Archive for the ‘Alresford Museum’ Category

OLD Alresford Memories (Recorded 1977)

These contributions were made by visitors to the “Old Alresford Revived” Jubilee Exhibition held in 1977, at the Old Forge on Basingstoke Road, next to Forge Cottage/Prospect House. The original typed records, presumably typed by Pru Ransom, who organised the exhibition, are now held by the Alresford Museum, with other documents and photos that were on display back then. These are the reproduced records, as typed:

Mr Jackson remembers talk of a ‘Pub’ – The Fox – at the other end of the Green, but it was before his time, ie prior to 1905. Air Commodore Paul (at Wearne House) has found tiles which look as though they may have come from a stable yard in the south west corner of his garden.

Mr Ransom can remember the footpaths crossing the fields at the back of the village – the one to Northington being seldom empty of people – girls used to walk over to work in the Laundry (now (in 1977) belonging to Mr and Mrs Flood) every day, and the village women to shop. He has a pile of flints which came from the old lane that used to run behind the Council houses opposite the Home. Mr Bevan’s father was going to take them away to fill the ruts in the Coombe drive, but never did so! Eventually flints from this pile were taken by Mr Kemp for building at Beech Monastery (nr Alton). On this bend (the left hand side of the entrance to Coombe) people from the top end of the village used to dump their rubbish.

The ‘Nit’ House was demolished long ago – about the time of WW1 according to Miss Whitlock – who lived in Alresford for 12 years before coming here in 1912. She used to walk over from Preston, past the Nit House to fetch her sister’s clothes from Alresford where she was in service. Judging from the foundations, it was quite large. There also was a large rubbish dump at the Wield turning.

The Hoskissons came down from London in 1939. At that time their cottage was in a state of bad repair, with the roof falling in. The man who took the photographs belonging to Mrs Hoskisson was named Broad, and he owned some cottages in the village. He has conveniently dated his shots! Miss Whitlock thinks the man playing with the snowman is Harry West.

Mr Jackson can also remember the owner of the Retreat Cottages selling sweets from an “old tin shed” in his garden. Mr Whitlock used to hang his bacon in the Forge, in the small room at the front, before he jointed it, according to his sister.

Members of the Ransom family commented that their father used to keep a smallholding at the end of the village near Manor Farm. In the old days the Home used to hold their xxxxs (games?) in the field behind us, on Basingstoke Road, This was always a pasture until ploughed up in WW2 – Digging for Victory. It also had a cricket pitch on the brow of the hill. In WW1 there was a dug-out at the top of this field, where the footpath goes through to Northington. Here were stored explosives, the caps of which still lie scattered around (in 1977).

Mrs Fletcher remembers the Ransom’s small-holding, as she used to live near it. In those days (early 1900s) the Green was just a marsh – too wet to be safe enough to play on, and full of king cups and rushes. She can remember the hall being built by Mrs Christy, but the villagers were asked to buy bricks at 1 shilling each! Her mother bought 2 and a half bricks!

A chap named Snobby Merritt (no relation of our Mr Merritt (added Pru Randall, typing these notes in 1977) kept a shed on the allotments where he mended shoes (This shed features in one of the old photos, behind Christy Hall, situated where 1 Green Close is now). He actually lived behind where Mr Dory lives now. The field behind the allotments was called ‘Inhams’, and Mrs Fletcher can remember the gypsy encampment up the lane by her home. (Maybe this lane was Inhams Row, up past Prospect House? – Ed).

From about 90 years before 1977, up to 1920, a Swiss Jew named Mr Brollot collected clocks and watches from the village every three months, for repair, and returned them on his next visit. He used to come down by train and stop at “The Globe”, which Mrs Fletcher’s family kept. The “Cosy” was built in about 1915. She can remember two thatched cottages where Arthur and Shirley Wyeth’s house is now.

After the Twinnings family left in 1915, the shop was closed for about 18 months, then the Worthingtons re-opened it, with an off-licence for already bottled beer. After that the first lot of Joneses came and opened the shop as a general store. The sub Post Office was at Green End.

