Gallagher’s Stores, Crown Street, 1925

Irwins, Myrtle Street, 1920s

Commercial photographers had to be a versatile lot to survive. From weddings and portraits to the occasional commercial commission, it was never an easy occupation, particularly in the poorer areas where money was scarce. One common practice was to photograph proud shop owners outside their premises, ideally with all their staff so extra copies could be sold.
The photographs might be of often mundane premises but time has added an extra dimension. A proud Mrs Gallagher stands alongside her daughter in the doorway of her newsagents. Posters advertising films at Olympia and The Tunnel Picturedrome date the photograph to 1925. The second photograph of Irwins grocery at 68 Myrtle Street is probably of the same period. The staff of seven, all smartly dressed, were part of a large Liverpool chain with head offices in Orwell Road (Kirkdale) and over 100 outlets throughout the area.
Thanks again to Colin Weekes for allowing me to post these fascinating pieces of social history.

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