Take a walk down Manchester Road from Stocksbridge to Deepcar and see what's on offer
This is based on an article which appeared in the Penistone, Stocksbridge and Hoyland Express 21 December 1900, p8
Quoted text is in italics and advertisements are as close to 1900 as I can find them. Clicking on the photographs will give more information but I'm afraid I am having trouble getting the text to fit when photos are viewed on a mobile phone.
Stocksbridge Shop Windows
Christmas Displays and Decorations
“Manchester Road, Stocksbridge, where at the present time a much more attractive appearance than is usually the case, and a perambulation of that important thorough [fare] is rendered more enjoyable, but rather difficult, on account of the very nice appearance of the shop windows of the various tradesmen, who have vied with each other as to who could show their Xmas goods to the best advantage. One often hears and reads of the need to take care of your pocket, though this warning is generally given on account of pickpockets. In this case, however, it is necessary to beware lest the charming influence brought to bear upon the eyes prove too powerful for the head, and thereby empties the pocket before the bewildered owner has had time to fairly consider the important question of ways and means. Of the substantial things of life, which English people, particularly at this time of year, consider essential, they are to be seen in abundance, and of a quality which would take some surpassing. In addition to edibles, clothing of all kinds is displayed in its most attractive forms.”
“While, as regards the articles one could buy in the way of Christmas presents, the choice is so large and varied as to leave the intending purchaser in considerable doubt as to what would be the most suitable article to invest in. in this direction, MRS. E. THICKETT, draper and ladies’ and gent’s outfitter, may be said to take the lead, that lady having given her windows up to a special show of Christmas presents. She has succeeded in drawing more attention to her windows than, probably, anyone else in the district. One window is devoted to children’s toys, and dolls, to cheer the hearts of little girls, can be obtained from a penny to something nearly approaching a pound. Boys can be made happy with engines, musical instruments, and mechanical toys, too numerous to mention. On the other side, Christmas presents can be chosen from ladies’ gloves, gent’s ties, pictures, bronzes, artificial flowers, music cases, Dorothy bags, Christmas cards, scents, and a host of other goods, all of which have been displayed to great advantage, for in point of artistic arrangement and display of colour, Mrs. Thickett has proved to be most adept.”
“Further down the road, MRS. BLACKBURN has decked out her windows in a most neat fashion, and has chiefly concerned herself with showing children’s garments, in which that lady has shown both taste and good judgement, and made a fair bid for popular support this Christmas-time.”
“RICKETTS have also confined themselves to showing articles generally required by ladies and gentlemen, and have a good display of umbrellas, ties, collars, hats, bonnets, and many other useful articles. All the windows have been dressed with artistic care, and are worthy of more than a passing glance.”
Crossing the road and venturing back towards Stocksbridge centre, next up is the Co-operative Stores.
“In the drapery department at the Stores special lines in Xmas presents are to be seen, and the windows are nicely arranged, so far as space permits. Customers here, however, don’t need much attraction, as they generally walk in and ask for the article they require.”
“In other departments, a varied assortment of serviceable articles, suitable for Xmas presents, is to be found in the windows of H. Crosby.” A similar article of 1901 says he sold suits for men and boys, boots, blankets and sheets, gold and silver jewellery, china and bric-a-brac. Harry Crosby was a pawnbroker and outfitter who also had a shop in Sheffield. He lived in Rotherham and employed a manager at Stocksbridge called Harry Oliver. The 1901 article places the shop between Mrs. Thickett’s and John Webb’s.