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146 Bath Road (formerly 3 Thirlestaine Place)
Until the start of the Great War this was the home of Oliver Edward Beard, his wife Sarah and their family. Oliver was a whitesmith working with tin, pewter, or other materials, and a bellhanger like his father George, whose home was opposite these premises. In 1905 Oliver Beard was 47 years old and earned £1 5 shillings (£1.25) per week. He unfortunately could not pay his debts and had to apply to the County Court for an administration order to limit his repayments to 15 shillings (75p) per month.
From the early 1920s until 1936 the shop belonged to the butcher Horace John. It was a small but well kept shop, which his wife helped to run. Mr John would deliver orders of meat on his bicycle. After the Johns ceased trading, Mr William Stanley conducted business as a wardrobe dealer here. This was during the war years when many goods and clothes were sold second-hand.
After the war the premises are thought to be in private use until 1956 when Mr A Mercati, who was a builder by trade started supplying paint, wallpapers, etc to the trade and the public. He called his business M & M, which stood for Mercati and Mercati as his daughter, Cynthia helped in the shop. Customers didn’t have to wait too long if Mr Mercati was out of stock of a particular item as a very efficient 24-hour delivery service from the wholesalers was available. In 1966 Mr Mercati gave up the shop to carry on with his decorating business. The shop was taken over by Sheridans and continued as a D I Y store. They also had the end property (formerly the King William Inn) where they sold their wrought iron gates.
By 1975 the shop had changed trades completely when it became Casual Man, a menswear shop. In 1992 the shop changed again when it sold French breads and pastries. It was a well-liked shop but only stayed a couple of years.
Since its closure the Indian Brasserie Restaurant has been here.
Researchers: Marilyn West & Stuart Manton
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