Hounslow & Feltham

Hounslow, Feltham, etc.

Church Parade, Hounslow in 1864, looking towards Bell Corner.

Church Parade - Hounslow in 1864 - looking towards Bell Corner

Before 1875, shops in small towns and villages were often little ‘house-window’ businesses competing with the town’s market and with local pedlars rather than with large stores.

Shopping Before 1875

  • The Late-Victorian and Edwardian era saw a revolution in retailing take place.

  • In the mid-19th century, before the railways revolutionised the distribution of manufactured goods, shops were small, family concerns.

  • They were often run by craftsmen who sold the goods they made themselves, in workshops behind the store.

  • Grocery was a skilled trade with a long apprenticeship. Grocers had to know how to grind sugar, blend tea and how best to store and package their stock.

  • Apprentices often ‘lived-in’ and provided an inexpensive source of young shop-assistants.

An advertisement for Crisps - a Hounslow drapers shop - 1860A trade card for John Appleton - a Hounslow metalsmith and retail ironmonger - 1840





A trade card for John Appleton, a Hounslow metalsmith and retail ironmonger, 1840



An advertisement for Crisp’s, a Hounslow draper’s shop, 1860


Robinsons of Feltham High Street - 1849-1960s. A craftsmans business for a horse-drawn era

Robinsons of Feltham High Street, 1849-1960’s. A craftsman’s business for a horse-drawn era.

Hounslow in 1870

Hounslow in 1870 - The view is westwards towards Bell Corner. The street is unsurfaced

The view is westwards towards Bell Corner. The street is unsurfaced. Today, W.H. Smith stands on the site of the old Town Hall on the left of this picture.

Shopping After 1875

  • In the years between 1875 and 1914 branded goods took over the shelves of shops, replacing locally produced foodstuffs and medicines that the Chemist would once have made up himself.

  • Shopkeepers no longer bargained with their customers. Manufacturers producing high volumes at low cost could dictate the retail price to the shopkeeper and they advertised their products as available everywhere, at the same price.

  • New department stores profited from high turnover instead of high mark up; and they encouraged browsing and impulse purchases by providing a wide variety of goods to buy.

  • Whiteleys was the first London department store. It opened in 1860, in Bayswater.

1891 - William Whiteleys London storeIn 1891 William Whiteley bought Butts Farm and Glebe Farm at Hanworth and turned them into model farms supplying produce to his London store.

1891 William Whiteley bought Butts Farm and Glebe Farm at Hanworth




Fresh meat, fresh milk and dairy produce, fresh vegetables and fruit, jams, preserves, pickles and potted meats were produced for sale. Poultry was kept and dogs, pigeons and rabbits were bred for sale.



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