Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: July 05, 2017
Webpage updated: April 20, 2020




"Tin Pan Alley" was the name given to the temporary market stalls erected by Plymouth City Council in Drake Street, between the "back of the Market" and Old Town Street.  These were for the use of former stallholders who had been displaced from the Pannier Market, presumably by the likes of Messrs Marks & Spencer and F W Woolworth.

Plymouth's famous post-war "Tin Pan Alley",
with the Pannier Market in  the background.
Note the fishmongers in the foreground.
Western Morning News.

Work started on erecting the stalls at the beginning of October 1941, having been delayed by the need to secure a license to obtain the necessary steel.  Not surprisingly, the traders were not happy about it.  They felt that by the Council doing the work it was jeopardising the rights and liberties of the owners of the sites.  Some local authorities had erected corrugated-iron sheds for their traders, free of cost, and they themselves could have erected their own at a cost of 100 each.  The stallholders claimed that by the Council doing the work it 'deprives the owners of liberty of action and the right to deal with their own property'.  They even criticised the closure of Drake Street to become a Market as the problem could have been solved easily by knocking down the northern wall of the Pannier Market into the former Sugar Refinery.

The well wrapped up author and his Gran
in "Tin Pan Alley" circa 1950.
  Brian Moseley

"Tin Pan Alley" was always crowded.

"Tin Pan Alley" in February 1952.
  City of Plymouth Museum and Art Gallery.

Fruit and vegetable merchants were numerous.

Both pictures   City of Plymouth Museum and Art Gallery.

One well-known stall was that of the Universal Book Stores.

  City of Plymouth Museum and Art Gallery.

It was so busy that little boys had to be kept hold of to prevent them from getting lost while mother was eyeing the hand-bags and other miscellaneous goods on sale.

  City of Plymouth Museum and Art Gallery.

The demolition of "Tin Pan Alley" started on February 11th 1952.