VAL Hesketh writes: “I was most interested in reading your article on Duke Street and the reference to Anne Barrow, who is my mother. Although in poor health, Mum is still living age 97.

“Mum had her shop, Anne Barrow - a posh ladies dress shop - in Duke street (from the age of 19) until she had to move to North Road due to redevelopment by the Council (now part of the Doctors’ Surgery).

“She finally retired at age 72. She was no relation to Shaws. For the record. Mums brother, who was manager of Harts store in Church Street, was married to Ena Shaw’s sister Lilian.

"Anne Barrow was the third shop up from Mill Street, next door was Wareings, then I think Roberts cake shop. The posh childrens wear shop next to the Capital was owned by Mrs Barron.

“I am always interested in your articles if I can pick the paper up. I don't live in the area so have to call at Rainford Junction Post Office to see if they have one spare.”

Richard Waring also added: “Ref the interest in Duke Street, Little Mum! was correct in the position of the Volunteer Pub.

“This corner shop was one of the first Driving Schools to have premises in St Helens, next door was Anne Barrows clothes shop (54). Then 48/52 was Frank Warings Cycle, Radio and later Television shop/workshop, Lancasters Motor suppliers exhausts etc. was at (46) I believe this was the place where Ashalls were before moving to Hard Lane).

“Roberts Cafe/ pie shop was next (at 44) "Great Pies"and a little cafe upstairs, Both Lancasters & Roberts had access at the rear of these premises via Leech Street, which was a short street having only four houses (two each side) Frank Warings also had access to their workshop/ shop along this narrow street.

“I can’t remember what the numbers of the other shops were, but they included Priests Prams/ Toys/ Baby shop, Shields Fish Mongers, Benny Brooks Sports/ Fishing Tackle/ Gun Shop, (Benny was a nice Fella), Shaws Curtain shop was next with workshop on first floor I think the family name was Potter but the name Shaw was possibly retained from the maiden name of Ena Shaw, later Mrs Potter?" The Cap" (Capital picture house) was at the top of Duke Street.

“Back to the Volunteer, opposite the pub was the Ford Motor Company Showroom on the corner! Behind this was the service garage for the vans and cars. Ernie Buckley had his Cigs/Paper shop.

Just higher up The Duke of Cambridge did not allow Women in the bar till much later on (poss into the early 60s! I think it was because of the swearing. That was then not done.

“The cul de sac mentioned by Eileen was a row of 17th/18th century cottages set back from the road.

These were an old Chapel many years ago, I think possibly Methodist. I found this interesting because, according to some of the old Deeds, for 48/52 Duke Street the freehold belonged to Lowe House Church, which of course is Catholic.

"I suppose an even older church existed around North Road /Crab Street because a lot of human remains/skeletons, were found during road /sewer works in the late 50s/early 60s.

“Just as a closing note Chris… all the area around Duke Street was known as DUKE STREET IN THE MEADOW.

“Another interesting thing is before my dad, Frank, bought 48/52 Duke Street, it was owned by Topping Bros. Old Jim Topping produced a bike and called it THE DUKE. I hope this has been some use to you Richard Waring (Parrite) in Exile in Haydock.”

MIKE Clarke writes from Fleet Lane: “The house adjoining the Volunteer Inn is 62 Duke Street. I was born there in September 1947.

“It was the home of my mother's family, the Butlers. Two of my mum's brothers played for the Saints. Edward Butler was a wingman in the 1935/36 season.

Albert Butler was fullback or centre from 1933 to 1948, his career being interrupted by the Second World War. He was also captain of the club, and went on to coach the 'A' team, in the 1950s. My family moved out of the property in 1951.

“I subsequently attended Lowe House School, in Crab Street. After school, some of us would often visit two of the shops, previously mentioned in your column. Benny Brooke's was primarily a sports outfitters, but we would go there, to check out the latest Dinky racing cars.

“Crossing the road, we would sneak a look at the 'top shelf' magazines, in Buckley's side window. Happy days!”