Sunday, October 17, 2010

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





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