Billy Smith, now of Bishop’s Sutton, added the following:

The Jackson twins went to school with a Mr Benham, Mr Ransom’s brother-in-law (now of Bishop’s Sutton), and Billy Smith and his brothers – this would have been in around 1909. There used to be a bell in a cupola at the back of the school, which was also where Old Alresford Sunday School was held.

The lady who lived in the Laundry (next to the school) used to steam a pud and hang it over the wall for the schoolchildren (presumably only on washdays). The laundry was only for the use of the Upton House family. In those days Christy was at Upton, and used to give new sixpences to all the children every Empire Day.

Green End used to be both Post Office and Sweet Shop. Next door was a carpenter’s shop belonging to ‘Narrow’ Broad’s brother. A man called Sutcliffe took it over. The name of the owner of Green End was ‘Tin’ Rampton – his wife was the mistress in charge of the infants at the school. (Mrs H Rampton eventually retired from the school at Christmas 1923, after 25 years service – Ed)

At this time the Forge was where the Bus shelter is now. Charlie Rampton was the head man, with a chap called Ford, and a Jack Cousins under him. It soon moved to its present position.

The Home owned no fields in those days, and was shut off from the rest of the village. The boys (no girls were mentioned) used to appear only on Sundays, when they were marched to Chapel twice. They were taught at the Home. The field was a rubbish dump, known as “Dory’s Dell”.

Mrs May Smith was a maid at Prospect House for 11 months in 1939 for a Mrs Maynard, who died a few months after. Mrs Smith left to be married. Mr Smith was born at the Nythe in Bighton Lane, which sounds exactly like it is today.

Alf Bucham used to drive the baker’s cart in about 1912.

There was a ‘German’ who once owned Maxwell’s Old Alresford House named Schwert – remembered with affection by the school children as he used to give them a party after Christmas with nice useful presents of clothing – though the children did not appreciate them fully at the time! The other big houses joined together and gave a party before Christmas.

 

 

Lawrence Wright and his Drawings

Lawrence Wright (1906-1983) was an ‘architectural perspective artist’, who lived in Alresford in his latter years. He was elected as an Associate Member of RIBA in 1930, and they record him living at 27 West Street in the 1960s. Detailed drawings of the houses and shops of West Street and on the East side of Broad Street were drawn and signed by him, in 1965. A lot of the originals of these are held in the Alresford Museum, plus some coloured prints taken from these drawings are on display in the Community Centre, in the downstairs main hall.

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A coloured print of Broad St/East St, as on display in the Community Centre

Lawrence also wrote several text books describing the historical development of various architectural or domestic accessories. These included “Warm and Snug: The history of the bed” in 1962, “Home Fires Burning: The History of Domestic Heating and Cooking” in 1964, which included fireplaces. The description of Lawrence as Author of ‘Warm and Snug‘ was:

Born in Bristol in 1906, he is a well-known architectural painter. He has designed many exhibitions, and it was from one of these, a history of the bath, under the title ‘Clean and Decent’, that his first book evolved. Its reception encouraged him to write ‘Warm and Snug’.

His pièce de resistance was “Clean and Decent: The history of the bath and loo and of sundry habits, fashions & accessories of the toilet, principally in Great Britain, France & America”. My personal interest in such history was triggered when as a young man in an office on the Embankment in London, one of their facilities featured a classic blue and white china bowl, in a design more familiar on Victorian tureens and porcelain tableware, showing a country garden scene. His book was first published in 1960, but has been re-printed many times since then.

I have no knowledge of any buildings or houses where Lawrence was employed as the architect, but there are unsigned drawings in the Alresford Museum collection of his papers showing a design for the re-build of the house and shop at 5a Broad Street, on paper marked as from Nightingale, Page and Bennett, Chartered Surveyors, of Kingston-on-Thames. These are dated 1961: the shop next door at number 5 Broad Street at that time was quoted as Broad Street Fruiterers, and next door at #7, in Livingstone House, was A. Livingstone and Sons. The work obviously went ahead as it showed the shop layout as used until 2015 by the D.Gedye electrical business.

