The Corner Shop

The Corner ShopPhillips' High Class Grocers and Provisions on the corner of Church Street and Lea Road was a typical example of a corner shop.  Exactly when the shop and adjoining dwellings were built is difficult to determine, but it was probably in the early 19th Century.  The date stone of 1693 with initials E&F S which we now see does not seem to belong to the shop and is thought to have come from elsewhere.  The two blocks of cottages are marked on the maps from 1835 onwards.  By the mid 18th Century the corner shop seems to be in use as a grocers.

B y the turn of the century John Phillips, a grocer's assistant from Wrexham, has arrived in Dronfield.  He first appears on the census of 1891 as a boarder, living in Church Street.  In 1901 he is living at No 21 Lea Road, in the house next to the shop, with his wife Ellen, from Brampton, and two daughters and, as grocer's assistant, he is working in the shop.

As the details of censes returns are not available until 100 years have elapsed, we have to reply on other records after 1901.  The Conveyance 1910 and later mortgage agreements with the Lucas family show that John Phillips is buying a shop and the cottages from the landlord, Tom Margerrison, the builder, who owns and lives in the property on Church Street that is part of the Butler site.  From the electoral roll of 1921 we know that John Phillips at No 1 Church Street, which is the corner shop, is eligible to vote.

John Phillips bought the shop, cottages in Lea Road and the building in Church Street.  We know from the recorded memories of Phyllis Nelson, who worked in the shop in 1914, that the yard and stables were used for the drays and horses of the business. The shop on Church Street was used for the sale of animal food and the lean-to outbuildings for storage and packaging of dried fruit.  She refers to this building as "the bakery", even though it is no longer used for this purpose.

The deeds of 1929 inform us that Ellen Phillips is now widowed (John died in 1928) and later mortgage documents (finally paid off in 1938) show she retired to Blackpool.  On the 1930 electoral roll Butler's have occupied part of the site, but the corner shop continues in use by Richardson and Plant according to the directories of 1930-32.  Mrs Phillips sold the grocer's shop and all the properties on the site to Butler's in 1938 and they converted the shop into an office, purchasing the fittings from William Deacons Bank on the corner of School Lane and Lea Road when the bank was refurbished.

Web design, SEO and digital marketing from Seven Creative Sheffield

Seven Creative - web design, marketing and social networking management