J.F. Goodall shop

7-8 Silver Street, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire




Number 7 (and 8 for a while) Silver Street has been involved in clothing Bradfordians for 200 years. In 1822 it was the shop of John Alford, linen draper in what was then the Market Place; by 1848 he was in partnership with George Chapman, who ultimately inherited the business because the directory for 1865 records George Chapman as draper and occupying the shop next door as well. However, he  died in the following year and Mrs Elizabeth Chapman was listed instead in 1867.

Rogers silk mercer, Silver Street 1879

In 1876 the shops were bought by William Rogers, who traded as a silk mercer (merchant), selling silk cloth and all the silk trimmings, ribbons and bows that went into Victorian dresses and interior decor. He combined the trade with that of a funeral undertaker -it was not unusual for such a second line in those days. The photograph was taken in August 1879 and shows some of its fabrics, trimmings and bonnets in the windows.

In the 1887 directory the shop was listed as that of W. Rogers & Sons, but by 1890 it had been sold to John Frank Goodall, under whose name it traded for over a century. Goodall was born in Taunton, Somerset in 1861. He was still in Bradford in 1924 when he married (for the second time) Eva Chard. He widened its stock to being a draper, hatter and general outfitter, later adding hosiery (socks and stockings) and millinery (ladies’ hats).

By 1940 the shop was still trading as J.F. Goodall, but belonged to H.C. Beddoes and then from 1950 to Harold Rowlinson.

Goodall's shop, Silver Street

In the 1970s the owner once again, coincidentally, became a Goodall, but this Frank Goodall was not related to the original. Number 8 became a separate shop, belonging to M.& G. Phillis, selling boys’ and men’s clothes. Until it closed in 2000 number 7 dealt in ready-made clothing and haberdashery and was becoming rather old-fashioned, so it was much loved by older ladies.

Since then, 7 has continued to be involved in clothing, becoming more upmarket as first Poison and then Spirit, briefly Frank & Elsie, selling period costume and other things and in 2016 was a wedding shop. After a year or so when it was empty, it opened in 2023 as Little Rituals, a coffee shop that also sells houseplants.

Number 8 became a toy shop called Hopscotch, which moved up the road to the former Dairy. Since then it has been an Indian takeaway.