HUGE apologies for this being the first post in a very long time. Real life work commitments have been keeping me from going to the record office, and I have barely sat down to do anything historical in weeks. But enough about the high-pressure Clarendon Park life we all lead today (cue violins), and more about the past. I thought we’d start afresh with Howard Road, one of my favourite parts. It’s a bit like Clarendon Park Road in that there is a real mix of housing, though none of it as grand. There is/was a sprinkling of shops and businesses, but of a smaller and humbler nature as they are not on a main thoroughfare. Several purpose-built shops have now been converted into houses, but a few linger on. Here is a snapshot of businesses in 1911, from the census and Kelly’s Directory:
- 21 Howard Road – Mrs Lydia Fletcher, beer retailer and shopkeeper
- 43 Howard Road – Ruby Gursley, general draper
- 47 Howard Road – Cuthbert Chapman, scientific instrument designer
- 59 Howard Road – Julia Annie Hill, boarding house keeper (2 boarders)
- 77 Howard Road – George Edward Pritchard, grocer and confectioner
- 84 Howard Road – Sarah Benskin, dressmaker
- 85 Howard Road – Charles James Groves, boot repairer
It’s worth mentioning that the lower end of Howard Road (towards Welford Road) was still pretty new in 1911. Many of the houses from about 90 onwards were not built until 1903-6.
There were never very many businesses on Howard Road, because unlike Clarendon Park Road it’s not a main thoroughfare – especially now that it has been divided up for traffic calming. There are only a handful today and several have been converted into housing like number 77, which in 1911 was a grocer and confectioners, and was last used as a general corner shop and off license. It stood empty for many years and was a bit of an eyesore until it was renovated in 2009/10 and converted into two houses. The old off license illuminated sign was still there until a few months ago.
Anyway, it’s good to be back and I promise to be a better Yourhistories from now on and not to get distracted by
gin other things. Yours, Elizabeth.