Saturday 2 July 2011


Photo: Peter Cox

These photographs, taken on Thursday 30th June by Peter Cox, show Niddrie's shop in Lewin Street during its last few days as a toy and bicycle shop. We welcome your memories of shopping at this Middlewich institution; the toys you bought (or had bought for you); the cycles you had as a child; the encounters you had with the Niddrie family over the years. They were a cheerful, helpful lot in the 'old-fashioned shopkeeper' tradition and had items of stock going back many many years. I remember buying bicycle pump clips from old Mrs Niddrie in the 1970s, or early 80s. She said it was the first pair she'd sold since the 1930s, but she still knew exactly where to find them in one of the myriad small wooden drawers which held such esoteric sundries.
The second photo shows the end of the shop, facing the White Horse. The huge banners in the windows leave no one in any doubt that the shop is closing and that  MASSIVE bargains are to be had.
Niddries started life in 1918 in a small shop across the road from this one.
Then, of course, there was also Niddries Coaches. Perhaps you have memories of going off on a day trip to Blackpool or the Lake District 'on Niddries', driven by Ian or, later, Philip 'The Singing Coach Driver' who really does have a voice to be reckoned with.
Or maybe you remember the celebrated 'Niddrie's Biscuit Tin', the school bus about which a famous song was sung by generations of children? We don't know the words, but we know a man who does, and we'll be publishing them here for posterity before too long.
So let's have your Niddries memories and photos.
It is, after all, the End of an Era!
Photo: Peter Cox
UPDATE 1st July 2012: Work began on demolition of the building at the end of June 2012

On Facebook, Geraldine Williams said:
Niddrie's Biscuit Tin used to convey Catholic children from Holmes Chapel to St Mary's. We once went with Ian Niddrie on a Scottish tour which was very interesting because Ian had an encyclopaedic knowledge of Scotland but did involve many lunchtime stops at Woollen Mills (drivers' perks!). The only fault with Niddrie's tours was the many pick-up points in the local towns - you could be on the bus for well over an hour and still be in Mid-Cheshire!
My cousin built up an amazing train set by buying Hornby items on a weekly basis from Niddrie's with his pocket-money.

On Facebook, Jonathan Williams said:

Yes, my cousin Mike Hatton and I and a few of the lads : Paul Hodgkinson, Ian Ogden et al (Good lad, al !) went on Niddries coaches to Man City c 1976 was my first time. So many pick-up points along the way. We set off for the opening fixture versus Stoke in August and got there in time for the Boxing Day fixture against Newcastle !

1 comment:

  1. Margaret Williams3 July 2012 00:54
    I still have some Dinky Cars which belonged to my late husband. His Aunties used to buy them for him from Niddries...some prices are still written on the boxes in faded pencil 2/11 or 2/6 etc. Looking forward to the words of the song from your "man who knows" I can only remember the first few lines.
    Niddries had a biscuit tin all tied up with string
    Wheels without it's mudguards seat without it's spring!!!!

    Ah well we all move on life is a roller coaster :)


Leave your comments here. Please note that comments are moderated and, if they are particularly relevant, may be incorporated into the original diary entry.