Saturday, 4 February 2017

Back on High Street ....... with memories of Bachers, a tram, a hand painted sign and Tea 42

Now I like the way a story goes off on one.

So on Monday I wrote about the English Lounge on High Street which was once the Hogshead and long before that the Wheatsheaf Hotel.*

It was a pub I have never visited but during the course of the story I reflected on the shop next door and that brought forth a shed full of memories.

It is now Tea 42 but was the fabric shop which I visited on Saturdays when Tina was on the hunt for material and while I groaned when the plans were hatched I secretly looked forward to waiting behind the bales of cotton while she struck a deal.

It had the lot from faded architecture a bit the worse for wear to that cornucopia of fabrics but it was always the building that intrigued me so I was pleased when Peter told me he had painted the present building which shows off that iron tracery to its best.

For a long time this 19th century frontage had been obscured by modern signage although I have to say I never clocked the shop's name so it was nice when Angie and others not only provided the name  but also offered up a rich set of memories about the shop and similar shops.

For Angie it was during  “my first year in school sewing class and this involved an afternoon trip to Bachers to choose our fabric. I can still remember mine was navy blue with white polka dots and took forever to make it into an apron.”

White Pauline recalled “I seem to think my Mum and all her friends lived in Bachers on a Saturday. In later years me and my three sisters all purchased our material for our wedding dresses and, bridesmaid dresses from there. Trimings were bought from Fred Aldous Lever Street.”

And of course the mention of Fred Aldous brought forth even more comments including some from our Jill who whenever she is up for a stay from London makes a beeline for Fred Aldous followed by a second breakfast at the Koffee Pot which I am guessing will bring forth more memories.

But for now I will return to Bachers which long ago closed and after extensive work to the exterior opened briefly as a menswear shop and is now Tea 42.

I rather like the restored ironwork frontage which was probably part of what might have drawn me in a century ago when it was the premises of Thewlis & Co tailors.

In time I might find out more about Mr Thewlis but for now I shall end with Angie’s picture showing the building back in 2000 with one of those old fashioned hand painted signs high up by the roof line.

Look closely and that iron work frontage is just visible, but much else has changed, from the type and livery of the tram running down High Street to the new build which has filled the gap beside Bachers Fabrics.

And a thank you to Angie, Pauline, Kay and Nick for comments on the original story*

Painting; Tea 42, High Street, © 2014 Peter Topping,


Facebook: Paintings from Pictures

Picture; High Street, 2000, courtesy of Angie Thomas

*A pub by another name .............. the English Lounge on High Street,

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