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Whether he was involved with Roy Robins in the design and construction of 38, 40a and 40 West Street is not certain, but it appears that he lived opposite at number 27, in a small house on the South side of West Street: RIBA say that this was his address in 1965. This is now a listed building and private residence, situated on the corner of what is named “Lawrence Wright Passage”. Certainly, from there he could have looked out across the street at these very elegant buildings and roofs, captured in his 1965 drawing below.

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The original Lawrence Wright drawing

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The coloured print in the Community Centre

What immediately becomes apparent to anyone keen on historical data, is that the Lawrence Wright 1965 pictures give a great snapshot and record of the businesses present in the town centre in 1965. Plus they also show that there were far more residential buildings, than shops or business premises: although some were presumably used as Doctor’s Surgeries and for other professional services. Some, such as #40 above (now Jaga Designs), have a business sign which cannot be read from Lawrence Wright’s front of building views. There are too many drawings in the collection to reproduce them all here, but in time they will be made available on the Alresford Museum website, museum.alresford.org.

West Street (North side)

The identifiable business premises are listed as:

  • 6 (Shown as a shop window with no markings).
  • 8 Eureka Fish Company
  • 10 Electrical supplier (there is an advert for Murphy radios in the window)
  • 12 The Bell Hotel
  • 14 Tobacconists plus Walls ice cream sales
  • 16 JS Stiles (later moving to become the Broad St. hardware and china shops)
  • 18 Lex Leathers
  • 20 Tobacconists (Note the ‘No Waiting’ sign, for vehicles, in the picture!)
  • 22 Reg Cutting , Antiques and Bric-a-Brac
  • 24 Ann Verity, Hair Stylist
  • 40a ‘Mollys’: apparently a Restaurant or Cafe
  • 42 Christian Bookshop
  • 56 Chemist (named as H.C.*****)
  • 58 Newsagent
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For 2016 we have Susie Watson Designs, Alresford Haircare, the Naked Grape and the ex-Wedding Dress shop!

West Street (South side)

  • 1  (Unidentified shop front)
  • 7  Lloyds Bank
  • 11 The Swan Hotel
  • 13 Cycle, Motorcycle and Pram services
  • 17 Post Office
  • 19-21 House’s Stores (Players cigarettes, Ariel washing powder)
  • 23 The White House Florist, Fruiterer & Greengrocer
  • 39 Southern Electricity Service
  • 43 Co-operative Food Hall (now two modern shop buildings)
  • 47 Hankins Ltd: Garage and Petrol Pumps (now the Co-op)
  • 49 Dedman’s Grocers, Tobacconist & Newsagent
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These shops look different in 2016 – Moda Rosa and Hetre!

Broad Street (East side)

  • (1 East Street) Lawrence Stationer & Tobacconist
  • 2  Horse & Groom pub
  • 4  Cubitt & West House and Land Agent
  • 6  Hobby Horse – Antiques & Bric-a-Brac
  • 12 Joseph Atkins
  • 14 Kelsall Food Markets (now Tesco)
  • 20 County Library
  • 28 Westminster Bank
  • 30 Chas Eddolls Ltd: Drapery, Clothing, Footwear & Carpets
  • 32 Tylers Wine Stores (now Pizza Express)
  • 36 Broadway Motors (John Allen) (now three modern private residences)
  • 38 (Unidentified shopfront)
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What did Joseph Atkins do? Apparently he lived at 13 Edward Terrace. Next door we have the Chinese Take-Away and the Toy Shop occupies the Cubitt & West premises!

The T-Junction and Town Hall

Other pictures of interest are an unfinished sketch of the Wessex Pharmacy, the view down East Street, and a pen and ink picture created from one of Wright’s drawings of the Barclays Bank building.

