150 years of shops and trades
Sue and David Middleton
Although the expansion of Bottesford in the 19th Century saw commercial development of Queen Street, Market Street and the area near the Cross remains 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”. Market Street is also interesting because the buildings have remained relatively unchanged since the early 19th Century. There have been only two significant changes to the streetscape across three centuries: the addition of the shop in the 1880/90s that is now the Rutland Studio – for many years A.D.Moulsher’s grocery; and the building of the Telephone Exchange in the 20th Century opposite The Cross – now the Melton Mowbray Building Society.
The following information has been compiled from a variety of sources including reminiscences of local residents, trade directories and censuses published in the 19th and 20th Century. There are entries in trade directories which place numerous shops and trades in Market Street. However, the accuracy of addresses in directories and censuses depended on who was making the entry. In addition, census record numbers do not refer to any particular house or building. They identify the people in a household on the night of the census. It is easy to confuse census record numbers with street numbers. To confuse matters further street numbers in Bottesford do not appear to have been used in any systematic way until after the 2nd World War. However, in putting these different sources of information together we can make a start in tracing the pattern of commercial activities in Market Street.
1 Market Street – Paul’s Restaurant
Travelling through the village centre east towards Grantham the first building on the left hand side of Market Street is now Paul’s Restaurant, Wine Lounge and Bistro. During the last 120 years, these premises have housed a variety shops selling a range of goods and services. (Further details of these premises can also be found on this web site at the following link ‘A Little History of Bottesford’)
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 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. J. D. Robinson then purchased the premises. He did a great deal of building and renovation on the property and established a butcher’s shop and slaughter house (now the Wine Lounge and Bistro).
After the departure of J.D.Robinson, the shop continued to be a butcher’s shop – the butchers were Harry Bugg, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Goodson and Mr. Andrew Goodson.
The shop was converted to a restaurant -‘La Petite Maison’- in the early 1990s before becoming Paul’s in the late 1990s.
Next door is the Bottesford Coffee House, now a residential property. The Coffee House was built in 1881, as an attempt by Lady Adeliza Norman and her husband, the Rev. F. J. Norman to overcome the evils of alcohol and encourage temperance.
In 1889, the Reading Room was enlarged to become a parish tea room. 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 shown in the photograph standing at the doorway of the Coffee House. 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 – presumably the cottages that were beyond the
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 log book 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 which 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. Re-decoration was started by the boys (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 damaged in 1983 and funds raised by village organisations were used to finance repairs.
By the early 90s, a girls group was also meeting upstairs at the Coffee House. However by that time the Old Primary School became available. The Parish sold the Coffee House to raise funds to secure and enhance the school premises for full community use.
The Bull Inn
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. 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’.
According to available directories and censuses, landlords named are:
David Hoe (1822); Edward Ayre 1841); Mark Ragsdale (1851); William Barrand (1863); Mrs. Ann Barrand (1877, 1880); Alfred Baily (1891); George Goodson (1899, 1900, 1908, 1916); George Herbert Goodson (1928, 1932, 1936, 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)
An account of life at The Bull during the war can be found at the following link ‘Memories of The Bull: A war-time childhood’ by Mrs. Beryl Smith. In addition, a fuller history is also available at the following link ‘The Bull – History of an eighteenth century inn’.
The Rutland Studio
Next to the Bull is a double fronted house with a shop attached to its right frontage. Before The Rutland Studio opened, the shop was a video library and before that for over 40 years, a grocery, run by Mr. and Mrs. Albert Moulsher (as mentioned in Kelly’s Directory 1941) and described at the following link on this web site – A Village Shop in Bottesford: A.D. Moulsher. During this time, there were petrol pumps outside.
In the Kelly’s directories of 1936 and 1928, the Randells are described as grocers at the same shop. Mr. William Randell ran his omnibus business from the yard behind the shop and the hairdressers next door (now the Oriental Garden Chinese Takeaway). According to the ‘Little History’ (the author writing about events circa 1899), the house was lived in by John Thomas Lane and his wife. After their deaths, it was bought and repaired by a Grantham man. A Mr. Spikes rented the property and when he left, it was bought by Mr. Copeland who built on the “shop area’ to the right hand front of the house.
