Not Forgetting - Chapter 3, part 2: Market Street, The Cross and Church Street
David Middleton and Sue Middleton
Bottesford in the 19th Century saw commercial development of Queen Street, the area near the Cross and Market Street was the historic centre of trade. Situated at the cross roads of east to west and north to south it is understandable why it should have become a place associated with market trading. Within living memory, markets were held in the Bull Inn yard and 19th Century maps identify what is now Grantham Road as the “Market Place”.
J.D. Robinson & Co. The Rutland Pork Pie & Sausage Manufactory (1)
The building that is now Paul’s Restaurant, Wine Lounge and Bistro has housed a variety of shops selling a range of goods and services during the last 120 years. In White’s Trade Directory of 1877 and Wright’s Directory of 1880, Mr William Wood had a grocery, draper’s and tailor’s shop there. By 1899, there was a change of shopkeepers. Mr Wood moved to the building now occupied by the Chinese takeaway (The Oriental Kitchen) and Mr Herbert Copeland took over the premises at 1 Market Street. He was a ladies outfitter and also sold hats and shoes. He eventually moved his business to the building now occupied by the Rutland Studio, formerly Moulsher’s Shop. John Daybell Robinson (1864-1947), seen far left in the photograph, then purchased 1 Market Street. He did a great deal of building and renovation on the property and established a butcher’s shop and slaughterhouse, having moved his butchery and pork pie business from the corner of Queen Street and Chapel Street to Market Street in 1899. Wright’s Directory of 1899, presumably compiled in 1898, still lists him as living in Queen Street, but the 1901 Census shows J.D. Robinson as working as a butcher in Market Street and Joseph Martin as a baker and confectioner working nearby.
After the departure of J.D. Robinson, the shop continued to be a butcher’s. Kelly’s Directory of 1908 gives G.H. Goodson as a butcher on Market Street. He purchased the business from J.D Robinson and subsequently let it to Harry Bugg. In the 1928 Kelly’s Directory, Harry Bugg is still listed at these premises. After World War 2, G.H. Goodson’s son and daughter-in-law, Frank and Maisie Goodson, took over the business. In the early 1990s, their son Andrew Goodson converted the shop into a restaurant – ‘La Petite Maison’. It became ‘Paul’s Restaurant’ in the late 1990s. The former slaughterhouse is now the ‘Bistro and Wine Lounge’.
The Belvoir Coffee House (2)
Next door is ‘The Belvoir Coffee House’, built in 1881, as an attempt by Lady Adeliza Norman and her husband, the Revd. Frederick John Norman, ‘to overcome the evils of alcohol and to encourage temperance’. In 1889, the Reading Room was enlarged to become a parish tearoom. Fund raising often took the form of ‘public tea drinking’ and the room could accommodate 105 people. By 1909 John Hardy had run the Coffee House for 33 years. Mr George Waudby remembers that his mother recognised John Hardy as the person at the doorway of the Coffee House in this photograph. In the directories he was entered as a ‘coffee tavern keeper’ as well as being the Parish Clerk, Sexton and Town Crier and living on Church Terrace. When cycling became a popular outdoor pursuit in the early 20th century, The Coffee House offered refreshments and accommodation for cyclists. In the directories of 1916, 1928, 1932, 1936 and 1941 there is mention of a tailor named Reginald Barke. It is possible that he was the tailor who is still remembered by local residents as sitting cross-legged in the window of the Coffee House whilst sewing.
During the 1940s, the school logbook mentions that ‘dental inspections took place in school and that the following week, the Coffee House was used as a dental surgery for treatment’! There are vivid memories of the school dentist checking teeth in the early 1950s when Mr and Mrs Frank Topps lived there. Mrs Gill Bagnall remembers going through the front door (now a centre window) and having to wait!
