A walk down Poole High Street in 1855 and you’d be surprised at the things people were buying in the shops, goods long since vanished from the modern store and the products of trades which are almost unknown in our day.
At No. 118 and a branch in Fish Street was Mr. William Waterman jun., a furnishing and general ironmongers. This wasn’t the limit of his industry. This Will-of-all-trades, was also a white and blacksmith, a bell hanger and cutler, a gun maker, tin man, brazier and gas fitter. He was a manufacturer of “the improved kitchen ranges, stoves, etc” and among other things sold powder and shot, charcoal, oils and colours. John Hayman and Co. whose brush manufacture adjoined the Antelope Hotel, were brush, mop, patten and cloche manufacturers. Among their wares were shell combs, chamois skins, gaiters, butter churns, and bath brick.
Two doors from the London Hotel was William Penney, the pharmaceutical chemist, late of W. Allen, Hanburys and Barry of London. If you’ve always associated Brown Windsor with a rather tasteless soup in cheap restaurants, then you may be surprised to learn that his Old Brown Windsor was a SOAP, which he sold together with the honey and glycerin varieties. The admirable Mr. Penney, as well as selling surprisingly modern things such as Schweppes’s soda water, was also well stocked with “pommades, cosmetiques, bouquet essences, and every requisite for the toilet.” He also had finest Bermuda arrowroot, sago, tapioca, and the best isinglass – No, he was not a grocer as well. His pure cod-liver oil was “made from fresh and healthy livers”, which must have been comforting to know and there were “all kinds of medical apparatus of family utility.” That great standby of Victoria vapours, spirit sal volatile, must have been a steady seller.
At Longfleet was Lance’s carriage and dog cart repository. The firm also had a “manufactory” at Hunger-hill, Wellington Row, Poole, and had been established 42 years. They had carriages of every description “built and repaired on the best principles” and moderate terms. New and second-hand merchandise was always on sale. At 91 High-street was Henry Selfe, the watch and clock-maker, who also sold musical boxes, French and American clocks, and at Dorset House, opposite the London Hotel, family grocer and tea dealer Edward Taplin could offer you superior British wines as well as exotic Westphalian hams; his sideline was that of agent for the New Equitable Life Office.
What with all this and Buckley and Son of No. 144, who sold Minton, Chamberlain and Dresden china, Bohemian and French glass, not to speak of alabaster vases, we seem to be missing quite a lot in the Poole High Street of 1963.
Finally as night draws on, let’s pay a call on Richard Hopkins, who was not only a tea dealer and grocer but also a tallow chandler, selling both sperm and wax candles. On the same premises you could fill up your bag with fish sauces and pickles, cigars and fancy snuffs, and round off the day with a Guinness’s Dublin porter, for which he was sole agent, to be consumed, one presumes, off the premises.
Information taken from Philip Brannon’s Guide of Poole
With many thanks to Andrew Hawkes for providing this. – Katie & Jenny