Tag Archives: Pharmacy

W T Hind – prescriptions books

I made it to Leicestershire Records Office and had a look at the prescriptions books of W T Hind, chemist and druggist on Queens Road for over 100 years.  I wrote an article about W T Hind here.  The office holds the prescription books from between 1894 (so not long after Mr Hind opened for business in 1888) and 1954.  They are beautiful, card and leather-bound ledgers in a variety of styles.  I looked mostly at the volumes covering 1894-1920.  The handwriting was difficult to decipher and the prescriptions were in note form, using archaic terms for obsolete medicines, so it was quite a task to make sense of them. 

The prescriptions were interesting from two points of view: Firstly, the prescriptions themselves; and secondly the people for whom the prescriptions were intended. These varied from those not important enough to be named – many servants like “The Maid (Rev Forsyth)” who needed an expectorant “when the cough gives trouble.”  She was prescribed Terebene on a piece of sugar.  Also “Baby Baker” (who needed lanolin), “Mrs Rattenbury’s baby” (who turned out to be Grace, daughter of the Wesleyan minister John Ernest Rattenbury, one of the outstanding preachers of his day, then living in North Avenue.  He founded the Belgrave Hall mission and built Clarendon Park Church) and countless others.  Mr Hind seems to have dispensed to quite a clerical crowd as there were lots of Reverend gentlemen amongst his clientele, eg Rev Holmes (could have been the vicar of St Peter’s or the curate of St Nicholas…anyway, he was a bit bunged up and needed oil of eucalyptus in a tumbler of steamy water) and Rev Forsyth (the renowned theologian and first minister of Clarendon Park Congregational Church).

But the prescriptions are fascinating.  W T Hind dispensed the medicine of his day and until well into the 20th century much of it was rough and ready, some of it being quackery and much of it being downright dangerous.  Take Mr T Pochin’s prescription:  Chloroform, strychnine and digitalis three times a day.  It must have been a heart medicine, but it didn’t save the poor chap as he died the same year, aged 58.  Mr Alfred Edwin Dexter – a commercial clerk living at 51 Howard Road – was prescribed magnesium carbonate, magnesium sulphate, chloroform and aqua…I’d love to know what that was for. 

Mr Hind also made up his own “branded” medicines, which all pharmacists offered in the days when medicines were not heavily regulated and when druggists literally made up pills and powders by mixing ingredients.  In 1897 Mr Hind offered “The Sulphonal Powders” (a sleeping medicine) and there were several others mentioned.  I like this:  Hind’s Nursery Hair Lotion.

I couldn’t help buying the label above on ebay last week…Mr W T Hind has really caught my imagination.  I am delighted to report that his great-granddaughter – herself a pharmacist – is willing to let me interview her about The Park pharmacy, and I will be sharing the results as soon as possible.  Regards, Elizabeth.

A chemist in Queens Road for 100 years?

Let’s take a look at one of Clarendon Park’s businesses of the past, a dispensing chemist – W T Hind, of 76-78 Queens Road and also of 44 Montague Road.  I bought this label on ebay a year or so ago, and it got me interested in chemists in Clarendon Park.   I started looking into W T Hind and his business, and have uncovered quite a lot of information and sources.   I am planning to post information here as I find it.  If only Leicestershire Record Office wasn’t closed for stocktaking this week I could tell the whole story in one go but hey ho.

 The 1947 Kelly’s Directory of Leicester shows the following entry: “Hind, William Tom, 76 and 78 Queens Road and 44 Montague.  Telephone number 77140.”  The same telephone number is shown on the Inhalation label, which helps us to put a rough date to it.  Being in business for a long time was a good selling point in past times – less so now, I suppose – so Mr Hind helpfully put the date he started the business, 1888, on the label. 

So, looking at the 1891 census we find William Thomas Hind living not above the shop in Queens Road, but with his mother in St Peter’s Road.  He is a Chemist and Druggist aged 24, born in Leicester.  If his business started in 1888, he must have been just 21 at the time.  He seems to have moved house a lot at this time, living all over the city.  By 1901 he had married Lizzie Smith and helped produce three children.  The whole family now lived at 78 Queens Road with their servant.

In Wright’s 1909 Directory of Leicestershire Wm Tom Hind, 78 Queen’s Road, is the only chemist and druggist listed, which might explain why in 1911 the family (now with another daughter) lived at ‘Lindenhurst’ in East Avenue, Clarendon Park, a decidedly swisher address.  The eldest son, Horace William, is a pharmacy student.

This was a very long lived business.  In Kelly’s Directory of Leicester 1957, another chemist is listed, Frederick Leonard Hind (William Thomas’s third son, born in 1900).  There are now two telephone numbers and we are also told that they are dealers in photographic apparatus and materials.  In 1896 William had been granted a license to sell ‘medicated wines’, which is amusing when you consider all the other interesting potentially recreational chemicals a chemist could legally sell in those days.  In fact, there are a lot of W T Hind bottles and labels still kicking around, which give you an idea of how the shop must have looked and smelled.

W T Hind was still in business in 1984 – almost 100 years (Not the W T Hind though I hope – unless his pills were REALLY good!).  Over the next few days I hope to find out exactly when the business ended.

As to the premises – 78 Queens Road is currently home to the Co-Operative Pharmacy, formerly Gordon Davis pharmacy.  It is funny how business premises sometimes retain the same use for a long time.  It may well not have been used for any other purpose since it was first built.

More on W T Hind and its competitor for the oldest pharmacy in Clarendon Park, Spiers, soon.  In the meantime, I’d love to hear from anyone who remembers W T Hind.  Regards, Elizabeth.