In 1957 the Grantham Journal reports ‘a new lease of life’ for the Bottesford Youth Club at the Coffee House. P.C. Wright and Mr Dewey were given a grant by the Education Authority to revive the Youth Club that had been closed for 12 months. It was thought that boys could run it themselves, with some adult guidance. A new caretaker and a committee of 14 boys were appointed. The boys started redecoration (50 boys had enrolled) and there was talk of a similar section for the girls!
In the 1970s, the Coffee House was used as an office for the registration of births, marriages and deaths. A fire caused extensive damage in 1983 and funds raised by village organisations were used to finance repairs.
By the early 1990s, a girls group was also meeting upstairs at the Coffee House. However by then the Old Primary School had become available for purchase from the Belvoir Estate. The Parish sold the Coffee House to raise funds to purchase and enhance the school premises for full community use.
The Bull Inn (3)
The Bull is thought to be an old coaching inn. The present building dates from about 1726 but an earlier inn on the site could date back to 1620. Certainly, it would have been an obvious place for coaches to stop when the road to Nottingham became a turnpike. We are told that the bay window overhanging the main door was used by the landlord to look out for the arrival of new customers. The Bull Inn has been known by various titles – ‘The Bull’, ‘The Black Bull’, ‘The Black Bull and Commercial Hotel’, ‘The Bull Hotel’ and in 1822 ‘The Bull’s Head’. Early 20th Century postcards show the inn sign as actually standing in the road.
According to directories, censuses and private sources, landlords have included: David Hoe (1822); Edward Ayre (1841); Mark Ragsdale (1851); William Barrand (1863); Mrs. Ann Barrand (1877, 1880); Alfred Baily (1891); George Goodson (1899 – 1916); George Herbert Goodson (1928 – 1941); Olga Healey (1948); George Hodge (1970s); Pat and Hazel Preston (1980s); Bob and Carol Towlson (1990s); Geoff and Linda Morris (2000s); Mark Attewell (2007).
The Times, Tuesday 10th May 1831, included this account of a tragic accident at the Bull:
“Melancholy event at Bottesford near Belvoir Castle on the afternoon of Saturday week, 30th April. It appears that the floor of the privy of the Bull Inn of that place composed of wood and which was over the vault, three or four yards in depth, had for some time been in an insecure state, and at the above mentioned time, four children from 9 to 12 years of age, went into the place and were dancing upon the floor when it gave way and the whole of them went down with it, and all were suffocated in the soil before any help could be obtained. One of the children was the daughter of Mr David Hoe, the Landlord, one the daughter of Mr Geeson, grocer, one that of Mr John Sutton, fellmonger, and the other that of Mr Dawn, Breather Hills near Barrowby, who the day previous had come to her aunt’s house at Bottesford to receive her education. An Inquest was held on Monday at the Red Lion before Mr Clark, the coroner. Verdict – Accidental Death.”
The site of this tragedy is believed to be near the arched doorway immediately behind the main building, on the Eastern side of the car park.
A.D. Moulsher – Grocery store (4)
Next to The Bull is a double fronted house with a shop extending out from its right frontage. Before the Rutland Studio opened here in about 2000, it was a video library. Before that, for over 40 years, it was a grocery run by Mr and Mrs Albert Moulsher, mentioned in Kelly’s Directory 1941. Mr Moulsher had managed the Bottesford Co-op before establishing the business in Market Street.
According to an anonymous account from the late 1890s, ‘A Little History of Bottesford’ (reproduced later in this chapter), John Thomas Lane and his wife lived in the house. After their deaths, it was bought and repaired by a Grantham man, and then a Mr Spikes rented the property. When he left, it was bought by Mr Copeland, who added the ‘shop area’ to the front. Kelly’s directories of 1928 and 1936 record Grace and William Randell, who were grocers here at this time and had petrol pumps in front of the house. William Randell also ran his omnibus business from the yard behind the house in the 1930s and 40s. Randell’s coaches were used for outings from the village. Bottesford Angling Association travelled on them to angling competitions and, after 1945, Randells also operated the school buses.
