Tag Archives: shop

Hailsham Photo

15 Jan

I have been having a bit of a sort out today, nothing major just catching up on some paperwork and a bit of filing, a bit of scanning and a bit of file organisation on my PC. Also I decided today that I really ought to digitize my CD collection so that the originals can be boxed up and put in storage, but that is another story.

Whilst sorting out some stuff I rediscovered the photo below which I purchased last year that I never got around to showing you.

If you were reading my blog at the start of last year of last year you will remember that I spent a long-time working on the GEERINGs of Hailsham, Sussex. Well this photo is of their shop, or rather what became of their shop. The great thing about this photo is the amount of detail. Looking closely you can see what was on offer in the shop and even read the boards to the left of the doorway.

These boards give great dating evidence for the photo, the two on the left both have the date of Saturday May 22nd, and there are plenty of headlines to enable us to find out what year it was. The shop windows are full of patriotic souvenirs and photos of Queen Victoria indicating that it was a jubilee year, checking in The Times newspaper to find out when the Queen visited Sheffield confirms that it was in 1897 the year of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.

I have previous featured a postcard of the shop on this blog, and paid a visit to the shop last year when visiting Hailsham. It is now a newsagents, but still recognisable if you look above the shop windows. It is particularly nice to see that over 110 years later it was still possible to by photo frames from the same shop!

I have often thought that I should put together a report on the history of the building, listing all the different owners over the years. Perhaps this year if time permits I will make a start on it.

Directory Enquiries: The GEERINGs at Hailsham, Sussex

7 Apr

I have found five entries for the GEERING shop in Hailsham, Sussex in early county directories, however the caveat exists that the evidence provided is not entirely reliable.

1823/4 Geering M. druggist & linen draper (Pigot’s Directory of Sussex)
1828 Geering M. chemist & druggist (Pigot’s Directory of Sussex)
1832/4 Geering Mary, chymist and druggist (Pigot’s Directory of Sussex)
1840 Geering Mary, chymist and druggist (Pigot’s Directory of Sussex)
1845 Geering M. chemist & druggist (Kelly’s Directory of Sussex)

The first entry is quite interesting because it tells us that there was also linen available at the shop at one time. This, along with the description given by Thomas Geering in his book Our Sussex Parish suggests that the shop was more than just a chemist and druggist shop.

The other thing of note is that the name of Mary GEERING still appears in the entry even after her death in 1825. This might indicate the failings of the compiler, but it might also suggest that the shop still traded under the name of Mary GEERING, even after her daughter Ann had taken over the business.

Inside the old druggist’s shop

27 Feb

Thomas Geering provides us with a glimpse inside the shop where Mrs Gearing worked. It really makes me hope that I can prove that she is 6x great-grandfather, because it provides a glimpse into the life and workplace of an ancestor, that is rarely seen.

From the street outside, the High Street in Hailsham, Sussex we find that

The front of the house was shut off from the public road by a brick wall, and a gate had to be opened to gain admittance to the shop door.

The shop front featured a window

One small bottle of blue liquid was the only show in the window, across which, reaching about half-way up, stretched a faded green blind, which also added to the melancholy of the interior.

Entering the shop

The door creaked on its hinges, and the floor beneath the feet yielded to the weight as one entered, showing cracks and holes which led one’s thoughts to the cellar; but our dear old lady regarded none of these as blotches. She, her shop and the contents had all grown old together.

The shop had a counter

At the window end of the counter were three slots, or slits, into which dipped the three ointment and plaster knives, which knives were of varying sizes and lengths, to suit the work to be done.

It was apparently plainly decorated

If not poor, it was meagre to a degree, pots, jars, and bottles all being of the plainest pattern. There was a good array for number, but I have always supposed many to have been dummies.

Some of the bottles were labelled

POISON might be read in plain English on a few bottles and jars, to impress her visitors, we will suppose, with a dread of her power; while “Paregoric” and “Soothing Syrup” show in faded gold, to give confidence and to show all was not lost, nor hope entirely fled. The majority of the labels were covered with a mysterious combination of letters, too learned for the general public, but which served to strengthen our faith and to give reverence and confidence to the one, and the only one, person who could unravel their meaning.

But it wasn’t just bottles and jars

There was also a department for dolls and wooden horses, and the house of the cruel, weather-wise old man who would turn his wife out of her door when it rained and keep in himself, had a place on her shelves.

Now sadly the druggist’s shop has gone

Our old druggist’s shop, with the small front sitting-room which the Captain occupied, has now for the last fifteen years been turned into a bookseller’s shop, and the place altogether has undergone a complete transformation. New windows, fittings, counters, etc., have replaced the very old ones.

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