A Grocer goes Bankrupt

Here is a tale from 1903 about a Wolverton grocer who quickly became bankrupt after venturing into business.

Fred Styles started his business at 40 Church Street in 1899 with £10 of his own money and £20 borrowed from his mother. He probably believed things were going swimmingly because a year later he opened a branch grocery in New Bradwell, managed by his mother.

It appears that he over-extended himself, because before too long his liabilities exceeded his assets. I 1902 he sold the New Bradwell business to his mother for £83 1s 11d, so that less the £20 he owed her, he was left with £63 1s 11d, which immediately was applied to his debt. Even so, when he appeared at Northampton County Court on July 14th 1903 for a bankruptcy hearing, he was still in hock to the sum of £351 13s 7d. He had sold a pony carriage and both his and his wife’s bicycles without making much difference to the mountain of debt.

Quite how he had managed to amass debts at the rate of about £100 a year was not made clear in the hearing, but he was clearly unable to control his costs. He probably needed to talk to Alan Sugar!

A History of Shopping in Wolverton Part VI

Corner Shops: The Final Phase

Well, the final phase of this little historical survey.

I have covered most of these in earlier blogs, which I will list below, but here is a general comment.

Food shopping up to 1960 was a daily activity. Refrigerators were scarce and storage space in kitchens wa limited. Packaging was a new science. Supermarkets in this country were no more than a concept in the brains of Mr Sainsbury and Mr Cohen. Therefore there was a high demand for readily accessible shops. It was an expensive way to shop (people in the 1950s spent one third of their income on food) but the convenience outweighed that. In addition you could get milk, bread, meat and groceries delivered to your door.

Once Cambridge Street was built, corner shops appeared at the Church Street, Buckingham Street intersections. The same happened with Jersey Road and lastly Anson Road. Some shops appeared at the head of Oxford Street and Green Lane, and another general store opened at the corner of Victoria Street and Radcliffe Street.

For a general discussion about the role of Corner Shops go to: Corner Shops

About the former grocery at 39 Cambridge Street

For two small corner shops go to 133 Church Street and 109 Church Street

The Jersey Road Shops are here

Bremeyers on Windsor Street here

And the Green Lane shops in this post

I also mention the Stratford Road shops at the bottom of Jersey and Anson Roads here.

There are some gaps in this coverage. The development and one-time domination of the Co-op I will discuss in a separate post when I have gathered all the information. There were also corner shops at Windsor/Aylesbury and Anson/Aylesbury which I have not featured and at Buckingham/Cambridge.

This survey has covered 120 years and it is interesting to see the changes. In the 1840s you could still buy from the farm gate and milk was delivered to your door in open pails. 100 years later there are greengrocers, dairies, grocers, butchers, baker, confectioners in most parts of the town. Towards the end of our period opticians and purveyors of the latest technology – the radio – start to appear. What you do not see is interesting too. There are no carpet dealers nor a shop specializing in china and glass, unless the ironmongers did this. Yet quite early in the 19th century you will find China and Glass Dealers in Stony Stratford and Leighton Buzzard, but not, it seems in Wolverton.

A History of Shopping in Wolverton Part V

The Square

The Square was a product of the 1890 and I think was intended for residences, very much like Glyn Square was in 1840. It remains much as it was, except for the loss of connection with Radcliffe Street.

Shopping development, as we have seen, began in Bury Street and expanded to Creed Street. When new building lots were put up for sale in 1860, some shops of necessity moved from Bury Street to the Stratford Road and one or two began to appear in Church Street. “The Front” filled up with commercial establishments first and then, logically, Church Street.

As Wolverton expanded south and west, the Square came into its own as a fourth phase of shopping development. Growth was gradual and even by 1939, one third of the houses were still private dwellings.

This view of Moreland Terrace taken circa 1911 shows the early mixture of shops and residences.



The table below illustrates occupany to 1939. The 1901 Census has been used, thereafter Trade Directories, which are not always complete. The street numbers are organized thus: 
Moreland Terrace: Odd numbers from North to South.
The Square, West Side: Sequential numbers South to North.