The building next door, the Oriental Garden Chinese Takeaway, has housed a number of businesses, including an antique shop run by Mr and Mrs McShane, a tea-shop named Bartleys during 1988/1989 and Deacon’s hairdressing salon where clothes, hair products and jewellery were also sold. The hair dressing business was long established. Harold Deacon was listed as a hairdresser as early as 1928; his wife, Gertrude, was the daughter of Mr and Mrs Randell. The 1901 Census recorded the shop as being ‘a barbers’, but did not name its owner.
The Old Telephone Exchange (5)
The first telephones were installed in Bottesford between 1914 and 1918. In Michael Honeybone’s The Book of Bottesford, Mrs Jordan nee Smith recalls that, as her father was the police sergeant at the time, theirs was “the first house to have a telephone installed”. The number was Bottesford 2 and the Post Office was Bottesford 1. The site of the Telephone Exchange on Market Street possibly dates from that time, although the current building looks to be more modern. Telephone services were moved to Rutland Lane in the 1970s and the old building became available for other uses. After Hobson’s Choice in Queen Street closed in the 1980s, Mr and Mrs A. Millership moved their ‘on the shelf medicines’ and fancy goods business to the Exchange. In the 1990s the building became a rural branch of the Melton Mowbray Building Society, which it still is today.
The Old White House (6)
Adjacent to the Exchange is ‘The Old White House’ with a large yard. It was originally a shop but is now converted into a house. Various businesses have been run from these premises.
Robert J. Marriott could have been the draper who was listed at this address in the 1901 census. Before being sold in the 1940s, various directories listed the shop as being a grocery and drapers (1908 and 1916) and a grocer’s shop (1928, 1932 and 1941) run by William Samuel.
Mr Samuel also sold sweets and soft drinks and was known as ‘Titty Bottle’ Samuel by children of the village because he sold old – fashioned glass feeding bottles for babies that were curve shaped.
The house was sold to Mr A. E. Taylor in the 1940s and was available for rent. In the late 1940s and 1950s it became ‘A.E. Greaves’ electrical goods shop. Albert Greaves sold electrical goods and was the first in the village to sell televisions. David Ball remembers that by the mid 1950s, the White House was split into two separate properties. His father sold shoes and took in shoe repairs. The White House was also an antique shop, owned by Mr and Mrs Fern in the late 1960s and early 1970s. John and Jennifer Dilly also ran an ‘Antiques and Period Furnishings’ business from 1982/3 to circa 1989. In the early 1990s the premises was occupied by ‘Vogue Furnishings – Bespoke Home Furnishings’. Finally, it became a bed and breakfast business in the 1990s before returning to non-commercial use.
Watch and Clock Makers – The Lewty Family (7)
Bottesford was self-sufficient in nearly all that was needed for daily life during the nineteenth century. One of the more unusual occupations was that of master watchmaker. The census of 1851 shows that a Lewty family lived in Normanton, but James Lewty, born about 1821, was a master watchmaker and finisher living on Bottesford High Street, where he was joined by his wife Frances before 1861. James Lewty, known as ‘Ticky Lewty’, was still recorded as a watchmaker and a clockmaker on Market Street in a 1900 directory, although the 1891 census gave his address as the first house on Grantham Road. The 1901 census recorded only his daughter, Elvira Lewty, a dressmaker, living in what was by then the second house on Grantham Road, probably one of the cottages next to the village school, facing the Red Lion.
Market Street 1877 Trade Directory entries
Miss Eleanor Bend – straw bonnet maker; Daniel Daybell – farmer and grazier; John Fryer – butcher; Francis James – blacksmith; Francis James – victualler; Red Lion, Market Street; Alfred Lee – tailor; James Lewty – watchmaker; Robert John Marriott – grocer, draper and agent for the British Empire Insurance Co.; John Sutton – grocer and grazier; Francis Vincent – farmer and grazier, Acacia House; William Wood – grocer, tailor and draper.
