The History Of The Towers Of Rochdale
In August 1937 Joseph and Nora Towers opened a shop on Blackwater St. in Rochdale selling Fishing Tackle, Shotguns, and Rifles, Pistols and Air weapons and Pet Supplies.
Where the shop flourished whilst raising his family until October 1965 when it transferred to Whitworth Rd, due to a compulsory purchase order on the Blackwater St. premises to make way for the Exchange shopping Center in Rochdale center.
Joe as he was known was a key player in the gun trade in the North of England seeing many changes and developments over the years.
At the youthful age of 72 in 1978, he decided to retire to spend some quality time with Nora.
In August 1979 Towers of Rochdale entered into the second generation of its life and was taken over by Joan Ann Marshall and Allan Marshall (but Joe still came in to Help!! for a further 3yrs until Nora finally told him off as she had had enough).
At this point the gun trade was moving dramatically in different sporting disciplines. The Gun Trade had predominately been a male dominated trade with the exception of Clary Davies of Bolton and Miss Parker from Alfred J Parkers in Birmingham. So as Joan Ann joined them, these 3 Ladies took the gun trade into a new era and became a force to be reckoned with.
In 1987 the shop celebrated its Golden Jubilee and this was marked by an exciting and fun packed year. We opened a clay ground at the farm and a Fishery comprising of a lodge and river banks diversifying into new exciting areas. Unfortunately it also saw another change with the introduction of the new Firearms regulations after Hungerford. Jeremy Marshall came into the shop temporarily in late 1987, as Joan Ann became ill and unfortunately passed away suddenly in early 1988.
This marked further change in the history of Towers as we steadily moved forward expanding the shooting lines thus meaning in 1990 we became a pure gun shop and stopped selling fishing tackle, making the necessary room to expand the shooting side of the business.
In 1997 the gun trade took a further major change in direction after the Firearms Act amendments banning pistol shooting was implemented. This resulted in a lot of shops closing down or diversifying.
At this point we moved forward by becoming a licensed Section 5 Dealer for prohibited weapons and later gaining the authority to transport them.
In 2013 Allan Marshall passed away suddenly at the tender age of 80 surpassing Joe and Joan Ann. As a result Towers has moved into a new era and has moved to a purpose built unit at the farm and we intend to further develop the facilities alongside the shooting ground and fishery. Paving the way for the 4th Generation, Thomas and Emily to follow in their Grandma’s footsteps…..