Number
1901
1911
1928
1939
Moreland Terrace
1
Siggs, Draper
Siggs, Draper
Rivett, Draper
Start, Draper
3
Private
Private
Private
Private
5
Linford, Confectioner
Linford, Confectioner
Stevens, Confectioner
Stevens, Confectioner
7
Private
9
Private
Green, Butcher
Green, Butcher
Hackett, Butcher
11
Private
Private
Private
Private
13
Private
Turner, Jeweller
Trewinnard, optician
Blagrove, optician
15
Private
Private
Wood, Tobacconist
17
Private
Private
Private
Private
19
Private
Private
Private
Jennison, Tailor
21
Bennett, Miliner
Bennett, Miliner
Bennett, Miliner
Co-op
The Square (W)
1
Private
Private
Co-op
Co-op
2
Private
Private
Co-op
Co-op
3
Private
Private
Co-op
Co-op
4
Private
Private
Co-op
Co-op
5
Private
Private
Co-op
Co-op
6
Private
Private
Private
Private
7
Private
Private
Private
Private
8
Private
Private
Private
Private
9
Private
Private
Blakelock, Tobacconist
Blakelock, Confectioner
10
Private
Private
Private
Howe, Hairdresser
11
Bullin, Grocer
India & China Tea Co., Grocers
English Novelty Co., Toy Manufacturers
Coles, Boot repairs/ Read, Ladies Hairdresser
Buckingham St
36
Knight, Bootmaker
Nicholls, domestic Stores
38
Leeson, Grocer
Leeson, Grocer
Leeson, Grocer
Aylesbury St.
32
Private
Button, Butcher
Button, Butcher
43
Private
Grice, Shopkeeper
Mayo, Shopkeeper
Waite, Shopkeeper

A History of Shopping in Wolverton Part IV

The Development of Church Street



This view of Church Street from the 1920s gives us a flavour of what Church Street looked like for most of the 2Oth century.  The Vic is dominant, but all the houses on the north side up to the Empire had been converted to shops – and so they remain. The south side (now demolished) was more of a mixture of commercial and residential.

The first shop conversion, as far as I can tell, was the house at Number 8, shown below.

This was the house at the left which in 1861 shows up as a Chemist and Druggist, then owned by George Ward Davids, a widower in his thirties with two small children. He moved away from Wolverton soon afterwards, but a chemist practised from here for about 100 years. The shop frontage had more conventional, early 20th century plate glass windows and was not as now represented.
The house to the right, now numbered 6, was empty in 1861, but later became a bakery.
By 1871 a few more commercial enterprises had opened on Church Street. It is not alway possible to pinpoint the location, because of variances in the numbering in the 19th century, but in some cases I can make a reasonable inference from 20th century usage.
William Covington established his bakery at the corner of Radcliffe Street and Church Street. Again this functioned for over 100 years before it was pulled down to make way for the Agora development.
James Irons has set up as a coal merchant, probably on the south side where Tilleys ran the successor business. Lewis Camozzi has a builder’s yard. Again I suspect on the south side. There is a confectioner, Thomas Sear, and a Grocer, James Harrison. It is likely that they were on the north side, probably between 30 and 34.
And there are two tailors, John Mitchell and James Sykes. I think the Sykes went into a third generation of Tailors on Church Street.

By 1881 John Eady had opened his butchers shop opposite Covington’s Bakery. this business went down through at least three (or possibly four) generations  before it was closed by the Agora development.

A number of these houses were still private until the 20th Century, as you can see from the following table. On the north side, houses 14-20 were cleared to make way for the new General Post Office, and 22-24 for the Empire Cinema. These changes took place in the late 1920s and mid 1930s. More recently Numbers 10 and 12 have been demolished for Post Office expansion. It is interesting to see the continuity of function in some shops, Number 28 for example, which still operates as a jeweller today.

Beyond The Vic there was a corner shop at Number 44. After the war this became the office for the Wolverton Building Society, subsequently the Northamo
pton Building Society, then the Anglia Building Society and now Nationwide. These buildings were torn down and redeveloped.
The houses from 58-64 were converted to a furniture warehouse. Lawsons the newsagent and stationery dealers moved into No: 58 and the other three units were rebuilt as a Co-op Furniture Store. It is now Maisies.

