Gays General Store/Percy W. Cox Sand Merchants

Some remember a little shop being where the Woodyard now is partly (that's further back than I go!) This was called Gays. You name it, they sold it I'm told. The Woodyard expanded when the shop left. The timberyard stored most of their wood in the 1960's on what is now the Kirkwood Avenue Estate and customers could go up what is now Kirkwood Avenue to get it (was closed off from about 1974 until Kirkwood was built).

In 1971 the Woodyard was only where it is now though, I do know that. Percy W Cox owned the sandpits and the sand was dug up and sold. His name was on a wooden gate where Kirkwood Avenue now starts (this wasn't the big wooden gates that were there in the 1970's).

The Home Guard trained in the sand pits in WWII. You can still see evidence of where Gays was today. Start at the end of the Woodyard nearest house 171. The first (now unused) cobbled entrance was one of Gays. Move up and you'll see the kerbstones become new, and then old again. That betrays Gays other entrance, now tarmacked/grassed over. Further is a recently added tarmac used entrance to the Woodyard, and finally the cobbled used one is the only one it used to have when Gays was there.

Another anecdote is that rubble from bomb-damage across the city was put down the sand-pits (so probably still there of course).

Goosemoor Lane History

Home Page