LOOKING BACK - October 17, 2019 edition

Rugby town centre

Monday, 21st October 2019, 4:31 pm
Shops under thatch in Rugbys Church Street , taken in 1873

Yes, if this picture looks familiar, the eagle-eyed amongst you may remember we have used this picture before, above five years ago I think, but I probably didn’t know very much about it then.

So when I saw it in our 1969 edition, under the heading of Yesterday’s Rugby with a nice little write-up, I thought I’d take advantage of one of my Advertiser predecessors’ hard work.

They printed a slightly wider shot than the version I have, with more of the two buildings at either end.

Market Place with The George Hotel on the right and St Andrews Parish Church on the left.

The caption with it says ‘shops under thatch, in old Church Street -a fishmongers (Gilbert), a boot and shoe makers (Coleman) and a butchers, as they were in 1873.

The Butchery was occupied at the time by the Lucas family, and the lower part of the front was on hinges and pulled back so that cattle could be driven through the shop to the slaughterhouse.

The cottage next door was rebuilt soon after this photograph. The fishmongers became a grocers, and then a toy shop. The boot and shoe premises were later used for many years by watchmaking businesses.

Here’s another ‘Yesterday’s Rugby’ piece from my Advertiser colleague 50 years ago, looking at The George Hotel, the grand four-storey building on the right of this picture of Market Place.

They said it was originally built in 1662, but was either demolished or destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt in 1846 and on August 20, 1850 Princess Mary, the daughter of George III spent a night there.

The premises were closed as a hotel in September 1951.

In December 1954 the site was leased to Ravenseft Properties for the development of shops and demolition work began in March 1955.