Saturday, November 8, 2008

Morland Terrace - 120 years on


The end house of the terrace was originally occupied by renters. The Mansfield family occupied 4 rooms in 1891 and two young single working men occupied another four rooms. I assume they shared the kitchen and any washing facilities.
By the 1950s this had become a double-fronted shop as it is today. It was occupied by the Co-op and I think (although memory is a little vague) that half was taken up with fruit and vegetables and the other half with flowers.

The shop now occupied by AMA was for many years a butchers shop, first Dewhurst and then taken over by Baxters. My mother used to shop here for meat. The butcher was a genial chap from Leamington by the name of Fred Cross. My friend David Snow, after working as a butchers delivery boy, started his apprenticeship here in 1957 before moving on to a successful business career. 
The original occupant was Walter Scott, a coach painter, and his family.

The present Lloyds pharmacy was established as a chemists by Douglas Roberts in the early 1950s. I remember him working for Ewart Dale on the Stratford Road prior to that, presumably learning the ropes. The added string to his bow was his extra training as an optician, so he was able to offer this service in a back room, even though there was an established optician, F. Blagrove, two doors down. Roberts had an engaging personality and this must have been a great asset to him in building his business. I note that his name survives with the optician's business next door.


The house at the centre of the terrace, with the central doorway flanmed by an optician and a Lloyd's pharmacy was originally a single residence and in 1891 was occupied by William purslow and his family. He was the works manager and one of the most important men in the town. His occupancy may have coincided with the period when two of the canal-side villas were demolished to make way for workshop expansion and the construction of The Gables.


The shop frontage at number 9 has preserved its Edwardian frontage. In the 1950s the occupants were paint and wallpaper dealers, Byrne and Kershaw. In those days wallpaper was popular and the wall-covering of choice. Paint was mainly reserved for wood. These were still pre vinyl and acrylic paint days. Paint was oil-based, required a lot of preparation and took a long time to dry. The primary component of white paint was still lead oxide.
the residential occupants in 1891 were James Carter and his family. He also had two young male boarders. James Carter was an "Iron trimmer" by trade, which sounds very much like a lost occupation.

Morland terrace begins with the Newsagents at number 5. In 1891 the Biddis family lived here. Walter Biddis was a works foreman and was then 41 years old - well established with his family. In the 1950s Sid Davies ran this as a sweet shop. They sold Walls ice cream here and Woodwards across the Square sold Lyons.
Next door lived quite a small household - Henry Gamble, a coach painter, and his wife, and her younger brother, the 20 year old William Jones, a music teacher.


This corner building was not identified with Morland Terrace in 1891 and looking at the variations in architectural styling I would guess that it was erected by a different builder, possibly a year or two after Morland Terrace.
The occupant in 1891 was Richard Stapley, a 38 year-old Draper. He and his wife came from Brighton and presumably had sufficient capital to set up in business here. The older children were born in Brighton but the youngest, just 2 months old in 1891, was born in Wolverton, which would suggest that they had not been resident for very long and may well have been the first occupants of the building. This was a commercial establishemnt from the very first. Stapley also employed a 29 year old Draper's Assistant and a 13 year-old domestic servant.
As I mentioned earlier, the shop was a grocery - Dudeney and Johnston. To some degree the present occupiers have returned to Richard Stapley's trade.

3 comments:

jenny said...

Hi, A friend and I are trying to trace my UK background and she found your site. I have letters dated Oct and Dec 1911 with the address of 11 Morland Terrace Wolverton. It appears that my Great gandmother Mary Ann Tilley, lived with her niece Rose Bruce at that address. Any info that you could let me have would be greatly appreciated. I am particularly interested in Mary Ann Tilley (nee Knight) Regards,Jenny Barber RSA

Bryan Dunleavy said...

The problem with Wolverton addresses (for such a young town) is that they took some time to standardize. These houses were numbered fro Moreland terrace, radcliffe Street and later The Square. I think (but am not sure) that they kept their odd numbers, starting with 1,3,5,7,9,11 etc.
So in 1911, the house at number 11 was likely

Bryan Dunleavy said...

(continued) the one now occupied by the Estate Agent. As I said in the original post it was occupied in 1891 by William Purslow prior to the huge house known as the Gables being built on land beyond Ledsam street.
The 1911 census is now available for searching so you should discover your relativ.