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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Once Upon A Time On Abingdon Street

For those of us with long enough memories the name 'Bateson's' will bring back immediate memories of a Blackpool institution - namely the leading toy and hobby shop in the town centre. Located on Abingdon Street in the 1950s then a thriving commercial thoroughfare which also boasted 'Coop & Naylor' - a quality book and stationary store, as well as 'Hunters' the upmarket mens apparel and store on the corner with Clifton Street. The GPO was actually a busy major postal office with various departments and counters; trams of course rumbled frequently past Abingdon Street Market - also a thriving venue in the era before out of town retail centres or supermarkets.

Bateson's was forever a mecca for youngsters eager to see the latest models and train sets among what was a bustling emporium in those now far off days. A model railway was always operating upstairs (there were two levels) and friendly assistants on hand to explain the pros and cons of potential gifts for this or that relative - or young family member's birthday.

I chanced upon a reminder of the family business when scouring the inevitable online marketplace last week. A great period 'snap' of the Bateson's delivery van from the late 1920s registration number FR 9523 - possibly a Morris commercial chassis ?

Free delivery to your door is obviously nothing new ! With an easy to remember phone number - 194. The location of the photo is a mystery - ideas anyone ?

Photo : John Woodman Archive

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