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30 Suffolk Parade (formerly 14 Suffolk Parade South)
This shop was for the greatest time dedicated to selling reading materials but began life as a private house, in common with several of the properties in Suffolk Parade, in about 1830.
In the late 1840s the building was changed to a commercial use when Mr C. Cowling established a bookshop here. He was followed in about 1853 by Mr William Stantial who, in addition to books, newspapers and stationery, sold a range of children's toys. It is sobering, in the light of 21st century world affairs, to note that in 1854 Mr Stantial's advertisements referred to the general state of public anxiety about the progress of the Crimean war. In contrast to today, however, the morning newspapers were not delivered until after 11 am.
Mr Stantial appears further up the street in 1855 as the proprietor of the Porter Stores at 8, Suffolk Parade.
He was followed in about 1858 by Mr T. Gastrell who sold books, newspapers and stationery. Successive generations of the Gastrells traded at this address until after 1910 but their name continued at another branch of the business at Montpellier Exchange, until at least 1970.
In 1920 the Gastrells sold this shop to Mrs Annie Saunders and it became one of the first of several in this street to deal in antiques. She was here for just a few years, after which Mr Ronald E. Jones ran the antiques business.
Then came another complete change when Mr Frank Gorford opened a fruiterers shop at these premises in the late 1930s. However this shop didn't last many years before the trade changed again in 1948 when Mr E.H. Kirk set up as an electrical goods dealer. Mr William Robb took over this business in about 1950. He was a vacuum cleaner specialist, refrigeration engineer & dealer, & domestic electrical appliances retailer, who later also traded in photographic equipment. Robbs closed this shop when they moved to larger premises at 170 Bath Road, on 11th April 1964.
Robbs was followed by Fine Furnishings Ltd, a soft fabrics shop, which was here until at least 1980. Since 1994 these premises have been home to the Giltwood Gallery which specialises in a unique range of decorative furnishings.
Researcher: Stuart Manton
The Giltwood Gallery
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