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Wine Merchants

Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire

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Taylors', wine merchants

Thomas & Emanuel Taylor’s management and staff outside the shop in Silver Street in about 1890

Wine, spirit and beer merchants grew from two directions- from grocers and from chemists. The largest, Thomas & Emanuel Taylor started as chemists and druggists in what is now the Bunch of Grapes public house, Silver Street. By 1880 they had entirely switched to the wine and spirit trade, previously a side line, and had built a large new shop and store on the other side of the road. John Harold, the last of the Taylors, retired in 1931 and the old shop became the pub, while the wine merchants passed into other hands.

In 1881 Taylors advertised Rogers’ ales at one shilling a gallon (and in barrels of 4½ to 54 gallons), invalid double stout was 30 shillings for 18 gallons, Guinness at 4 shillings for a dozen pint bottles and bottles of dry sherry for 24 shillings a dozen.

Chemists were generally licenced to sell alcohol and the Christopher pharmacy, further down Silver Street, also sold spirits, but it did not develop this line beyond selling the odd bottle of whisky or brandy.

At the end of the 19th century the brewer Harding built the brick shops in Silver Street to sell his own and other beers, as well as wine and spirits. Part of this shop is still in the same trade; having been a grocer’s shop, it became a branch of the national chain Peter Dominic, then its successor Thresher’s. After Thresher’s closed the branch it became Ruby Red, an independent wine merchant, followed in 2019 by Cru Wines Emporium, another locally-based wine merchant.

In Market Street, the grocer Albert Nichols, later Nichols & Bushell, was an agent for Gilbey’s wines and spirits. His shop is now the Dandy Lion public house. The advertisement is from 1911.

Albert Nichols, grocer, wine merchant, Bradford on Avon 1911