Dawson's general Store on the High Street at numbers 67 to 69, has been recalled by residents because of his bikes!! I am told it was the only shop in town that gave you a uniform, a white hat and apron, for the lads that used to carry out deliveries for him on the bikes, although his son, Stephen, tells me this was not the case at all, and it is possibly Booths at 21 High Street to which they were referring.
The family moved into the shop in 1951, from the Blackburn area. Albert and Joan had bought the shop from Mr. and Mrs Phillips (she was called Alice).
Albert's first mode of transport was a motorbike and sidecar, though he had the sidecar replaced with a long rectangular box into which went the orders (groceries), thus he was a well known sight round Rishton and if I remember rightly, looking like a latter-day Biggles!
Both his son, Stephen, and his daughter, Lynn, used to enjoy the occasional ride in this box which, even then, to do so was illegal, and explains why Albert always kept the lid shut and gave strict instructions not to peek out! Because of our climate's inclemency the motorbike and box were soon replaced with his 1st car, a pre-war Jowett, after which there were too many to mention, but suffice it to say, he progressed to a Rover 100 (in which Stephen passed his Driving Test) in 1964.
The shop was noted for its curved double fronted window, unlike a lot of shops in the town, the glass curved round and into the entrance to the shop. The shop ceased trading about 1967 - 68.
The shop thrived, and around 1955 the Dawson's bought number 2 Noble Street, which was just across the back from the shop. They lived there for three years until 1958 when they bought the next door confectioners shop (No. 67) from Tom Coulton, whose wife Mary had then recently died. After extensive alterations, including the removal of large baking ovens at the rear of the shop, the two shops were knocked into one.
The shop was popularly known as the "Mace Shop" MACE being an organisation of independent grocers that bought their stock from Morris Jones Ltd. Wholesalers at Whitebirk.
Because of the increase in living space over the two shops, in 1958 the Dawsons sold No. 2 Noble St. and moved back into the now spacious flat above the shop and eventually, in about 1977, they sold the shop to a Mr. and Mrs. Wilkinson, who subsequently sold it to Andy and Florence (sorry I don't know their Surnames but they live opposite the chip shop on Brooke St!). They sold it to the off-licence chain "Threshers" which closed in 2003.
In a peculiar coincidence, the Dawson's, around 1969, bought No. 10 George St., Miss Grimshaw's House! In 1971 'Stephen and his wife' moved into the flat above the shop with their baby daughter Kirsti. It is when his parents sold the shop that they also sold no. 10 George St and moved to Clifton St. where my Joan was still living at the ripe old age of 83 in 2005.
Albert Dawson died In October 1993 at the age of 73 yrs.
Joan Dawson passed away in May 2009 at the age of 87, suffering greatly with the passing of her son in 2007.
Her son Stephen, passed away in July 2007, after contributing to this website for which we are greatly indebted.
They leave a daughter and Grand Daughter, Kirsti Potter, who now resides in Scotland, but remembers her time well living above the shop, and life in Rishton.
Jimmy Taylor's was another at 71 Talbot Street, this was took over in later years by Gladys McLauglin. The shop sold cooked meats, tins, shoe laces, and just about anything you could think of!