It’s Dewsbury’s oldest shop and stepping through the door is like stepping back in time.

John Greenwood Ltd has been a mainstay of the town's high street since 1856 – and it’s still going strong.

Known locally as Greenwood’s the shop is an outdoor and workwear shop-cum-jeweller’s and it’s a virtual living museum.

Many of the shop’s original features remain including the mahogany counter and cabinets and it’s an open-all-hours style shop like no other.

The shop in Church Street was saved from being turned into flats by semi-retired dentist Sue Baker in 2015.

John Greenwoods Est 1860, Dewsbury's oldest shop.

“With all its social history I couldn’t see it closed down,” said Sue. “The shop wouldn’t have survived as a museum alone but by keeping the shop as well it’s quite a viable business.”

Sue had just sold her dental practice across the road when shop owners Catherine Parkin and daughter Caroline Clegg were also looking to move on.

“I went over to say my goodbyes and they told me they were selling and the shop was going to auction,” said Sue. “I told them that if it didn’t sell they should let me know.

“They then got in touch and said a deal was about to go through to turn the shop into flats. I only had a few minutes to make a decision and we did it.”

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Sue saved the business – craftsman jeweller Kevin Parker has been there 20 years – and put her former practice manager Kim Gott in charge.

The shop, which sells the traditional style of outdoor and work clothes that isn’t often found these days, is thriving.

Generations of children have grown up with the curiosity of seeing this shop stuck in time.

The shop started out as a pawnbroker’s when it was bought by John Greenwood for his daughter Sarah Prior in around 1856.

The Greenwoods lived in Crackenedge Lane in Dewsbury next door to the Chadwick family.

John Greenwood Ltd Est 1860, Dewsbury's oldest shop. Manager Kim Gott with a selection of the hundreds of items on sale.

Henry Chadwick married Ellen Greenwood and the Henry Chadwick Trust ran the shop in Church Street and another in Robinson Street.

Ronald Taylor Chadwick eventually sold the business to Tom Burns who then left the business in his will to Colin Parkin who had started working there as a young lad of 15 in the 1950s.

When Colin died he left the shop to his wife and daughter who sold it in 2015.

The late Colin Parkin was a familiar figure standing in the doorway of John Greenwood Ltd in Dewsbury.

“It’s social history and family history,” said Sue. “You can see how much history – sad times and happy times – is bound up in this building.

“We have all kinds of old items from the past. Mark Popplewell, who used to work here, drew cartoons and put little Hitler moustaches on things.

"Children come into the shop and think it’s something out of Harry Potter. Their parents say it's like stepping back in time.”

“Then we’ve got walking sticks with sharp implements inside which they needed in case Hitler invaded.

“We have funeral rings from 1829 for children who died. We have pawn tickets from 1872, the old till, ledgers and quills.

“Children come into the shop and think it’s something out of Harry Potter. Their parents say it’s like stepping back in time.”

John Greenwood Ltd Est 1860, Dewsbury's oldest shop. Antique items on view.

Pride of place in the shop – or more precisely the shop window – is Bolenium Bill.

He’s a slightly creepy looking figure who has been in the shop since the 1920s.

He’s not very tall and he’s dressed in shabby workmen’s overalls and he has fascinated – and perhaps unnerved – generations of children growing up in Dewsbury.

John Greenwood Ltd Est 1860, Dewsbury's oldest shop. Bolenium Bill the 90-year-old model and star of the front window.

Bill is a somewhat portly figure with more than a passing resemblance to Oliver Hardy, the larger half of comedy duo Laurel and Hardy.

His job was to advertise the industrial clothing made by Dagenham-based Bolenium which ran between 1915 and 1995.

Now his firm is defunct he is the full-time mascot for Greenwood’s. Despite his age and surroundings he’s not entirely stuck in the past – and even has his own Facebook page!

Bill’s a treasure and thought to be a real rarity. There’s a similar model on sale on eBay in the USA for a cool $9,375 or £6,580.

But his value to Sue and to Dewsbury is beyond money.

“He’s priceless,” said Sue. And to most people Greenwood’s wouldn’t be Greenwood’s without Bolenium Bill.