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228 Bath Road (formerly Bath Road Tea Warehouse)
Cheltenham Mercury, 19th April 1879
This shop is thought to have one of the oldest shop fronts in Cheltenham.
In 1860 this property housed Thomas Adams's Bath Road Tea Warehouse and he was fined in that year for not maintaining proper weights and measures. Mr Adams, who was born in Bedfordshire, sold a variety of groceries in addition to tea and coffee, advertising "astonishing bargains" for cash payments to both wholesale and retail customers.
In December 1877 Frederick Hewer, aged 16, was convicted of stealing a 6lb tin of biscuits from the Bath Road Tea Warehouse and was sentenced to 7 days imprisonment (it might have been worse, but he had excellent character references from a previous employer). He never came before the bench again.
Mr Adams continued to run the shop until at least 1904 and he died in 1911.
For a short time the premises became a Chinese laundry, occupied just prior to the Great War by Lee Fong.
In 1915 the shop was bought by Frank West. He was born in Stourbridge in 1874 and soon after his birth, the family moved to Cheltenham. He started his working life at Cypher’s Nurseries in Queen’s Road, eventually becoming head of the Palm House. After working for a local greengrocer for some years, Frank started his own business, at what was then 85 Upper Bath Road.
Frank was married to schoolteacher Melina Pearce in 1916 and they had two sons. It was the youngest son Alf who took over the family business following his father’s death in 1946.
Alf and his wife Ina had two children. In 1967 their son Don joined the business making three generations working together as Mrs West senior continued to work at the shop for a couple of hours each day until well into her eighties.
Many local boys helped out as errand boys going out on carrier bikes delivering customer’s orders. In the early days the lads had to cycle to the large houses around the Park or on Leckhampton Hill to collect the order from Cook before going back later on with the fruit and vegetables she had requested.
In 1980, after 65 years in the same family, the shop was sold. Mr Bernard Chapman took it over as a greengrocers shop for a short time and then it became a second-hand furniture shop.
On 18th July 1986 the Oddbins chain of wine merchants took over the premises and remained here for about 23 years. In 2009 the shop became a Hair Salon called Hair Systems.
Researcher: Marilyn West
Updated: Stuart Manton (Jan 2017)
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