Here is another previously unpublished photograph of Lark Lane in 1893. The horse-drawn omnibus is advertising the Liverpool Overhead Railway, which had commenced services in January of that year. The shops behind the omnibus are William Truesdale (grocer), Elizabeth Handley (tobacconist) and, on the right of Truesdale, Arnold Thomas (glass and china dealer) and the Wesleyan Chapel.
Back then, Lark Lane had a good mix of shops including bakers, shoe and boot manufacturers, a stationers, a saddler, milliner, fish and game dealer, grocers, butcher etc.
Sadly, like many similar suburban shopping streets, the diversity has gone; in Lark Lane’s case to be replaced by bars and restaurants. Perhaps with the ever-increasing cost of transport, people will look towards local areas more favourably, although the relentless spread of supermarkets has probably seen off all but a few specialists. How many more Tesco’s can South Liverpool take? Should we care? I think the list of trades in 1893 and the skills they represented says we should. Why can’t we turn back the clock and recreate suburban centres of specialist retailers who care about serving their community.

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