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Local Business & Trades


Advert for Blake's Smithy
a 1915 advert for the bootmaking and repair services provided by Bayes & Loak
The cycle making and repair business of William Miles

Details of the main Industries in the town - such as ironstone mining, milling, tanning, the shoe and clothing factories, Weetabix, Alumasc and the public utilities - can be found in the Industry section of the site. However, in order for a town to function effectively, it is dependent on the existence of many other local business- and trades-people.

Retail operations such as shops provided for the food, clothing and many other domestic needs of the population, and the history of the shops of Burton can be followed here. Pubs & Clubs provided for leisure hours, and their story is told in their special section of the site. Local Transport services for people and goods also have their own section.

Beyond all these, there are the other small business and trade operations - blacksmiths, builders, electricians, carpenters, engineers, plumbers, plasterers, painters & decorators, chimney sweeps, glazing firms, nurserymen, undertakers, even cycle repairers. Each had their vital role in providing necessary services. It is easy nowadays to forget how important they all were, since in the latter part of the last century, the growth of central heating reduced the demand for a chimney sweeps and the DIY boom encouraged people to do their own painting, decorating, even electrical work and plumbing.

The many local trades which flourished in the town are now often a distant memory, and the only evidence outside the families involved may be the survival of old adverts and bills. We present a selection of material from our archives as a window into an age of a bustling, thriving town whose workforce enjoyed full employment.

Click here for Sundry Local Businesses

If any former tradespeople, or members of the family of former tradespeople, would be willing to share details, stories, photos and other material, we would be grateful if they would contact us. We would be only too willing to expand a namecheck or the image of a bill or advert into a full feature. This site exists to record all aspects of the life of the town, past and present.

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