History of the Amersham Area

1 – 21, The Broadway

 

The photo was taken early in the mornng after the annual Fair, which explains the welcome absence of cars in the street.

Nos. 1 to 9 were timber-framed buildings, probably first erected in the 15th century and re-fronted in the 18th century.    They are listed grade II and some original timbers are visible.  It is thought that they were originally a maltings (malt was a vital ingredient for making beer) for the monks of Missenden Abbey.  All are now shops but were for many years “Ye Olde Malt Tea House” (see photos below).  Another photo below shows the 1890 fire at the Malthouse and in the background of that photo on the other side of the road is The Griffin with a notice saying “By appointment – Cyclists Touring Club Headquarters“. [See more about the old Malt House.]

No. 1 – during the late 1960s this shop was opened by Mrs. Marsden and known as The Bunny Shop selling babies and children’s clothes.  After some years the shop was sold to Mrs. Freemantle, who changed the trade to a gift shop known as The Amersham Shop.  In 1984 Mrs. Freemantle retired and the shop reverted back to a high class Children’s Wear shop known as L’Aristocat, owned by Mrs. Williamson.

No. 3 (???)- In the 1930-40s it was owned by Miss Isaacs who had it as a café and was well known for her home-made cakes etc.  It was called The Malt House.  She also had a familiar Austin Seven delivery van in yellow for a delivery service to the villages.  Miss Isaacs sold out to Mr. Paget, who continued for many years and eventually sold the property to property developers.  The shop was opened by Nancy Kell selling High Class Ladies Fashion and the rear of the property was made into offices.  It is now East.

Nos. 11-21 are probably 16th century, possibly earlier, re-fronted in the 18th century with some later alterations.  Behind these shops, Forge End is so called because Alf Slade had his blacksmith’s shop there.

No. 15 (now the grocer restaurant, before that the Primrose Oliver shoe shop)

This is Shearing's Dairy van taken in 1934 (PHO448).

This is H. Shearing’s Dairy van taken in 1934 (PHO448).

In about 1930, this shop was Harold Shearing’s Dairy. Harold and his wife Marguerite Lilian came from the East End of London in about 1928 to buy a milk-round at Parslow’s Farm, near Mop End, later moving to Penn. The Broadway shop closed in 1939, when Harold bought some land at the bottom of Station Road and built a grocery and a dairy bottling plant (now Woodley & Hart’s premises). Harold sold out to Express Dairies in 1950 and moved to Kent. (This information was provided in 2016 by Stephen Shearing, one of two survivors of Harold’s six children.  Pictures of Harold and his wife are shown in the gallery below).

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Click on any of the photographs below to enlarge it and to see the description.  Then click on forward or back arrows at the foot of each photograph.  To close the pictures, just click on one.