Newsagent turns back the clock

Keighley News: New owner Sukhjit Singh has re-opened the long-established newsagent’s shop, in Oakworth Road, as a convenience store under the original owner’s family name New owner Sukhjit Singh has re-opened the long-established newsagent’s shop, in Oakworth Road, as a convenience store under the original owner’s family name

An Oakworth Road newsagents which sold the Keighley News for over a century before closing five years ago, is again selling the paper under its original business name.

In was in March of 1899 that Amos Dewhirst, a former woolsorter from Oxenhope, opened his shop in a front room opening onto the main road.

His family ate in the kitchen behind and slept in the bedrooms above. Though basically a newsagent, stationer and tobacconist, he also dealt in such varied sidelines as toys, musical instruments, patent medicines and costume accessories.

His records – which he saved from the day he opened – reveal that during the Boer War there was a craze for khaki stationery, badges showing portraits of generals, and Union Jacks, especially to celebrate the Relief of Mafeking in 1900.

The Dewhirst family sold out in 1970, but the business continued under a succession of proprietors before standing empty for some years.

“Older customers were still calling the shop ‘Dewhirst’s’ says Mr Sukhjit Singh, who has recently re-opened the shop as a convenience store selling local newspapers, “so as I am interested in Keighley traditions, I decided to bring back its original name.”

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