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28 Suffolk Parade (formerly 12 Suffolk Parade South)
In 1840 an auctioneer called Mr T. Wood lived here. By 1858 the premises had found a commercial use when a sculptor called Mr J. Papera was based here but this changed in about 1861 when Mr Francis Kingdom, a lace dealer, was here with his wife Mary Anne and one servant. He was the first of a series of traders concerned with fabrics or clothing and by 1865 these premises were run by Mrs Claridge as a Berlin Wool Repository. She also operated as a ladies dressmaker next door, at number 29, in the late 1860s.
Berlin Wool work was a form of tapestry which was associated with the city of Berlin, where the invention of artificial dyes had enabled bright colours to be created. Tapestry was a popular past-time with Victorian ladies and we may imagine that this was a form of craft shop.
By 1870 Mr Thomas Willis had established a drapers shop here and next door at number 29 but he was only here for a few years, continuing the business in the adjacent shop. There followed Mr George McCanlis, who styled himself as a Professor of Athletics and later as a Sports Outfitter and Art Teacher. The proximity of Cheltenham College seems to have encouraged the growth in a number of sports equipment and clothing shops in the area.
For a few years in the 1890s this shop became Strettons Limited, a bicycle shop with its main manufacturing workshop in Bath Road. It also incorporated Cameron & Co.photographers, with H.A. Stretton as the manager. Strettons later became both cycle and motor car dealers at their Bath Road works.
The next significant development was the arrival here of Mr Arthur Norman, China & Glass Dealer in about 1905. It seems probable that he was related to Mr Charles Norman who carried on the same trade in the High Street from about 1830 and this requires further investigation. Arthur Norman was at these premises until the late 1950s.
He was succeeded by David Gilmore, a hardware merchant, in about 1960 and in the late 1960s by Tom Tayler who ran Studio Tayler, an artists material dealers, picture framer and seller of artwork. Mr Tayler remained here until at least 1980 but by 1986 he had given way to the Omega Gallery, an art gallery and dealership.
Today these premises are home to Edward Cox goldsmiths.
Researchers Stuart Manton & Jill Waller
For more information about the history of the Suffolks click here.
Edward Cox Goldsmith
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