Friday, November 7, 2008

Morland Terrace

The Radcliffe Street side of the Square was originally called Morland Terrace, and there is still a plaque embedded in the wall to record it as such. the huses here were variously numbered as part of Radcliffe Street or The Square, eventually settling upon the latter.
In 1891 the Buckingham Street corner was occupied by a Mr Richard Stapley and his family. He was a draper and outfitter, so from the very first this building was a shop and has continued so to this day. In the 1950s it was occupied by Dudeney and Johnston, Bedford-based grocers with a lot of branches in the region. These were pre-supermarket days, but chain grocers like Dudeneys and Sainsburys were able to offer a better selection of product, often at a better price, than the local, corner-shop style grocer. I suppose there were quite a lot of Dudeney & Johnston-style grocery chains across the country in those days. J. Sainsbury's was merely one of many, but they had a London base and were obviously able to parlay that advantage into today's supermarket. Even so, that transition took 40 years.
The other residents of Morland terrace were (in order north to south) Walter J Biddis, a foreman coach builder, and family; Henry Gamble, a coach painter, with his wife and brother-in-law, a music teacher; James Carter, iron trimmer, and family; William Purslow, manager of the carriage works, and family; Allan Mills, coach trimmer; Robert Dakin, coach body maker, and wife; Edwin Wood, Foreman, Fitting dept. and family; Heber Williams, Secretary carriage dept. and captain 1st Bucks RVC, and family; Walter Scott, Coach Painter, and family; Frederick Mansfield, Railway carriage maker, and family; John Clewett, Coach Body Maker, and William Coop, Blacksmith.

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