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210-216 Bath Road (formerly 3-6 Waterloo Terrace)
3 Waterloo Terrace
In 1871 Charles Prust a plumber and decorator was here with his family. Charles was married to Charlotte Tibbles. They had moved on by 1881 when the family were living next to Charlotte’s parents in Leckhampton.
The 1881 census tells us that the occupiers of this property were the Ingles family. There was quite a house full with Joseph, his wife Elizabeth and 4 grown-up children, as well as an adult nephew lodging there. Joseph was a foreman at the local potteries manufacturing earthenware pottery.
In 1885, confectioner William Annis was here. Born in Lowestoft Suffolk, William and his wife Sarah lived here with their niece Kate who was an assistant in the shop. In the 1891 census he was described as a fudge boiler. William Annis had bought the land and premises in 1885 from dairyman Mr W Smart. He continued his confectionery business making sweets at the rear of the shop until about 1912.
In 1913 Miss Olive Shill bought the shop for her sister Bessie to run. It remained a sweet shop for a short time but was not very successful. Olive had the next door shop for her drapery business so she took over Bessie’s shop to make the drapers larger.
Shills remained here until 1957 and was then bought by Mr C D Chapman. These premises are now one of the adjoining properties of the Cheltenham branch of furniture retailers, Lee Longland.
4 Waterloo Terrace
Bootmaker Charles Bullock was head of the household in 1851. He lived here with his wife Ann and their young family.
Since at least 1871 this was the home of Chelsea Pensioner Mr David Twinning and his wife Elizabeth. David Twinning was born in Painswick about 1827. He served in the 23rd Foot Regiment during the Crimean War and was injured in the Battle of Alma in 1854. He died here in 1902.
The business here for over 50 years was that of Olive Shill, draper. Miss Shill was born Susan Olive Shill in the village of Guiting Power, one of six children of Thomas (a bootmaker) and Mary. When she was 10 years old the family moved to Cheltenham, to nearby Naunton Crescent. When she was older she trained as a milliner with Madame Beatrice Taylor in Cheltenham’s Strand.
In 1905, Olive opened her drapers shop at 4 Waterloo Terrace where almost anything from haberdashery to hats, dresses to darning mushrooms and corsets to carpets could be bought. She allowed customers to take items home on approval to be returned if not suitable. The glass topped counter held many things for the home dressmaker. A common practice was when your purchases required a farthing change you would instead get a strip of pins.
After Bessie had closed her shop Olive enlarged hers making the main door where the sweet shop had been. Many people will remember the black and white tiled entrance and the leadwork around the window to the left of the door is still there. Olive's larger shop enabled her to be able to offer a wider variety of goods. The hats were displayed on stands and she was always willing to re-trim a hat for a special occasion. Soft furnishings and carpets were sold by her long-serving assistant Mr Jack Bubb.
A very popular shop in Bath Road it was a sad day when it closed in 1957.
Mr C D Chapman bought Miss Shills shop for his furniture business and by the mid 1960s had acquired the property next door and then the end shop making it one of the largest in Bath Road. It is now part of Lee Longlands.
5 Waterloo Terrace
In 1871 this was the home of Walter Slader, a French polisher who lived here with his wife and 5 children.
At the time of the 1891 census Henry James lived here with his wife Ann and their family. Henry was a hairdresser and his son followed him into the business, which was known as James’ Hairdressing Rooms. It is believed that Ann had been widowed by the turn of the century and their son George, took over the business in his own right by 1905 adding a tobacconists business. When the next owner, Mr Leigh Leach, took over at the end of the First World War he kept the tobacconists, added confectionery and ceased the hairdressing business. Later he added a taxi business, which he ran from this address.
Leigh Leach was born in 1880 in Twyning, Glos, and was one of the many children of Thomas and Ellen Leach. Thomas was a farm labourer and as such travelled around the area to wherever the work was to be found. Consequently most of the children were born in different villages around the Tewkesbury area.
Leigh, who was known as Dick, married Alice Maud Baldwin and they too had several children. Like some of the other traders in the Bath Road he was a keen bowler at the Exmouth Bowling Club. Mr Leach died at the early age of 49 at his home in Bath Road on January 29th 1929.
By the late 1950s, her daughter Vi Leach had taken over the shop and she remained there until it was bought in the mid-sixties by the adjoining furniture store (CD Chapman) now Lee Longlands.
216 Bath Road (formerly 6 Waterloo Terrace)
Situated at the corner of Hermitage Street, Charles Ballinger’s butcher’s shop is thought to be one of the first butcher’s shops in Bath Road. He was born in Leckhampton in the 1830s and is likely to have learnt the trade from his brother-in-law Robert Cotton. In December 1857 Charles took part in the annual Cheltenham Meat Show, when he was said to have an excellent supply of beef, mutton and "other meat of a capital quality". Charles and his wife, Mary Ann had several children the youngest of whom, Charles Vardy Ballinger, was born in Leckhampton in December 1871.
His father passed his butchery skills on to him and by the age of twenty, Charles Vardy Ballinger was a very capable butcher’s assistant. Shortly after his twenty-first birthday he married Julia Buckles and in June 1899 Charles Vardy Ballinger bought the premises from the executors of the will of Mary Barrett. For the shop, the dwelling house and the land on which they stood he paid the sum of £340. Charles Vardy Ballinger was a very fit man and regularly made visits up the road to the Gentleman’s College to assist with their keep-fit lessons. He was also very keen on weight-lifting and often challenged his male customers and friends to a contest. On one occasion the challenger could not hold the weights and sent them crashing down through the floor and into the cellar below!
His business closed at the start of the Great War, largely due to some of his wealthier customers not paying their accounts. It was not unheard of for a whole year to go by without any payment. Despite these difficulties, Charles would always find some meat for the poor at the end of the day.
The First World War saw three of Charles Vardy’s sons in action for their King and Country and so at the age of 43 he decided that he too would serve. With his background in butchery he was able to join the Catering Corps with the hope that he would be near to his sons. When Charles returned to England he continued to work in the butchery trade working for a butcher in the St. Marks area.
In 1916 these premises became the hairdressing business of Mr George Walter Thompson complete with the traditional barber’s pole hanging outside. It seems that Mr Thompson was a traditional barber who never used any electrical gadget preferring to use the barber’s traditional tools. An excellent hairdresser he used to take his time and frequently left his customer waiting whilst he had a cup of tea finishing the hair dressing only when the tea was finished! Mr Thompson was here for about forty years.
The next two proprietors looked after the knitters of Bath Road! Firstly owned by Miss Julie Bristoll it was known as Julie’s Wool Stores and then taken over by Mrs Ingram and called Alma’s Wools. The premises traded as a wool shop under the consecutive ownership of these two ladies for about twelve years.
In 1969 Mr C D Chapman acquired the shop which increased the size of his furniture store to four premises making it one of the largest shops in this part of Bath Road. In November 1972 the Birmingham based company, Lee Longland, took it over.
Researcher: Marilyn West.
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