Retirement of Mr George Appleyard – 40 years in business

February 1907

Mexborough & Swinton Times, February 9, 1907

40 years in business.
Retirement of Mr George Appleyard, of Conisborough.

After a successful business career extending over 40 years, Mr George Appleyard, of Croft House, Conisborough, is retiring into private life.

Mr Appleyard was usually described as a general dealer, his business comprising furnishing and undertaking, drapery, boots and shoes, etc; grocery and provision; and removal contracting.

Mr W. H. Appleyard now takes charge of the furnishing and undertaking; Mr Frank Appleyard, of the drapery establishment; Mr George B, Appleyard, of the large grocery and provision stores, and Mr H. Appleyard of the removal contracting department, and the Park Road branch shop. For the last 10 years Mr Appleyard has left these businesses practically in charge of his sons, but is now relieving himself of all responsibility.

Mr Appleyard is in his 69th year, is a native of Conisborough, and has lived in the village all his life. He was born in the house in Walker’s yard, where his father first saw the light. His grandfather, then a young man, was on board the Victory when Nelson was shot, having run away from Bradford, where he was apprenticed, to join the Navy.

Later in life he was a clock case maker at Conisborough, in which calling he was succeeded by his son, the father of the subject of this sketch. Clock case making developed into cabinetmaking.

Mr Appleyard, senior is fond of telling that he himself started business with half a port pig. Their family seem to be increasing, and he found he would have to do something more than just work for his father. He bought Cherry Tree Garth, and commenced on that side of the town with stock in trade of pork. After that, at intervals, he started the grocery drapery, general furnishing, and removal contracting businesses.

He has often been called by his friends see “Whiteley of Conisboro’.” In politics, Mr Appleyard is a Liberal, though he has never taken an active part in party warfare. He is a lifelong Methodist and has made their Sunday school, of which he is at present, and has been for the past 40 years, the superintendent, his hobby. He has, however, been connected with the school for 40 years.

He has taken an interest in the public affairs of the district, having been overseer, in addition to holding other officers, his popularity and the esteem in which he is held locally may be caused from the fact that when he offered himself as a candidate for the board of guardians some years ago, he was elected at the top of the pole with a majority of 184 votes. Owing to some technical or electrical error, however, he was unseated.

He has witnessed a great many changes in the locality, and remembers Conisborough when there were not a single brick built house in it, and when it was a picturesque hamlet composed of whitewashed cottages.

Mr Appleyard was once told by a fortune teller, according to his horoscope, his life would be full of ups and downs, but good in money matters. This has proved true. He has not earned his retirement without hard work. Fate has been kind to him, however, for he has had severe illnesses, and once in early life narrowly escaped death by accident. He was caught between two large cogwheel at the local sawmill 44 years ago, and was so severely mangled that the doctor could see his lungs. But here he is to tell the tale, and, but for a slight temporary indisposition, is still hale and hearty.

Croft house is a cosy domiciliary edifice designed according to his own taste, and built in preparation for his retirement some 10 years ago. Here he hopes to spend the remainder of his days – and may they be many – in the great enjoyment of life with his wife, “who,” he added, as an afterthought “has been the moving spirit of the business all along”.