Was Leak & Thorp really the “Selfridges of York”?


IT was a York retailing landmark and arguably the jewel in the crown of Coney Street for over a century.

Our photo from the York Press archive today shows department store Leak & Thorp, dating from the late 1980s just before it closed.

In recent years, the units have been occupied by Next, Monsoon, and River Island.

Leak & Thorp began life on March 11, 1848, when William Leak opened premises at 35 Parliament Street. He began with just one or two assistants. In 1869, the shop moved to Coney Street, to a new building put up on the site of The George.

The store survived the First World War, and later the Depression. But was destroyed by a fire in 1933.

But the store was rebuilt – and prided itself on being the “Selfridges of York”.

In our photo today, the sign outside boasts that is its “York’s big department store” and points to “restaurants on the 3rd floor”.

We’d love to hear your memories and see your old photos of Leak & Thorp. Send them direct to our newsroom via the Send Now button below – and why not share them on our Facebook group Why We Love York – Memories. Click here to join today, or visit: facebook.com/groups/yorknostalgia/

Maxine Gordon

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