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Postscript – His earlier Career

Something I read once made me think that Lawrence Wright had strong links with the RIBA, which was reinforced by the comments made on the back cover of ‘Warm and Snug’, quoted in the above story. On the RIBA website, I found that the picture used to illustrate the design for the Lisboa Casino in Macao, dated 1966, is attributed to him as the artist, which confirms the book cover comment that he was a (very skilled) architectural painter. In the Author’s introduction to ‘Clean and Decent‘, he explains that the book arose after he was invited by Molly Montgomery, who ran the Building Exhibition at Olympia in the late 1950s, to organise a ‘Feature’ display stand at the show, on the theme of The History of the Bathroom. The book inevitably followed: but was a side-line, writing books was just an offshoot from his main works.

Nevertheless, one sentence from his intro to ‘Warm and Snug‘, which explains why his history does not cover the most recent 50 years, is of relevance to all modern historians: “There is no future in writing the history of the present before it is past”.

RIBA advise that he had a further book published in 1983: ‘Perspective in perspective’, published in London by Routledge & Kegan Paul.

(c) Nick Denbow 2016

 

Shop changes of Alresford over 30 years

There’s a lot of data available on the businesses active in the town over the past years. I did a survey of them in 1986, so thought a 2016 survey, 30 years on, would be interesting. Remarkably, there are very few of the original 1986 businesses still trading! At least under their old public facing names.

Broad Street – East side…….  1986 vs 2016

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West Street – North side…….  1986 vs 2016

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2016-west-street-north-side

 

West Street – South side…….  1986 vs 2016

 

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Broad Street – West side…….  1986 vs 2016

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2016-broad-street-west-side

The Alresford Museum holds further survey data for earlier years, such as 1947, and 1965 – the latter via the drawings made by Lawrence Wright, which will feature in a future article. Meanwhile the Lawrence Wright drawings are on display in the Community Centre. Notably the Sun Hill Schools conducted regular surveys recording the names of businesses in the town, dating back to at least 1971 (See the story on AlresfordMemories titled ‘Local history, as recorded by Sun Hill School’, and published on 28 January 2016). School history projects relating to the town are eligible for financial support from the Arthur Stowell Fund, associated with the Alresford Museum, and administered by the New Alresford Town Trust.

(c) Nick Denbow 2016

 

 

 

Alresford Crafts Doll’s head markings

DSC01991 alr crafts dollsAs with most manufacturers, Alresford Crafts wanted to be able to identify the manufacturing date and methods used on each doll sent out of the factory, in case they were ever returned with a fault or other problem. So following the traditional route, some code numbers and letters were placed on the back of the neck of the doll’s head, which was normally not visible, under the hair.

In their 1980 catalogue – they started making dolls in 1978 – these markings were explained, and as far as we know this system was not changed, but was modified a little. The doll’s heads were made in Alresford, in the moulding department of Alresford Crafts, which until 1982 was in a building near the Town Mill, which is on one of the streams emerging from Alresford Pond. During 1982 most of the production, and the ceramics department, was moved to the Station Mill site, near the Alresford Station, famous as the end of the Watercress steam railway line. The heads are made from porcelain, which is often referred to as “china”, as the material was first seen in Europe in cups and saucers, and bowls, exported from China.

acrafts 3Making the heads, arms and feet

The ceramic clay paste was formed into shape inside a mould, to create a relatively soft “green” moulding of either the head, hands or feet of the doll. These were then fettled (to remove the extra material from the feeder tubes that delivered the paste), and for the head, the eye sockets were cut through, and careful finishing produced smooth unblemished porcelain pieces, for the first firing, which took around 12 hours. This produced a “bisque” – a harder moulding – which was then decorated before firing again. Finely ground on-glaze enamels were then applied by hand, to achieve the final colour -after a further six hours in the kiln.

