One of the Oldest Grocers in the Country: Herbert Hutchings and 130 High Street

Hutchings 130 High Street

This photograph was brought into the History Centre and the enquirer asked if it was a shop on Poole High Street.  We were quickly able to identify it as 130 Poole High Street using a street directory- it is now Nationwide.  The street directory listed the occupier of the property as Herbert Hutchings.

 The 1891 census shows Herbert residing on Hill Street with his family he is the occupier of a bakers and grocers shop.  Herbert is age 43, living with his wife, Thirza, and children.  His step-son, Harry and his two sons William and Harry are all also in the grocer and baker trade.

 Herbert Hutchings established 130 High Street as his grocers and bakers between 1891 and 1894. 

The 1911 census shows Herbert Hutchings and his wife Thirza at 130 High Street, he is now age 63 and she is 72.  His occupation is still baker and grocer and he is an employer.  The census also reveals that Herbert and Thirza have been married for 41 years and have 5 children and that the premises they occupy has 10 rooms.

 Herbert’s son William Herbert Hutchings can also be found on the 1911 census.  He is a baker and confectioner living with his family in the Bridge Stores, Hamworthy.  His daughter Selina Kate Hutchings is 9 years old.  In 1924 Selina Kate went on to marry Thomas Edward Condon who was born on 27th Jan 1898 at 29 Church Street Poole.  During WW1 Thomas was in the Dorset Regiment but was transferred to the Pioneer Corp after being injured and losing several fingers. Thomas went on to become caretaker of the Poole Library, now Wetherspoons.

 The street directories show us that Herbert Hutchings stayed at 130 High Street up to 1930, this is not strictly true as although the premises retained his name, he actually retired around 1925 and died in 1927.  The Poole and Dorset Herald on the 10th February 1927 reported:

 “An Old Poole Trader

Death of Mr Herbert Hutchings. 

Overseeer and Free Churchman

One of the oldest grocers in the country, Mr Herbert Hutchings, passed away at his residence ‘Ellesmere,’ Serpentine Road, Poole, on Thursday in his 80th year.  He had been ill for a long period.  A native of Watleigh, Somerset, he came to Poole about 60 years ago and became apprenticed to Mr Green, confectioner, father of the present Deputy Mayor.  About 57 years ago he started business in Hill Street and some 20 years later moved to High Street, next to the Wesleyan Church.  He retired a few years ago.”

 The newspaper goes on to report that Herbert Hutchings was overseer of the Parish of St James, interested in Trade organisations, secretary of the Dorset Bakers’ Association and treasurer of the Poole Bakers’ Association.  Mr Hutchings was also treasurer and a trustee of Longfleet Congregational Church and said to be almost entirely responsible for raising the funds needed to build the new church.

Poole and Dorset Herald 1927

 Herbert Hutchings was survived by his wife and we can presume that his sons continued in the family trade.


Sources used:

Census returns

Trade directories

Poole and Dorset Herald

About Poole High Street Project

Contact: Jenny Oliver -
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1 Response to One of the Oldest Grocers in the Country: Herbert Hutchings and 130 High Street

  1. Good work Brian,always wondered where the shop was, and good to see all their names

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