans.
Based on an advert in the 1971 Free Press, posted by Alwyn Bowskill on Kirkby Living Memory Facebook Group, it seems that washing machine and cleaner retailers and suppliers, Kirkbys, were based at 48 Station Street. From the advert, they were also Rediffusion agents.
Grandad mentioned using them for television repairs from 1961 although in the diaries it looks like Kirklys. In a discussion on Kirkby Living Memory Facebook Group contributors thought the name was Kirbys, Kirkbys or Kirklees. While the majority view seemed to be Kirbys, Frank Ball shared an advert for washing machine repairs which clearly named the firm as Kirkbys and located it at 44 Kingsway. They also repaired grandma and grandad’s Thor washer in 1961 and Florrie Booth’s Hoover vacuum cleaner the same year. According to that diary entry, they were based on Kingsway. The discussion on Kirkby Living Memory noted that Kirkbys later moved to Station Street.