 

acrafts 7The typical marks on the back of the dolls head are seen in the diagram. All but one of these marks are moulded-in, at the first stage. At the base of the triangle “ENGLAND” is the country of manufacture: under ‘England’, the word “ALRESFORD” was usually added, outside the triangle, to identify the manufacturer. The “C A3” marks show the mould number, and the “80” refers to the year of manufacture, ie 1980 here. The initials (“AD” in this example) impressed in the head, are those of the girl who cast the head. The other initials (“DW” in this example) are painted on, and show the initials of the girl who then decorated the head.

 

scan185Staff in the moulding department

The only names we know are those of Denise White (DW), who was a decorator, and Colin Larkin (CL), who was the mould shop manager, seen in the picture on the left. The names of other ceramic workers would be of great interest, and will be added here, if anyone writes in.

The original moulds were formed from sculpted head models, which were created by skilled sculptors. One of these was Frank Garbutt, who lived in Stoke on Trent in the Potteries, and attended Glasgow School of Art in around 1934.

 

 

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Soft toy collection returns to Alresford

IMG_9698xsIn our first story about the soft toys made at Alresford Crafts (1), Verena Harper was mentioned as one of the first employees at the Town Mill, back in 1976. Verena (née Pegg) worked as a checker and finisher on the production line for these popular children’s toy animals. Over the subsequent 40 years, and particularly since retiring to Dorset, Verena has become an avid collector, attending numerous car boot and general jumble sales. Always the previously loved Alresford Crafts soft toys catch her attention, so slowly Verena built up an enormous and varied collection of these animals, helped by friends and relatives who added more of them as birthday gifts!

Now Verena has decided that it is time her little friends were returned to their home town, and so a grand total of over 120 soft toys have come back to be looked after by the Alresford Museum, to be displayed as often as possible – for today’s children, and older ex-children (who are now avid Alresford Crafts toy and doll collectors), to see and appreciate.

Unique soft toys

IMG_9675xsWe think some of these animals are unique, but maybe you can tell us something different? The collection includes some unusual models, not seen in any of the Alresford Crafts catalogues of the time. One from the Southern hemisphere is a striking looking Penguin: these days no doubt some children will be able to identify what sort of Penguin this represents, and if it is accurate! In addition there is a life-like dark brown hen.

IMG_9671More unusual is a glove puppet in a bright pink fur, distinctly looking like an Alresford Pig – maybe it even belonged to one of the children of the original Alresford Pigs, also founded over 40 years ago? The Pig has been introduced to another pink friend, this time an Alresford Crafts pink bunny rabbit, in dungarees, which was returned to us separately from America a few weeks ago. The two are now the best of friends, although one has a distinct American accent.

The Owls!

IMG_9694xsObviously Verena liked the Owls made by Alresford Crafts, because there are more than 15 of them in her collection! We can honestly say that the Alresford Museum now houses more Owls than are likely to ever have lived in the Alresford district! We start with one enormous silver Owl, fashioned in the style of our models of Ollie the owl, who is one of the stars of various “Dr Who” episodes, and also the film “E.T.” Then there is a family of Snowy Owls, a Daddy and two babies: a pair of large Brown Owls with their three babies, one with a black eye-patch like Paddington Bear. Most striking are the family of five young Tawny Owls, looked after by the big Mother Tawny Owl.

Every design of soft toy?

Many other animals are represented in the collection, from a kangaroo, to an ant-eater; a dinosaur as well as white and even blue lambs, plus an otter  – we didn’t ask Verena to check his tail, apparently these toys used to be difficult to sew together without twisting the tail away from horizontal. Many of the smaller toys were made from left-over scraps of cloth, which were turned into simpler stuffed toys, like rats, mice, guinea pigs or Lemmings: Alresford Crafts often donated these to the Alresford Christmas Tree Committee, to be given away on the night that Father Christmas arrived – a famous event in the Alresford calendar – when everyone under a certain age has a present.

The whole collection, delivered from Verena in Dorset crammed into a small car, can be seen – or at least most of them – in the picture below.

