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32 Andover Road
Originally Number 1 Tivoli Place, this is the first of the original 1830s terrace of three buildings. In 1850 it was run by T H Bennett, House and Estate Agents. In the 1851 Census the business was the office for the same Mr Thomas Bennett who is now described as a ‘building contractor living on the premises with a wife and eight children’. Mr Bennett employed eight men. By 1863, Mr E Chasey was running his shoe making business there. A Mr Samuel Garford had taken over the premises for his tailor’s business by 1875 and he was succeeded by Mr Freeman, outfitter, from about 1890 until 1917 when the shop was taken over as a baker’s shop by a Mr D Lewis. In 1925, it had become a confectioner’s shop, owned by Mr C Elmes and it was also the Branch Post Office. The Branch Post Office continued under Mr Rudge and later Mrs Cottle until 1939 when Montpellier Post Office opened. The post box stood immediately outside of number 2 and was a traffic hazard. It leaned quite dangerously towards the road, and more than one car lost or nearly lost its wing mirror when driving too close to the kerb. It was after one such accident that the pillar box was moved to its present site at the junction of Hatherley Street and Andover Road. A Mrs Smith lived in number 2 until 1956 when William Langsbury took it over and started his Stationer’s and Printer’s business. Today the business is still in his hands and will celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2016.
Researcher: Brian Torode.