Silver Street in Old Photographs

Bradford on Avon Museum, Wiltshire


Willson chemist shop, Silver Street

Walter Henry Willson’s chemist shop, his assistant and sons in the 1890s. It had been opened by George Marks in 1828 and still retained his name above the door after Willson took over in the 1880s. The building was acquired by the Avon Rubber Company who had the Georgian building demolished in 1961 to make a vehicle entrance to the factory. The pestle and mortar sign was last seen in the Tithe Barn with a collection of farm machines which went to Lackham College.

Silver Street and forklift

In the 1980s and a forklift truck crosses Silver Street to the entrance to the Avon factory, where Willson’s shop formerly stood. The truck made regular daily trips between these factories and those in Church Street, usually carrying sheets of rubber to make washers at Abbey Mill.

Edwards' butcher shop

The Edwards butcher shop was in what had been a grand Georgian clothier’s mansion with heavily blocked window and door surrounds in the Gibbs style and giant ionic pilasters. It seems from this picture to be made of coal, but it is only a coating of soot from all the coal fires of the town. The inserted shop window is tasteful compared to the vandalism carried out on the building by the Co-op in the 1930s, when it became one of their shops.

Flood, Silver Street

One of Bradford’s periodic floods, possibly in 1963, with the junction of Silver and Market Streets under water. On the left is the Co-op shop with 1930’s art deco windows before they were replaced with plate glass. On the right is Knee’s hardware store which had opened in 1908 in what had once been the White Hart Inn. Part of the building was demolished in the 1960s to improve visibility for drivers, leaving a space that is still known as Knee’s Corner.

Brown's ironmonger shop 1887

An engraving of John Alexander Brown‘s large ironmonger shop in Silver Street in 1887. The shop was founded in 1853 in the Georgian house on the left and expanded later into the three-storey store next door where the big plate glass windows displayed his wares to all the street. It was still J. Alex Brown & Co in 1965, but, although it still trades under the name, there has been a series of proprietors since then.

Silver Street in 1986

The junction of Kingston Road with Silver Street in 1986. The Christopher pharmacy is still on the corner, shortly before it closed and the Museum Society collected its contents. Beyond is the J.Alex Brown ironmongery and the Cheltenham & Gloucester Building Society’s office which is now the office of a firm of accountants, with a charity shop on the ground floor.

Silver Street

A tinted postcard photograph looking up Silver Street with the New Bear Hotel, now Silver Street House, on the left and then the shop of Taylors, wine merchants. Miss Emma Hunt was in her little draper’s shop at number 27 in 1895 and had been succeeded by William Hunt in 1899. The photograph was probably an old one which was enlivened by the addition of colour and some out-of-scale figures.

Taylors', wine merchants

The management and staff of T. & E. Taylor, wine, beer and spirit merchants outside the shop in Silver Street.

Dotesio's printing works, Silver Street

William Dotesio’s printing works in the 1920s, with the staff standing outside. The building, a Georgian house, has workshops at the back which may have been originally used in the woollen cloth industry. Today it is an antique shop with restoration workshop behind.

Woolley Street/Silver Street in 1879

Where Silver Street becomes Woolley Street in 1879. The decorative arch and the waiting crowd were there because the Keevil & District Society was holding its 20th annual flower show in the town.