In recent years the property which is now the ‘Oriental Garden’ has housed a number of businesses. Before the Chinese takeaway there was:
An antique shop, run by Mrs. Win McShane.
A tea shop, named Bartleys during 1988/1989.
A hairdressing salon, called Deacon’s. Clothes, hair products and jewellery were sold there. The 1901 Census mentions the shop as being a barbers but does not name ownership. By 1928, Harold Deacon was listed as a hairdresser there and Mrs. Gertrude Deacon was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Randell.
The Randells also owned a coach firm. The coaches were kept in a yard at the back of the shops and were used for outings from the village. The anglers from the Bottesford Angling Association travelled on these coaches when there were angling competitions and after 1945, Randells also operated the school buses.
The Old Telephone Exchange
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 possible 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 down in the 1980s, Mr. and Mrs. A. Millership moved their chemists business to the Exchange.
The building then became a rural branch of the Melton Mowbray Building Society which it still is today.
The Old White House
Adjacent to the Exchange is ‘The Old White House’ with a large yard. The Old White House was originally a shop but is now converted into a house.
Various business have been run from these premises. In the 1901 census, Robert J. Marriott is listed as a draper at this address. Before being sold in the 1940s, various directories list the shop as being a grocery and drapers (1908 and 1916) and a grocers (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 which were curve shaped.
The house was sold to Mr. A. E. Taylor in the 1940s and was available for rent. The photograph (circa 1948) shows the shops of ‘A.E. Greaves’. Albert Greaves sold electrical goods and was the first in the village to sell televisions.
David Ball remembers that in the mid 1950s, the White House was split into two separate properties. His father sold shoes and took in shoe repairs and David regrets that the bow fronted window of the shop has gone.
Michael Bradshaw wrote that he and his family lived in the front part of the house in 1961. (Please click and see Michael Bradshaw’s “Recollections of Post War Bottesford”). The White House was also an antique shop, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Fern in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. John and Jennifer Dilly also ran an Antiques and Period Furnishings business from 1982/3 to circa 1989. This then became Vogue Furnishings – Bespoke Home Furnishings in early 1990s. Finally, it became a Guest House offering Bed and Breakfast in the 1990’s before returning to non-commercial use.
A driveway with cottages on each side leads to gardens. In the census of 1901, the listing of households on Market Street includes Marriott’s Yard. This may be that yard.
There is one house before Doctor Fleming’s Hospital, founded in 1620. The building is known as ‘Craven House.’ In the 1970s Mr. and Mrs. Cameron had antique showrooms on the ground floor. When they left, the building reverted to being a residence.
It is difficult to ascertain previous ownership but it is possible that the house was either in private ownership for some time during the last 100 years or it was Belvoir Estate property. White’s Directory of 1877 lists Miss Sarah Elizabeth Walker as having a boarding school at Craven House in Market Street. Wright’s directory of 1880 mentions William Page, a coal dealer and corn merchant living at Craven House, Cross Street and in the same directory, Miss Walker has a boarding school in Chapel Street. So a change of use occurred in the three years between 1877 and 1880. In 1899, Mr. Page was still living in the house.
It is remembered that Richard Kettleborrow, County Councillor and Parish Councillor moved from Normanton during the 1920s. His entry in a 1928 directory describes him as a surveyor and collector of taxes to Belvoir Rural District Council and surveyor to Grantham Rural District Council (Eastern Division). He lived at ‘Craven House’ with his family until his death in 1945. His wife and daughter continued to live there, until his wife’s death in 1952 and his daughter’s death in 1974.
Market Street Trade Directory entries
There are entries in directories which place shops and trades in Market Street. In 1877, the following names are listed:
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 pattern of commercial use in Market Street continues today as it has done for the last 150 years.