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History

Preston Street 100 years ago

Preston Street has always been vibrant.  In 1918 there were 37 different types of business, excluding accommodation.  These businesses tended toward the top end of the market.  There was antique furniture and two motor garages.  There was a milliner and two photographers (expensive to take photos, expensive to have them taken). 

There were three specialists in ladies’ blouses, for women had not yet emerged from wearing masculine “shirt” and collar – a style which they had adopted either as suffragists / suffragettes or for their war work. One shop even specialised in veils – outdated even in 1918 … apart from at all those funerals over the previous four years.

Only two of these businsesse were big on advertising.  George Roach owned both ‘The Toy Shop’ at No. 28 and a lace shop at No. 19.  He was content with inserting discrete little paragraphs about his wonderful shops.  Mary Turley, on the other hand, was not afraid to show semi-naked women in her ads.

In 1968 there were still 37 different types of business, not including holiday accommodation. All that seemed to be lacking was an undertaker.

 

1 antique dealer (69a)                                                 1 baby linens shop (40)

1 baker (50)                                                                   3 butchers (25, 37 and 59)

1 carpet shop (46)                                                       2 chemists (5 and 31)

3 confectioners (9, 36 and 67a)                                2 cooked meat / delicatessen (21 and 64)

1 corsetière (our Mary Turley at No. 31)                 1 dentist (70)

1 dry cleaners (30)                                                      2 estate agents (22 and 58)

2 fancy goods shops (39 and 60)                            1 fishmonger (53)

2 gents’ / teenagers’ outfitters (43 and 54)            3 gown/ dress shops (51-52, 90 and 91)

2 greengrocers (35 and 49)                                      1 gundealer (68)

10 hairdressers / barbers (12, 14, 16, 18, 42’ 57, 62, 67a, 68c and69)

1 leather goods dealer (55)                                      1 milliner (70a)

1 motor car agent (73)                                               1 newsagent (62)

1 optician (61)                                                              1 pastry cook (32)

2 pubs (45 and 66)                                                     1 radio rentals specialist (41)                                 

1 refrigeration engineers offices (67)                      8 restaurants and cafes (11,13,26,29,48,67c, 68a and 70c)

1 secretarial services (68a)                                      1 shoe shop (44)

1 tailor (68a)                                                                 1 tobacconist (65)

1 toy shop (28)                                                             1 travel agent (21)

2 turf accountants (45 and 71)                                 3 wine merchants (6-7, 15 and 27)

 

50 years later, the situation had changed.  In 2018, there were approximately 32 restaurants and cafes. The variety of cuisines ranges from Chinese, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Lebanese (one at the north end and the south end of the street) Malaysian, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese and if thirsty you can enjoy bubble tea at No. 46.  Other than restaurants, pubs and bars, there are now a less than a dozen other types of business.  These include:

1 casino (6-8)                                                            1 furniture shop (51)

1 hairdressers / barbers (15, 42 and 57 )            2 letting agency (43 and 72)

1 launderette (75)                                                     2 mobile phone shops (41 and 21)

2 nail bars (23 and 59)                                            2 newsagents / convenience stores

1 promotions agency (67)                                       1 supermarket (Chinese) (38/40)

1 tattoo parlour (41)

The newest and most surprising kid on the block is at No. 16.  At babybond, you can book yourself in to have a pregnancy ultra-sound scan.  For a mere £99.00 you can also receive a “bonding scan … from which you will receive colour prints and movie clips”.  Make your baby a star before s/he is born!