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For bohemians everywhere

Bohemia Roads butcher, baker, bank and beer seller

Bohemia Road in the last century, shows a wide range of businesses operating. Photo courtesy of Colin Green, Empress Art.

Bohemia Road in the last century, shows a wide range of businesses operating. Photo courtesy of Colin Green, Empress Art.

Another example of life in Bohemia nearly a hundred years ago. The photograph shows the people and shops in the early part of the last century – perhaps 1915-20? The business names of the parade tie up well with the 1920 edition of Kelly’s Street Directory, kindly loaned by local resident Vic Chalcraft. The print itself was supplied by Colin Green of Empress Art.
  On the extreme left, the number ‘45’ can be clearly seen. This was presumably A J Burgess, beer and wine store, mentioned in Kelly’s. Three ladies are seen walking by all wearing enormous hats and ankle-length skirts. Next door, no. 47, has its sunblinds out and a sale is taking place. Painted on the wall above the shop are the words ‘The Noted Cash Stores. China Glass Ironmongery and Crystal Oil’ [What was crystal oil? It’s not in Collins dictionary. Perhaps it was for crystal oil burning lamps?]. Parked outside is a two-wheeled hand cart with the word ‘ROAD’ just visible. Today, numbers 45 and 47 are combined as ‘Alldays Supermarket’.
  No. 49 is mentioned in Kelly’s as ‘Edward Smith, baker and confectioner’. The window blinds are down. On the front of the shop, just below the window it says “Dinner Parties Catere[d for]. Today, this is ‘The Cake Box’, bakers. The shop at no. 51 has a sunblind down over the front of the premises. It is mentioned in Kelly’s as ‘James Horsley, greengrocer’. It is today ‘The Curry Hut’.
  No. 53 in the photograph appears to have items for sale in the window, but according to Kelly’s, it is Wm N Jinks & Son, carpenters and house decorators. Today, the business trades as ‘Frydays’ fish and chip shop.
  Next door is no. 55, the local pharmacist Thos W Jones, MPS, which today, takes in number 57 and trades as Bloom’s Pharmacy. No. 57 in the photograph is described in Kelly’s as ‘The East Sx Window Cleaning Co (sub office) D. Baird’
  The building at the end of the parade, no. 59, is mentioned in Kelly’s as the ‘London, County and Westminster Bank (Silverhill branch), G.W.H.Gates, manager’. Kelly’s also says that at the rear of 59 is the ‘Conservative Club with A. S. Clarke as steward’. Today, the shop is run by the Hastings Locksmith & Key Service.
  The road to the left is Upper South Road, and the shop on the opposite corner, which is partly obscured by a cart turning, is clearly marked ‘Family Butcher’. Kelly’s Directory says simply ‘John Banks, butcher’. It traded as ‘Footsteps’ for some years, but is now an empty shop.
“ Empress Art, 3/4, Tower Road, TN37 6JE. Colin Green. Tel. 01424 442000.

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