In these pictures of central High Street, we can see the last stages of private houses being transformed into commercial premises. On the extreme right of the oldest picture, taken in the 1880s or ’90s, the rather grim looking brick building, No. 100, was built in the mid 18th century and had been the home of master miller George Belben in the 1860s before it was occupied by three different G.P.s in succession. By 1903, it was the premises of the Devon and Cornwall Banking Co. and shortly after became Barclay’s Bank as it still is today, 100 years later, although with a very different facade.
The house next door with the elaborate portico, experienced the same transition from private house to professional and then commercial premises. It was home to Frederick Styring, brewer, maltster and wine merchant and Mayor of Poole in 1887, and later occupied by John Gosse, retired Newfoundland merchant. From the 1870s, Herbert Lawton G.P. lived and worked there until it was taken over by J. Brooks and Co. drapers expanding from the shop next door. Brooks’ first shop, No. 96, was built in the early 18th century and was occupied for thirty years in the late 1800s by James Jenkins, cabinet maker and upholsterer. Today the two premises are occupied by UK Nails, Age UK and the newly-opened Celly’s hairdressers.
On the left of the street the picture shows the shop of George Hawes, general and fancy draper who had been in business on High Street from the 1880s. Previously the shop was occupied by William Clench, tailor and woollen draper and before that was a private house. It is now replaced by the stark modern facade of Lloyd’s TSB.
Beyond is the shop of Joseph Alfred Hawkes, boot and shoe maker who had been trading on High Street since about 1850 and in these premises since before 1861. Hawkes’ shoe shop continued trading until the late 20th century and many people have fond memories of shopping there and remember the rocking horse provided for the children. The exterior of the building is largely unchanged and now houses Julia’s House and G & T’s World of Cards.
In the distance on the left of the street is W.E. Boone & Co. ironmongers, who started as Boone & Giblett in the 1890s and are still in business today. Beyond is the large Victorian shop, originally Butler & Sons, drapers and house furnishers, which later became the Bon Marche department store and now houses Yates’ Wine Lodge. It is just possible to make out that the building is not shown in the earliest photograph, but was built by the time the second one was taken.
The distant buildings on the right hand side of the street include No. 94, a handsome early 19th century private house which was been converted to offices by around 1900 for Archibald Yeatmen, solicitor and commissioner for oaths. It is now the Hospice shop. The impressive 5-bay building beyond, now Nos 90 and 92, was built in the mid 18th century and housed a draper’s shop and a chemist throughout the 1800s. It is now occupied by True Ink tattoo boutique and the British Red Cross.
The portico of the London Hotel is just visible in the old photos beyond No. 90. Built in the 18th century, it was an important coaching inn and flourished as a railway hotel after the opening of the Poole station. In the 1930s, the hotel was rebuilt with more modern facilities, but it had to be repaired after being damaged by a bomb in 1940. In 1969, the London Hotel became the Old Harry and today it is The Globe Cafe.