Church Street North

Number
1901
1911
1928
1939
6
Bickford, Baker
Kirby, Baker
Kirby, Baker
Kirby, Baker
8
Field, Chemist
Field, Chemist
Leigh, Chemist
Leigh, Chemist
10
Private
Private
Private
Private
12
Barnes, Coal Merchant
Pidgeon, Tailor
Pidgeon, Ladies Outfitter
Pidgeon, Ladies Outfitter
14
Private
Hayward, Insurance Agent
Bellamy, Boot repairs
Post Office
16
Private
Private
Private
Post Office
18
Private
Private
Private
Post Office
20
Private
Private
Wolverton Mutual (Coal Merchants)
Post Office
22
Private
Private
Carey, Hairdresser
Empire Cinema
24
Private
Private
Empire Cinema
Empire Cinema
26
Chown, Gents. Outfitter
Chown, Tailor
Chown, Tailor
Chown, Tailor
28
Emms, Watchmaker
Emms, Watchmaker
Hawkins, Jeweller
Hawkins, Jeweller
30
Gregory, Confectioner
Atterbury, Grocer
Davis, Greengrocer
Roberts, Greengrocer
32
Carr, Boots and Shoes
Manton, Bootmaker
Ridge, ladies Outfitter
Pointon, Ladies Outfitter
34
Private
Elliot, fancy Repository
Ellery, Grocer
Ellery, Grocer
36
Private
Gregory, Confectioner
Lewis, Pastrycook
38
Aldridge, Tobacconist & Fancy Repository
Aldridge, Fancy Repository
Bull, Fancy Repository
40
Empty
Eastman, Butcher
Ashby, Pork Pie Shop
Taylor, Watchmaker
42
Victoria Hotel
Victoria Hotel
Victoria Hotel
Victoria Hotel
44
Cave, Grocer
Baker, Outfitter
Taylor, watchmaker/ Conservative Association
Newton & Calcott, Soicitors/ Conservative Association
46
Private
Private
Private
Private
48
Swain, Athletic Outfitter
Swain, Athletic Outfitter
Swain, Athletic Outfitter
50
Lawson, Newsagent
Wolverton Mutual (Coal Merchants)
52
Private
Private
Private
Private
54
Private
Sharp Bros. Drapers
Sykes, Tailor
Sykes, Tailor
56
Sharp Bros. Drapers
Sharp Bros. Drapers
Lawson, Newsagent
58
Lindow, Furniture Dealer
Lindow, Furniture Dealer
Lawson, Newsagent
Lawson, Newsagent
60
Lindow, Furniture Dealer
Lindow, Furniture Dealer
Co-op
Co-op
62
Lindow, Furniture Dealer
Lindow, Furniture Dealer
Co-op
Co-op
64
Lindow, Furniture Dealer
Lindow, Furniture Dealer
Co-op
Co-op

Church Street South


The south side of Church Street never developed quite as fully as the north side in shop conversions, possibly because the rising ground meant that customers had to climb steps. The key shops were the butcher, Eady, pictured above, and the bakery on the opposite corner. The Co-op may have had a grocery at Numbers 15-17. After the war they opened a Men’s Outfitters at Number 29.
Another curiosity was Fred Anstee’s shop at Number 33. He sold radios (or “wirelesses” as they were originally called), sheet music and records.


Most of these buildings were demolished to make room for The Agora.


Number
1901
1911
1928
1939
7
Brett,  Confectioner
Parker, Confectioner
Parker, Confectioner
Parker, Confectioner
9
Private
Private
Thompson, Plumber
Thompson, Plumber
11
Strange, Butcher
White, Butcher
White, Butcher
13
Private
Private
Private
Private
15
Jones, Dairy
Co-op
Co-op
17
Empty
Private
Co-op
Co-op
19
Styles, Grocer
Co-op
Co-op
21
Private
Private
Private
Private
23
Private
Private
Private
Private
25
Gosbell, Bootmaker
Gosbell, Bootmaker
27
Private
Sykes, tailor
Gabell, Motor Engineer
Gabell, Motor Engineer
29
Private
Private
Private
Private
31
Private
Private
Private
Private
33
Private
Private
Private
Anstee, Wireless Appatatus dealer
35
Private
Private
Private
Private
37
Private
Private
Private
Private
39
Eady, Butcher
Eady, Burtcher
Eady, Butcher
Eady, Butcher
41
Covington, Baker
Covington, Baker
King, Baker
King, Baker
43
Beesley, Dairy
45
Private
Williams, Fruiterer
Mackerness, fancy Goods Repository
Mackerness, fancy Goods Repository
47
Private
Dale, Hair Dresser
Dale, Hairdresser
Dale, Hair Dresser
49
Private
Private
Private
Private
51
Private
Private
Private
Clarke, Printer
53
Private
Private
Private
Private
55
Private
Private
Private
Private
57
Lines, Hairdresser
Lines, Hair Dresser
59
Private
Private
Private
Private
61
Private
Wootton, Draper
Wootton, Milliner
63
Private
Private
Private
Private
65
Private
Private
Private
Private
67
Private
Private
Private
Private
69
Private
Private
Private
Private
71
Private
Private
Private
Dunkley, Turf Agent
73
Private
Private
Private
Private
75
Private
Private
Private
Private
77
Private
Private
Private
Private
79
Private
Sanitary Laundry
Sanitary Laundry
Leighton Sanitary Laundry

A History of Shopping in Wolverton Part III

The Expansion to Stratford Road and Church Street


Throughout the 1850s Wolverton wanted to expand, needed to expand, but the Radcliffe Trustees were unwilling to sell any more farm land. Accordingly, the L&NWR purchased land down the hill from the neighbouring manor of Stantonbury, owned by Earl Spencer in the 1950s. New Bradwell was born.