The Cross (8)
Formerly known as the Market Place, this section of the road is now known as The Cross. Directory and census entries indicate that there were shops here at the turn of the 20th Century. However, there are difficulties in interpreting these entries. For example, in the 1851 census the enumerator did not take account of street names as we know them today. Any households that were at The Cross or on Church Street were classed as High Street, making it difficult to place them. Similarly, in White’s Directory of 1863, it is difficult to place trades and shops in this part of the village because the names of the streets vary according to who provided the entry. In 1863 the High Street could have continued as Market Street.
However in 1877 and 1880 John Fryer, a butcher, and John Sutton, a grocer and grazier (and a glover in the 1851 census), were recorded in directories. These are two tradespeople whose addresses, though given as in Market Street, are known definitely to have been at The Cross.
In 1899 and 1900, Arthur Taylor and Robert Taylor were butchers and John Sutton had a grocery business. William Sutton, a relative of John Sutton, had a grocery on the High Street. He had been a fellmonger’s apprentice in his youth. Fellmongers dealt in skins and hides and by-products such as animal fats. John Sutton may well have used the fats produced by William Sutton for candle making.
In 1908 and 1916 Arthur Taylor still had the butcher’s shop but by 1928 the Sutton’s shop had become the home of Henry Bateson, the blacksmith who had the smithy on what is now the Red Lion car park. Mrs Ada Bond (nee Bateson) was born in 1919 and, as a child, lived in the premises where Sutton’s grocery had been located. She recalls that John Sutton was a candle maker and mentions that the house smelt of candle-wax because candles were made there.
According to The Book of Bottesford, Arthur Taylor was able to purchase his shop and slaughterhouse in the Duke’s Sale in March 1920. In 2009, the Taylor family still have a butcher’s business at the Cross and continue to slaughter animals fattened on their farm.
Geeson’s Shop (9)
In 1877, Richard Geeson had his grocer’s shop on Church Street opposite ‘The Red Lion’ and by 1880, he was not only a grocer, but also an assistant overseer and assessor of taxes. In 1899, the Geeson shop was kept by Mrs Elizabeth Geeson, followed in turn, until the mid 1930s, by Miss Mary Jane Geeson and Miss Annie Geeson.
Michael Honeybone mentions in The Book of Bottesford that at the end of the 19th Century, the Geesons set the price of butter for the village at their shop. When the Geesons stopped trading, the shop was taken over by Harry Grant who had a shoe shop and shoe repair business.
Six Bells Alehouse (just off the map)
According to Drake’s trade directory 1863 William Marshall had a beer-house in Church Street. In 1877, William Aukland sold beer at the beer-house (on Church Walk in the 1891 Census). By 1899, the beer-house was named The Six Bells, and William Lamb was the publican (In the 1901 census he was also described as a joiner). In 1908, William Lamb was still the publican but by 1916 William and Mary Lamb were running Lamb’s Tearooms there. By 1941, the building was a private house, still lived in by members of the Lamb Family.
The Red Lion (10)
This is a mid-18th Century building; the impressive stone fireplace in the lounge was uncovered in the 1980s during renovations. For many years it was a Hardy and Hanson pub serving Kimberley Beers.
Landlords have included: Edward James (1851); Francis James (1863, 1877) and Francis James ‘machine owner’ (1880 to, 1900); Edward Greenbury (1901); Robert Henry Mann (1908); Ernest Lamb (1916); Lawson Lane (1928); Ernest Lamb (1932, 1936); Arthur H. Lamb (1941); Fred Allcorn (1940s); Mr and Mrs Standley (until 1951); Mr and Mrs Joe Haslam; Harry Holmes (“Cash Harry”); Mr and Mrs Norman Smith; Mr and Mrs Beacroft (1962 to 1982); Mr and Mrs Kay (1980s); Mr and Mrs S. Middleton (1990s). The transfer of the licence to Margot Beacroft was the last case at the old Belvoir Court House near the Castle.
A smithy stood in what is now the pub car park (see Chapter 8). This was a mid-18th Century building: a stone mounting block can still be seen.