Thursday, September 11, 2008

Stratford Road III


The end of the long section from Radcliffe Street brings us to the back alley of Cambridge Street. Huse number 44, the white-painted one at the end was occupied in the 1950s by a Mrs Read who had a Ladies Hairdressing business at 11 the Square. At the back of this house was one of Wolverton's two off-licences. It was a "hole in the wall" onto the back alley. There you rang the bell, waited for the hatch to open, and placed your order. It was a separate residence from No. 44 at the front and, interestingly, was an off-licence in 1901. This off licence went under the improbable name of the "Drum and Monkey". There was no sign; this may been a local nickname.
The next group of four houses takes us to Cambridge Street. There are two gable-ended houses with double-fronted shops; in between numbers 46 and 47. In 1901, 45 and 47 were private houses; 46 was a drapery shop and 48 a grocer. Fifty years later Number 45 was occupied by Ewart Dale, with a double-fronted shop. 46 was private, 47 was Lloyds Bank and 48 was split between Williams ( a lingerie shop) and Jordans (a barber).
Ewart Dale was a dispensing chemist but the shop doubled as a very good photographic shop; trebled perhaps a his wife had a hair dressing salon in the back. In the age before the single lens reflex camera, Dales carried a good range of Rolleis, Zeiss and Voigtlander Cameras. He also carried standard Kodaks and a few Japanese imports. I bought a Petri rangefinder camera there; it was an affordable camera of reasonable quality. Dales came pretty close to being a specialty photographic shop and, as well as supplying film, offered enlargers and all darkroom processing materials and equipment. 
Lloyds Bak, whenever they arrived, must have built the brick facade that still shows in the photo, except that there was a doorway for 46 back in the 50s. The Unwins shop has completely changed its frontage.

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