In 1860 the Trustees finally relented and release land to the west of Bury Street. The northern portion was used for workshops and south of the Stratford Road was used for residential and commercial development. Unlike the earlier development which was undertaken entirely by the railway company, the new building lots were to be sold for private development.

There is a plan from 1861 in the Buckinghamshire Archives which I reproduce here in four sections.
They can be read from left to right, or east to west.

The first part here shows the pre-existing buildings in grey shading – Creed Street, St George’s, the recently-built Lodging House on the site that was later the Church Institute, the School Buildings, the Royal Engineer and the end of Bury Street.

The plot numbers do not quite correspond to what was built later or to subsequent numbering. Plot number 1 on the Stratford Road is now numbered 6, 7 and 8, and if you look at the roof profile you can infer that they were built at the same time. The building which became 9a and b looks as if it filled Lot 2 and the North Western, built around this time, must have taken Lot 3. The two smaller houses/shops filling in the access to the Western yard must have been built later. The three storey building which later accommodated the Grafton Cycle Company looks as if it filled Lots 4 and 5. Then there are three buildings filling Lots 6,7 and 8, two filling Lot 9 and the corner building for Lot 10.
This first house was built by the enterprising Charles Aveline, whom we have met before on Bury Street. By this time the Bury Street shops had been demolished, so he had a good reason to be the first to sign up for a new lot. I suspect that the first house (No. 6) was erected and occupied and the other two units added later. Aveline also became the post master and ran the Post Office from here as well as his building operations.
The house numbered 9a and b was occupied in 1861 by a grocer, Abraham Culverhouse.
These two were the first Stratford Road shops. A year later, John Lepper, who had a Grocery on the corner of Gas Street, built a new shop and house on Lot 9. You can see the name Lepper pencilled in on the drawing.
I think the house and shop that Lepper built was the red brick one showed here, now numbered 18 and 19. Later this became divided into two shops but the one on the right, Number 19, remained a grocery until well into the 20th century.
The early development of “The Front” was patchy, in the way of all new development.  But it is possible to identify the way it looked in, say, 1862. There was The Royal Engineer, which had been there since 1841, then Aveline’s fisrt three buildings, the Culverhouse’s grocery at Number 9 and Lepper’s at Number 18-19. The North Western appeared in 1864.

A History of Shopping in Wolverton Part II

The early history of Wolverton’s development, as I have often remarked, was characterised by an absence of forward thinking. This was understandable. Nobody in 1838 had any idea of the future importance of railways and certainly not of Wolverton, which at the time was thought of as a service and maintenance depot.

The first shops were sited at the very north end of the new town, but with the development of the southern streets, closer services were required for those residents. Accordingly, in the late 1840s, a short row of shops were erected on Creed Street on the rising ground opposite the Church.

I have written in some detail about these shops here.

And another view:
These buildings survived until demolition in the 1960s, but as shops they closed shortly after 1900, with the exception of the former Co-op grocery which became a Fish and Chip shop, run by Maskell in the 1940s and Billingham in the 1950s. This photograph, taken while they were demolishing the “little streets” gives us some idea of the split-level construction of this building.

A History of Shopping in Wolverton Part I

With the development of supermarkets, shopping malls and out-of-town shopping outlets, the shopping landscape has changed much over the past 30 years. Over the last 170 years the changes have been even more dramatic. So I am going to develop a series of posts to trace the change and development of shopping in Wolverton. I have touched on some of these matters before, but I hope to give a more coherent account here.

The history of shopping in Wolverton really begins in Stony Stratford, which in 1838 was a small coaching town with a population of about 1,500. There was a full range of trades and services, some which have survived to the present, like Bakers, Butchers and Ironmongers, and others, such as Basket Makers, Straw Hat Makers, Glovers and Tallow Chandlers, which have not.