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john and verena Harper xs

John and Verena Harper

Verena is now writing more about her early life around Alresford and Bishop’s Sutton, and her time at Alresford Crafts, where she had many friends – like Sue Palmer and Christine Terry. Her comments about the labels on the toys are interesting: apparently the original labels, used at first, were black, but then the gold coloured label with red and black writing was adopted. Where these have a V cut out, these items would have been seconds, not felt good enough for sale, and would have been used as donations to charities, for example to the Christmas Tree Committee in Alresford, for use as presents under the tree.

Museum Displays

The Alresford Museum has a rotating display of artefacts in the Library in Broad Street, and more in the Framing Shop in the Old Fire Station. Several Alresford Crafts dolls and toys are permanently on display in the children’s section of the Library, upstairs. Further displays will be on show in the Alresford Library, and at various other Museum events throughout the coming year.

 

(1) See the original story: https://alresfordmemories.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/alresford-crafts-dolls-and-soft-toys-for-collectors-and-children/

Lists of the Museum collections can be found on www.museum.alresford.org.

 

Local history, as recorded by Sun Hill School

There was a time, in 1971, when the children at Sun Hill School took an interest in recording what they saw in terms of the businesses in Alresford, and what they knew of the history of the buildings in the town centre. This was recorded, in 1971, and shown to later generations of students to pass this history on, and encourage them to look around. The pages showing the results of the survey were copied by my son, when he then studied at Sun Hill in 1982.

The results are presented in the listings below: where they are incomplete, there are possibly private houses between the shops, and these are not always noted. The house numbers are shown first. On the line after this 1971 record, are the results of a survey done in 1986, inspired by this start from Sun Hill School, and some of the survey done by my son’s class at Sun Hill in around 1982. I apologize that this website does not like tabulations!

Broad Street, West side:

1             Parts of the “New Inn”: In 1893, A.Yates lived here, and his horse won the Grand National

3             Parts of the “New Inn”: Florist. TV Shop.                 1986: Fruit and veg shop

5             Gedye: TV & Radio                                          1986: Derek Gedye Radio & Electrical

7             A Livingstone, Butcher                                  1986: Carpets & Curtains

9             Clunes cleaners. Dress shop. Flair Cleaners             1986: Flair Dry Cleaners

11           Feltmaker. Skins. Shoes. Draper                                1986: Stiles China & Glass

13           Grocer. Barber. Coach Office                                      1986: ?

15           Gladstone: Draper and clothes. Stiles                       1986: Stiles ironmongers

17           Howe: clockmaker. Dedman: milk. Oxley: books      1986: Laurence Oxley’s bookshop

19           “Marilyn”. “Broad St Salon”: Hairdresser    1986: “Broad St Salon”: Hairdresser

21           Grocer & Baker. Tea Rooms                    1986: Godwin House Georgian Tea Rooms

23           “Anchor” Pub. GPO. Nursery school                        1986: Old Post House

27           Doctors. Mary Russell Mitford born here. School

29-31    Previously Private house, plus butcher and candle-maker. Attorney, Doctor and Dentist

39           Private house                                                              1986: Antique shop

41           Evans & Evans clocks

43           (Cranley) Home of the Hall family (Flour millers)

49           Batchelor’s Mineral Water and China

 

Broad Street, East side:

                                                                                                  1986:Lawrence’s

2             Pub: Horse & Jockey, then Horse & Groom       1986: Horse & Groom

4             Grocer & baker, Estate Agent                             1986: Cubitt & West Estate Agents

6-8         Hobby Horse. Candle-maker, then Saddler & Harness maker                                   ……………… 1986: Chinese Take-away

10-14     Kelsall: Mini supermarket and grocer                1986: Kelsall Grocery

20-28     The buildings of the George Inn, operating 1415 to 1927: owned by Winchester College

