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219 Bath Road (Formerly 19 Norwood Terrace)
This oddly shaped shop is situated at the angle created by the junction of Bath Road and Norwood Road. For over two decades of the last century it was home to the butchers Smith & Cotton and today some of the iron hooks used for hanging meat on display appear to remain on the outside of the building. Messrs Smith & Cotton were here until the mid 1920s when the shop was taken over by Mr John Blake and his wife Edith, who ran a grocery here.
John Blake died on 8th November 1940 at 219 Bath Road and it seems that Mrs Blake continued the business, selling sweets and tobacco as well as basic grocery items. She opened the shop very early each morning for working people to buy their “baccy” on the way to work and was affectionately known as “Auntie Blake” to more than one generation of children who bought their penny sweets from her.
The Blakes had gone by the start of the 1960s and the property changed into a licensed betting office. The first turf accountant here was George Richards and later it was owned by Corals, a national bookmaker.
By 1979 this became Burnett’s Soft Furnishing shop and then the business changed again to an estate agents, a use which continues today. The first was Scotts, then Cheltenham & Gloucester, followed by Taylor’s, then in 1997 R.A. Bennett and now Adams.
Researcher: Marilyn West
Updated: Stuart Manton (May 2014)
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