Monday, 7 September 2009

Fresh Fish in Chelsea is History

Chelsea Green and No 10 Cale Street have over a hundred years of fish and fishmonger history. Prior to becoming a fishmonger, 10 Cale street was closely linked to the furniture trade. Records show that Mr Henry Holiday, a furniture dealer, traded from number ten between 1881 and 1891. Records from 1901 show a Henry M Baker aged 26 from Pimlico, a Portmanteau manufacturer, traded from 10 Cale Street, with his widowed aunt Mary Brown. The 1881 and 1891 census show that Mary’s husband was Alfred Brown, a portmanteau maker from Clerkenwell. Henry left 10 Cale Street in 1909 and the shop then stood empty whilst The Sutton Dwellings was being built.

Image of early Cale Street before being re-built as Sutton Dwellings. far left the tall this image of the Cambridge pub that now houses Amaia a children's clothes shop.

Thomas Butler, the first fishmonger at 10 Cale street, opened in 1914, however, he was short stayed as it seems he was a victim of The First World War. Charles Wheeler took over the mantel of fishmonger, 5 years later, in 1920, for three years. The shop had been empty throughout the war.

1913 Image of newly built Sutton Dwellings. Shops Numbers 2-14 in the picture soon became:
2 - J Humphry &sons, post office, savings bank
4 - Mrs Ellen Hughes, laundry
6 - Henry Chaston, confectioner
8 - William Bennison, pharm
10 - Thomas Butler, Fishmonger
12 - Henry Bott, dairyman
14 - James Wood, butcher

He was replaced by Henry Manning in 1927 and then by William G Tollman, who was born in Paddington (1884). He was the eldest son of WG Tollman, also a fishmonger, who died in 1915 whilst living in Kensington. Interestingly, William ran 10 Cale Street as a fried fish shop and 17 Elystan Street as the fishmonger on the Chelsea Green. He was not the first fishmonger at 17 Elystan Street as William Warren, in 1922, then Frederick Hutton, in 1925, both tried their hand at the fish trade. In 1931 M Laport & Co. took both premises, keeping the trades in each the same. They left 10 Cale Street in 1933 and 17 Elystan Street in 1934. Currently all we know about Max Laport is that he was a Russian oilman who lived in North End Road in 1915. Mark Arkus, took 17 Elystan Street in 1935 and continued to run it as a fishmonger and also reopened 10 Cale Street, two years later, as a fried fish shop, in 1937. Both premises closed in 1941; maybe we lost Mark to the Second World War. Both shops stood empty throughout the war until Alfred Taylor reopened 10 Cale Street as a fishmonger. He stayed for 22 years until he was replaced by William Squires and Jim Reilly in 1965. Jim past away a few years later, but Bill, an institution in the world of London Fishmongery, stayed until he closed the shop in 1994. due to ill health. Rex Goldsmith took the shop a year later. 17 Elystan Street was never to sell fish again and opened as a greengrocer in 1949.

Bill Squires and Jim Reilley Circa 1970

An addition to Chelsea Green’s fish history is number 17 Cale Street. Records show a fish trader as far back as 1891 when Richard Bayne, a fishmonger from Walworth in Surrey, was in residence. This shop had 23 years of history, from 1902, as a fried fish shop. George Archer was the resident fish and chip trader until 1904 after which Mrs Amilia Cawthorne started her 10 year spell. In 1901, Amelia, born in Holberton, c1867, was living with her husband William Cawthorne who was a fishmonger from Raynham in Norfolk. The 1881 census shows William as a stable helper at 14 Lyall Mews, Knightsbridge and Amelia living with her widowed father, a farmer of 40 acres in Devon. By 1891 Amelia was a dairy maid at Wilton Park, Buckinghamshire, home of Pascoe du Pre Grenfell. William also worked at Wilton Park as the stable hand. William and Amelia married in 1895 in Kensington. In 1905, our new fried fish lady, now widowed, married her neighbour John Robert Royal, the shoemaker at number 19 Cale Street. After Amelia left, the fried fish shop continued until 1937 firstly under Sam Harris and then lastly Mrs Kathleen Lea. This shop ceased trading in fish in 1937 and stood empty until 1949 when it became a bakery.

Thanks too those at hard working patiently helping me in my research
My Original text can be found on the shop website

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