20           Library. Boot repairer                                  1986: Hampshire County Library

28           Westminster Bank. Estate Agents               1986: Marshall Bendall Estate Agents

32           Wine shop. Wine bar                                    1986: Bodega Wine Bar

34-40     On the site of “Le Hart” pub, dating from 1552 to 1689

34           Telephone Exchange                                   1986: Private house

36-40     Chris Lenz: garage                                      1986: Chris Lenz: garage

40           Godwins Grocery 1920-30.

44           Blacksmith’s house

46           Blacksmith’s Smithy and Forge                             1986: Old Smithy

48           Vet and Doctor’s surgery and house

50           Brewery, Orphanage. Beehives     1986: Old Mill House. 9th US 47th Infantry HQ

52           Home of Dairy Farmer (In the 50’s, Miss Pingleton, and her friend, bred goats here!)

54           Old Fire Station

 

West Street, North side:

2             Wessex Chemist                                        1986: Wessex Chemist

4             Hazelgrove: butcher                                 1986: (National chain of) Butcher

6             Saddlers                                                     1986: Tobacconist

8             Anderson’s: Fishmonger and Greengrocer            1986: Still called Anderson’s

10           Jackman’s Electrical shop                                        1986: Gift Shop

12           Bell Hotel                                                                   1986: The Bell Hotel

14           Routledge café                                                           1986: Private house

16           Itchen Antiques                                                         1986: Artemesia Antiques

18           Lex Leather shoes                                                     1986: Hines Footwear

20           Woodland Tobacco                                                    1986: Watercress Travel

22           Reg Cutting antiques                                                 1986: Candover Gallery

24           Office

24a        Ann Verity: Hairdresser                                                1986: Pastimes Toys

26           Bay Tree House Antiques                                             1986: Pastimes Crafts

34           Private house                                                                 1986: Kitchen centre

36           Westholme

38           Berukin                                                                            1986: Dentist

40           Antiques                                                                          1986: Evans & Evans Clocks

40a        M.P.Stoodley: Jewellers                                         1986: Stoodley Jewellers

42           Sweetland Baker                                                            1986: Tapestry Centre

44           John Irwin Hairdresser                                                  1986: Bread shop

46           Waring Bookshop                                                          1986: Delicatessen

48           ASMI Ltd Petfood

50           Pat’s Pantry Confectioners                                          1986: Tiffin Tearoom

52           Prior’s second hand furniture                                     1986: Design Realities

56           Wilstead Chemist                                                          1986: Goode: Chemist

58           Perins Newsagents                                                        1986: Newsagent

60           Mr Howarth’s café                                         1986: Old School House Restaurant

 

West Street, South side, from Station Road downhill!

13           Turner’s Cycles and Toys                                             1986: A&S Fruiterer’s

15           Post Office                                                                     (2013: Gone!)

17           Post Office                                                                     (2013: Gone!)

19           Wine stores                                                    1986: Peter Dominic off licence

23           Clunes Cleaners

27           Flowers & Greengrocery                                1986: Oliver’s Flower shop

29           Antiques

33           Langton Antiques                                           1986: Gore Langton Antiques

35           (Volunteer Arms)                                           1986: Charms and Clipper Stationers

39           Electricity Showroom                                    1986: Halliwell’s Leather Goods

43           Co-op Grocery                                   1986: Co-op – (2013: now two new shops!)

45           Allders private house (The Hankins)

47           Hankins Garage                                              (2013: Now the Co-op)

49           Dedman Grocers                                             1986: Gillian Ellen and Brambles

 

So what is all this worth?

Arthur Stowell

Arthur Stowell

Nothing, in monetary terms. Lots, to a local historian. But another answer is, we all have an interest in our own history, understanding how our surroundings were created. Arthur Stowell understood this, as an ex-schoolteacher, when he moved to Alresford in around 1980. He lived in the Riverside Cottages in The Dean, and his book, “The story of Alresford” was published by the Alresford Historical and Literary Society at the turn of the Century. Because he was a teacher, Arthur wanted to pass on his enthusiasm to future generations. So in his Will he endowed a fund (Ref 1) to make financial awards to school projects that encourage children to take an interest in history, particularly the history of the area of Alresford.