Stony Stratford held a market every Friday and most of those living on the Wolverton estate probably walked to Stony Stratford for weekly shopping. In addition, Stony Stratford held two annual fairs, one on August 2nd to sell toys and hardware and another on the first Friday after Michelmas Day (end of September) for hiring servants. The hiring Fair was a characteristic of early 19th century England and a remnant of an agricultural economy which was fast disappearing.

The development of New Wolverton meant that the new settlement could support some shops of its own. Accordingly, the London and Birmingham Railway provided for 8 specialized shop units at the north end of Bury Street. They were mostly populated by Stony Stratford traders.

There are no pictures of these buildings which barely lasted 20 years but this sketch here may give some idea of their appearance.
At the very north end, beside the canal, was the “Locomotive Eating House” described in this post. Locomotive Eating House  Next door, occupying two units, was Charles Aveline, then a young man, son of a Leighton Buzzard Cabinet Maker and nephew of Frederick Aveline, who already had an established business in Stony Stratford. The next unit was occupied by Thomas French, a boot and shoe maker. At this time the Northamptonshire shoe manufacturing industry was just drawing its first breath and shoe-making was still a made-to-measure hand-made business.
John Reeve, a Stony Stratford Grocer and Tea Dealer set up a branch in the next unit and George Gilling, a Stony Stratford Butcher, set up shop here and appears to have run the new Wolverton Post Office next door. The last in this row was a Bakery, operated by George Kightley, also from Stony Stratford.
This Bakery may have been a Co-operative Bakery for some of these years but evidence is hard to come by. There is just the vaguest reference, so it may have been an independent concern to start with and a Co-op later. The Kightley family were an established Stony Stratford baking family.
At the other end of Bury Street, two more shops were opened in the three storey houses. William Boyes, a Stony Stratford Draper, opened up a branch here which lasted for the rest of the century. And in another house Joshua Harris, who had come from outside the area, opened as a Grocer and Druggist. If that seems a strange combination let me note that Grocers were originally druggists in Medieval times, but by 1600 the Apothecaries had broken away to form their own guild. However, old customs die hard, and plainly men like Joshua Harris were continuing in this field. He was a bona fide member of the Pharmaceutical Association.
These early shop establishments tell us a lot. Bakers and Butchers were essential. A Grocer would sell tea, sugar, flour and various potions for home remedies. The Draper would sell cloth to make clothes, which you could either do yourself or take to a tailor or dressmaker. Your local cabinet maker would provide you with tables, chairs, beds and storage chests and drawers – all made to order.
Vegetables may well have been purchased at the Friday market in Stony Stratford. Milk was probably delivered in a pail directly from the cow to the door. Pasteurization, Tuberculin testing, and even bottling had yet to be invented.

The Anson Road Post Office

44 Anson Road was Wolverton’s only, and it appears last, sub Post Office. This has now been converted to a residence with few clues that it was once a shop. The bay window is probably recent. if memory serves me correctly the shop window was originally plate glass. They also sold stationery and some toys around Christmastime. It was run by a man named Longmore and it was clearly named the Anson Road Post Office.
That much is simple and straightforward, but when I checked back in the Trade Directories to see when it might have started up I encountered a surprise. Up to 1939, the address was 44 Jersey Road, not Anson Road!
Some facts first, from Kelly’s Directory:

1924 Henry Riddell, shopkeeper, Post Office 44 Jersey Road

1928 Henry Riddell, shopkeeper, Post Office 44 Jersey Road

1931 Henry Riddell, shopkeeper, Post Office 44 Jersey Road 

1935 Wm S Longmore shopkpr & post office, 44 Jersey Road 

1939 Wm S Longmore statnr. & post office, 44 Jersey Road 

I spoken to one or two people who are possibly old enough to recall if it was ever in Jersey Road. The house that is there shows little evidence of ever having been a shop other that a side door on Aylesbury Street, but I have to assume that the Kelly’s directory was right. Even if there was a mistake in the 1924 edition it would not have survived for 15 years and two owners.

It is not immediately obvious what Mr Longmore gained from the move. The Anson Road address might have been larger and was certainly a slightly newer building.

Creed Street Shops

I’ve been working today on a drawing of those houses at the south end of Creed Street opposite the Church and the former Science and Art Institute. I should be able to finish it tomorrow.

