by Ernest H Wright MA, 1933, page 10.
A number of important businesses were established by Methodists in the town during this period. In the year 1804, a young man named John Barrow came from Manchester and settled in Altrincham. He opened a grocer's shop in George Street. The business increased and people came in from the country to see the large windows which John Barrow placed in his premises.* He became an unofficial banker; money and deeds were lodged with him for security. With his capital, he financed other businesses and loaned money for the building of Chapels. Methodism never had a more devoted servant. He was a leader, trustee, steward, choir singer and Sunday School superintendent, in fact, he filled every office except that of preacher. Another young man named John Southern came from Millington, and, with money lent to him by Nathaniel Pass, he built a bakehouse in Chapel Street and founded a prosperous business which still bears his name. John Southern was one of the first local preachers in the Altrincham district and many stories have been told concerning the preacher and his original discourses.
Besides these men already mentioned, there were many others who served the community and served Methodism. Here are a few of them :-Joshua Ashcroft, the grocer in Church Street, and Mayor in 1819; Joseph Arstall, a cabinet maker of repute, and Mayor in 1839; William Worsley, the grocer in the Market Place; Thomas Balshaw, the printer in the Market Place, who printed the Way Bills for the stage coaches; Thomas Potter, the solicitor; John Latham, schoolmaster in Moss Lane; Thomas Potts, the tailor; John Foster, the blacksmith; and Geoffrey Wilde, the postmaster.
* After a long succession of proprietors, Wm. Collins. Samuel Warren Wm. Collins. Jun.-all Methodists-the business became the present well-known firm of Messrs. Coupe and Hilkirk.