Because of the rigorous requirements of the school curriculum, few of these grants have been taken up. One recent donation was made to Cheriton Primary School for help with an activity sand-pit, where the children use metal detectors to locate items buried in the sand! Maybe further ideas in infants schools along these lines can be suggested, or after school clubs in the older kid’s establishments could take up the idea.

Nick Denbow

Ref 1: New Alresford Town Trustees, www.towntrust.org.uk, Arthur Stowell Fund.

April 2016 Update

One of the latest additions to the Alresford Museum collection of old archives and memorabilia is a hand-drawn map of the Alresford streets, giving house numbers and house names, and in some cases the occupant’s or trader’s names. This together with the similar 1552 survey of the centre of the town, published by Isabel Sanderson and also available in the Museum, would make an interesting history project.

See also the earlier story on this website: https://alresfordmemories.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/encouraging-school-projects-in-local-studies/

What is ‘Made in Alresford’?

WHAT is actually made, and sold world-wide, from Alresford?

The displays in the Alresford Library (Broad Street, Alresford, underneath the scaffolding at the moment!) are being updated from July 1st to show a collection of the many unusual items that are “Made in Alresford”, and exported around the world – in some cases at least.

First in any such display are the dolls and soft toys made by Alresford Crafts: but since there is a permanent display of these dolls and toys in the upstairs cabinet, in the children’s section of the library, there is just one Teddy-bear in the downstairs cabinet to represent this Alresford business.

DSCN1608Next in worldwide exports comes Etchmasters Ltd, of Prospect Road, who operated in the 1970s and 1980s. In the display we have five examples, three of which are railway engine pictures. The fourth is a classic ‘Knight and His Lady’ brass rubbing style of picture (see below), and fifth is a Ploughing scene, with a horse drawn plough. The museum is pleased to have this last picture as the artist is Alan Longford, who worked for Etchmasters around 1980, and then went on to specialise in equestrian and other horse related pictures, becoming a member of the Society of Equestrian Artists.

DSCN1612Almost along the same theme, Alresford has had several saddlers and producers of horse-related equipment in leather, such as reins and so on. An interesting saddle by Alresford Saddlers is on display, which has a sheepskin underside: Alresford Saddlers were located at 16 West Street.

Alresford is famous for some well known clockmakers: at the moment the only example in the Museum is a very worn face of a Grandfather clock inscribed “Jno Howe – Alresford”. He was working in The Dean from 1828-32. This clock face is on show. Equally famous was Evans and Evans, of West Street, where Jaga Designs are now, but until when? – Maybe it was 2000? Or 2010?

DSCN1605Brewing has always been a major industry in Alresford, whether ginger beer or real beer! So there are two beer bottles from Batchelors of the “Pineapple House” at the bottom end of Broad Street, one with a marble stopper in the neck of a glass bottle, and one stone bottle. Batchelors also had a china shop, and a special plate from them is on show that commemorated the first 50 years of Queen Victoria’s reign, presumably therefore dating from 1890. For more about the Batchelors bottling business, see the AlresfordMemories story entitled “The very Best Ginger Beer in Great Britain”, dated 10 March 2013.

What else was made in Alresford?

What else can you think of that was made in Alresford? What have you got that could join this display? We would love to borrow more items to add.

I am also keen to be able to show one of the vibrating spools that were used to measure the density of crude oil flows, made by Agar Instrumentation Ltd in Prospect Road in the 1970s, thru to about 1981. These were essential for every oil well and refinery, and were exported all over the world – the only real competitor was Solartron in Farnborough. Has anyone saved any of these spool pieces? There must have been lots of rejects. The factory was taken over by Redland, the bricks and tiles people, and moved to Kingsworthy, but the products are now obsolete, so the company has now disappeared. Please can we find one of the vibrating spools?

DSCN1614