Saturday, May 9, 2009

When M&S didn't mean M&S

Grainger Market
Only in recent times has M&S become synonymous with Marks & Spencer but up until the 1970's, in Manchester it stood for Manchester & Salford. On the high street besides the M&S Co-op there was the M&S Trustee Savings Bank. Not that people would say 'Manchester & Salford' as there was no need. There were numerous charitable and religious institutions with M&S in their title. For example the Manchester & Salford Playing Fields Association or the M&S Street Missions. So when you see old buildings in Manchester with a stone carved with M&S it won't mean the famous UK retailer.

Recently in Newcastle, the big one on the River Tyne and spotted an original Marks & Spencer Penny Bazaar. It still operates as the smallest branch of the retail giant and it's in the fascinating Grainger Market. Worth a visit, a pleasant shopping experience.

Footnote :
Manchester was designated a city in 1853, whilst Salford was not given that status until 1926

Further reading :
Mentions the origins of the M&S Playing Fields Society (PDF)
M&S Street Missions at Wood Street Mission
List of Bank mergers (it doesn't mention M&S Trustee Savings Bank though but does record the M&S Permanent Benefit Building Society)

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