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Shops

Modern There is now only one shop in the village but there were several shops and a post office untill a few years ago. Chewton Mendip could boast its own butchers, bakers and probably candlestick makers as well. Business
A picture of  only shop in the village  from the 1920s is  the featured image in the ‘Business’ page of this website. It is was recently  known as Lynda’s Loaf  but it is nowknown as Bread and Beyond.
Old Waldegrave Arms

The ‘old’ Waldagrave arms is on the left and the shop is in the centre

The shop can be seen in one of the classic views of the centre of the village showing both pubs and the shop and post office which were in the centre of the village untill the 1920’s.The post office not visible but the end of what was then called the Rising Sun pub is clearly visible. The Waldegrave Arms was demolished in the 1930s and a garage  built in its place.

More information about the Curtis and Chard can be seen in the website about the Curtis family published by Mike Matthews. The old Waldegrave Arms was demolished in the 1920s to widen the road and the Rising Sun was renamed as the Waldagrave Arms which is how it remains today.
A book published by the Womens’s institute called ‘Somerset in Living Memory’ describes a number of other shops in the village. Spring Cottage as it is now known used to be a bicycle shop run by the Cornelius family who also sold sweets.
Spring Cottage

Courtesy of Simon Leadwith

The Cornelius family were also involved in farming and kept a number of horses that were used for transport which included a milk round. They also sold sweets and had a milk round.

Many farmers sold heir produce directly to the public but this was stopped because of food hygiene issues. Farmers shops, which comply with the strict standards required for food retailing, have enabled some farmers to resume direct sales to the public. Pullen’s ran a milk dairy and delivery service for many years.
Lower St Litton

Lower Street courtesy of Brenda and Dave Memory

Lower Street used to have several shops. The house on the right of this picture is now called Brook Cottage and may have been a shop. The Payne’s used to run a butcher’s shop further down the road at Ford and Greendown.

 Ken Church used to deliver meat to Chewton Priory from Payne’s shop. George Gane used to work for the Payne’s before World War One as a slaughterman or butcher and he used those skills during the war. He had enough of butchery and ran a sweet shop in Lower Street with his wife Annie, after the war.
The coop sold a wide range of goods, including clothing, which we now associate with supermarkets but there were still a number of specialist shops such as butchers and bakers but what is more surprising is there were two bicycle and sweet shops. Stan JonesMany people in the village remember Stan Jones, the last manager of the coop.   He is remembered as a respected member of the village whose authority extended beyond the shop. Richard St John, whose family ran the bakery and post office in Bathway,  recounts how he and his teenage friends would fall silent when Mr Jones entered the social club.  Some people claim his presence can still be felt in the shop!
Another butchers shop operated from the Folly. The Denning family are better known for the cricketing abilities of Peter Denning but they were also  butchers. Animal welfare standards introduced in the 1980’s meant that only industrial scale enterprises could act as abattoirs.  It had been standard practice for cows, pigs, sheep and other animals would be taken from the fields were they lived and taken to the local butcher and come out as joints of meat, sausages etc which were sold directly to the public.
Other business supported the mainly agricultural population. Wilf Westway made hurdles and other fencing materials and there were two or three blacksmiths and farriers. The Uphills agricultural contracting business started as farriers and there was a blacksmith’s smithy near Chew Head. Hellards, specialists in swimming pools , used to be general builders and undertakers as well. The Wookey family performed both roles as well previously and other families appear in that dual role in the historical record. There were several wheelwright and wagon makers and one of these businesses developed into Mendip Motors. Fred Whitfield worked as an upholsterer on the Mendip Motor vehicles.
W Middle Newsagent This bill from 1942 is from W Middle who ran a news agents in Litton was addressed to the Waldagrave estate office.
Pullins used to run a run Ford Dairy but that closed so time ago and it nowoperates as a car business.
Lord of the Truckles 1987 A cheese diary operated from the site of the Chewton Priory and was a tourist attraction in its own right. There also used to be a camp site which has now closed down and the cheese dairy has been reduced to packaging cheese produced elsewhere. There are a number of other business that operate out of the Bathway site. This photograph of the current Earl Waldagrave supervising cheese making at the cheese dairy is taken from an article published in the Wells journal in 1987.
Copies of some of the photographs of Lower Street can be purchased from Barrie Pictures at www.barriepictures.co.uk/. Please refer to the acknowledgements page for a list of the contributors to this website.
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