From "The Town and Trade of Altrincham"

Printed by Mackie and Co Ltd., 1897. (Reference number in Sale Library T AL-A 658.87 TOW.)

Mr. JOHN BALSHAW, Printer and Stationer and Bookbinder, 2, Station Road, may be regarded as the senior tradesman of Altrincham, having been in business here for a longer period than any other person. Mr. Balshaw is a native of Altrincham, and belongs to one of the oldest and most respected families in the town. He succeeded his father, Mr. Thomas Balshaw, in the business, which has existed now for a period of 74 years. His reminiscences of Altrincham are very interesting, amongst them being that of going as a boy every morning at six o'clock to meet the mail coach at the old "Round-about" house in the old Market Place, to get the parcel of "Manchester Guardians," which had just then commenced its publication. The round-about house was a six-sided building surrounded with palisades, with an upper and lower room, the former of which was used as a Court room and general Assembly room of the town, and the latter as a Butter Market. He recollects the two noted characters "Carrington Jack" and "Pee Weasel" and remembers seeing the latter obtain a prize at Bowdon Wakes for grinning through a horse collar, the enormous capacity of his mouth enabling him to surpass all rivals in the singular competition.

Mr. Balshaw for some years kept the Post Office here, succeeding Mr. Geoffrey Wild. During the early part of that time Mr. Adam Shaw was the only postman in the town, and would take about a week to get through the district, charging fourpence or fivepence for delivering a letter in the country.

Mr. Balshaw does a general printing business, consisting mostly of commercial work. A revolution has taken place in printing since he started, when he used one of the primitive Stanhope presses, and when the biggest order he took was one for about 1,000 way bills for the coaches. His printing office since those days has been entirely remodelled, and is now complete with machinery and driven by a powerful gas engine. The premises are lighted throughout by the electric light, which is generated by his own plant.

In addition to stationery, newspapers and periodicals are regularly supplied. Bookbinding is made a special feature, and Mr. Balshaw, who is the only practical binder in the town, gives this department his personal attention.


Note that 32 Church St was probably demolished before WW2 when the street was widened.