The company built five  cottages here, probably in late 1841. Four of them appear to have been shops from the outset. They were numbered from 612 to 616 and were likely the last houses to be built in this phase of Wolverton’s development.
The corner building, detached from the rest of the terrace, was a bakery and I imagine it was purpose-built as such. It was much larger than the Bury Street bakery built a few years earlier. For most of the 19th century it was operated by the Walker family. John Walker and his father William were the first occupants and after the bakery in Bury Street was pulled down may have been the only commercial bakers in the town for a few years until the new bakery opened on the corner of Radcliffe Street and Church Street in the 1860s. I assume that many housewives still baked their own bread but a trend for commercially produced bread would have grown throughout the 19th century.  As the town expanded a new bakery started at the corner of Church Street and Radcliffe Street (now demolished) and a later one at the start of Church Street, known as the “Brighton Bakery”. The coop also built a large bakery on Aylesbury street at the back of its premises on the Market Square. But for a time John Walker’s family met the demand. After the Bury Street shops were demolished in 1857, the Co-op bakery moved. John Walker soldiered on until 1892 when he died at the advanced age of 84. Thereafter it was taken over by Hannah Smith, a 40 year-old widow, who employed a baker but ran the shop as a more generalized grocery.
The next four units were separated by a back lane.  William Lacey, ran a butcher’s shop. He was 42 at the time of the 1851 Census and probably established in his trade. He came from Bedfordshire. After his relatively early death before 1861 his widow, Lucy, carried on the trade for a while and then was succeeded by various butchers who ran this shop throughout the nineteenth century – none lasting too long. George Gilling. already described, had a shop at the south end of Bury Street, but he retired after 1857. As new lots in Church Street and Stratford Road expanded the town in the 1860s new butcher’s businesses opened in Church Street and the Stratford Road.
The next unit was residential and later in the century became the house for the church sexton. At the south end of Creed Street two buildings were always counted as one. 612 and 613. One side was used as a grocery store and the other  kept for residential purposes.  The street appearance was that of a single story building but as the land sloped back towards Ledsam Street the buildings were in fact split level. In my boyhood the former grocer’s shop was used as a fish and chip shop, open evenings and weekends and operated by Lloyd Billingham. In the photo you can see the exposed beams for the second floor and where the staircase used to be there is also an internal door surviving between the two units. The end house was quite large according to mid-twentieth century photographs. It is my surmise that the building was extended while it was a prosperous grocery store in the nineteenth century.
There were various occupants during the century: Richard and Charlotte West in 1851, James and Mary Harrison in 1861,  William Culverhouse in 1871, Daniel and Sarah Russell in 1881, Herbert and Sarah Chipperfield in 1891, Daniel and Sarah Russell in 1901. James Harrison is clearly designated as Manager of the Cooperative Stores during his tenure here but he is also to be found in later censuses as a grocer on Church Street. If he was still working for the Co-op then the Co-op grocery must have moved. However, subsequent occupants are obviously managers rather than independent grocers, so the Co-op may have retained an interest until Daniel Russell , who ran the shop in 1881, returned in 1901 from his period of work in Harpenden to take over this shop as an independent grocer.

Butchers

Canvins butchers shop is the fourth from the right in this 1950’s photo.

Independent butchers still survive in 2016 but in 1958 they were plentiful. Only one chain was in evidence and this was the London Central Meat Company who had shops on the Stratford Road, The Square, and on Green lane at the top of Oxford Street. In the 1960s the name changed to Baxters. (I am not altogether sure about the one on the Square – it may have been Dewhursts) At any rate by the early to mid 1950s two were definitely Baxters and the LCM in Green Lane closed down.

Fred Griffiths outside Baxters on the Square c 1967

Next in numbers would be the Co-op who operated a shop on the south side of Church Street in the section that was pulled down to create the Agora and another at the top of Jersey Road.

This house has been much-modified. The low wall is new and the window was a full plate glass window. newer windows have replaced the original sash windows upstairs.

This is now a private residence although you can see that it was once a shop.

The Canvin family, who had shops in stony Stratford and (I think) New Bradwell had a shop on the front. Eady’s, on the corner of Church and Radcliffe Streets, was into its third generation of family management, having been on that site since the 1880s.

Eady’s on the corner of Radcliffe Street and Church Street, opposite The Vic.

Ron Tuckey operated his shop on Aylesbury Street facing Bedford Street.

The fascia from this former shop on Aylesbury Street betrays its former function. The front window was a full plate glass light, double the size of the present installation.

Ron Tuckey is front row left in this photo of the New Inn darts team


A characteristic of butchers shops back then was sawdust on the floor to absorb the blood. At the end of the day this was swept up as the shop was cleaned and fresh sawdust laid down for the following day. Meat was cut to the customer’s specification rather than pre-packaged.