Shopkeepers and trades

Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire


Like many small towns, Bradford would have been almost self-sufficient until perhaps the early part of the 20th century. The main difference from many country towns were the industry and the proximity to cosmopolitan Bath.

Local agriculture provided the food that was sold at the market and in the shops. Building materials had to be sourced nearby, largely because of the severe cost of transport until the coming of the canal, railway and modern roads. Only metal had to be brought in and then it was worked here by the blacksmiths, coppersmiths, millwrights and foundries. Exotic fancy goods were brought in by itinerant salesmen who came to markets and fairs. Even the villages had their own wide range of tradesmen.

Rawling's Bradford Directory 1887