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Roger Clarke's History of VICTORIA ROAD
Nos. 1 - 4

Numbers 1 to 11 Victoria Road were in the first phase of building in the Village, at the same time that Albert Terrace and William Henry, George and Amelia Streets were built. Sir Titus personally interviewed the tenants, looking for Victorian values of temperance, industry and self-help. From 1861 onwards, the shops provided the essential requirements for life in the Village – a baker’s, greengrocer’s, chemist's, hairdresser's, newsagent's, draper’s, butcher’s, and a café. Change came with a time of recession and dereliction at the Mill in the late 1970s and early 80s, when traditional businesses closed down. Until this time, the shops had remained at the same premises since the turn of the century. For example, No. 8 was always a baker’s (Beanland’s and then Davidson’s) and No. 10 had always been a butcher's (the famous Feather’s).

We are now in a time of change again; this time regeneration. The customer base has shifted from essential provisions for the villagers to meeting the needs of tourists in our World Heritage Site. So high quality gifts, food and drink are on sale – alongside accommodation, with more businesses investing in conversions of basements and upper storeys.

Can you help fill in the gaps?
If you recall more about these shops, with their names and approximate dates of changes – or any other relevant details and anecdotes – you can help the Sentinel to record recent history for future generations.
We look forward to hearing from you.

No. 1 began life as a grocer's shop, but by 1894 had become a shop which sold confectionery. It was Young’s confectioners in 1938, Holmes’ sweet shop in 1950s, and Wilde’s tobacconists by 1962.
Many of you will remember it as Vimto’s because it had a Vimto sign over the door in the 1950s and 60s and it had a ‘bar’ selling temperance drinks like sarsaparilla and Vimto.
More recently, the shop has sold rugs, as Zeba, and been a retail vintage clothing outlet, Era. It has recently re-opened after standing empty for a short while, as Art Parade.
No. 2 was Firth’s bakers but has been the Tourist Information and Gift Centre since the 1990s.
No. 3 was originally a chemists shop but by 1871 it had become a joiner’s and cabinet maker's. It remained in the furniture trade until the 1930s. By 1938 it was home to Gresswell Estate Agents. (This was the firm which bought the village from Salts, Saltaire Ltd. In 1933; a time of economic recession in the textile industry).
In the 1950s it was a stationer's shop and by 1962 had become a Commission Agent’s.
No. 4 began life as a grocer's but by 1881 had become a printer and publisher's. It then remained a newsagent and stationery shop until 1995 – when, together with No. 3, it became Victoria Antiques.

Roger Clarke

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