48 High Street

  • Mrs Russell, postmistress circa 1890
  • c. 1933. 48 High Street as Barclays Bank, courtesy of Barclays Bank
  • Thatch being removed at 48 High Street, probably when Phipps acquired the premises in 1960. This photo is also attributed to 1961 in a publication 'Around Wheatley'
  • 48 High Street as Yeats shop
  • 48 High Street. Shop closed and for sale in 2000
  • 2018. 48 High Street
  • 1988, 48 High Street trading as Lavells as shown in the Merry Bells Centenary booklet
  • 48 High Street as Yeats shop, date not known
  • 2019. 48 High Street
  • 1960s. The High Street frontage when trading as Phipps
  • 1960s when 48 High Street was trading as Phipps
  • Barlays bank when at 4 Station Road (this is to the left of the garage to 48 High Street)
  • Extract from 1952 aerial photo showing 48 High Street still thatched and with a chimney at the Station Road end
  • Plan from the 1960 planning application
  • Sequence of occupiers of 48 High Street and 2-4 (and even 6) Station Road from 1847-2005
  • Arkell receipt dated 1951
Archive Notes:

Once a thatched cottage, probably built at a similar time (1776) as its neighbour at 46 High Street, this building has been much altered and extended. In 1847 it was the Post Office run by William Lovelock, who was also the registrar of births, marriages and deaths. In the same building he also ran a general shop selling groceries, drapery and provisions, and according to the directory and gazetteer of 1852 he dealt in British wines too. He lived in Stile Cottage, Farm Close Lane, see record 2429. The next postmaster was John Russell and he was succeeded on his death by his wife, Mary Jane Russell. As her photograph shows, she modelled herself in appearance on Queen Victoria. Following the illness of Mrs Russell, control of the property moved to her sister, Elizabeth Farthing who lived in and owned 7, Farm Close Lane, as shown in the Inland Revenue document attached to this record. This record also shows that this property, 48 High Street, was sold in 1908, the buyer being (Alice) Maud Tubb (1910 Valuation survey confirms her as owner). Then 33, she was the daughter of Matthew Charles Tubb, enumerator for the 1881 census who died age 42 in 1884 and had been married to Isabella, nee Howse, who also died young leaving Alice and her four siblings orphans. Alice spent time in a London orphanage before returning to Wheatley and, then known as Maud, becoming postmistress. It appears that she then married as, by 1915, the postmistress was Mrs Maud Isles, who was still in this position in 1920. The Post Office moved to 107 High Street in about 1926 (Maud Iles was still a stationer in 1931 but it is not known which premises she operated from) when the shop, fronting the High Street, became Barclays Bank, its only thatched branch in England. The bank only opened two days a week. The c. 1933 photo shows that this was on Mondays and Fridays, but others remember it as being on Mondays and Thursdays, so the opening days may have changed over the years. From reminiscences of Evan and Edith Bax, there is also a suggestion that in the 1930s, there was still a post or telegraph office element then run by Miss Iles and Miss Radford. West's Butcher (known as ‘East and West’ as a Mr East was employed), previously Gibbs and Nottage, had moved from what-is-now 2 Church Road (see record 1286) around the start of the Second World War to, probably, 4 Station Road. Despite the planning application for change of use in 1954 (possibly to regularise the position), it is understood that Arkells, shown in the Kelly Directory as Arkel see record 2073, took over 2 Station Road (in 2020 the Barber's shop), also at around the start of the Second World War (Kelly Directory 1939 shows them as stationers then) as a stationer and paper shop as described in the Pullen Trail (record 2033). They traded as F Arkell and Son being Fred Arkell (father) and Frank Arkell (son). Fred ran the shop – “he was a miserable old bloke” – and son Frank used to go out in the van doing paper deliveries, including Horspath, and wherever. According to Alderman Tombs in his press article, Phipps was a newsagent in 1955 (see record 1254). A William Phipps had married Mabel Ruth Elsie Crook, daughter of Philip Thomas Crook, who had married Mabel Munt, daughter of Henry Munt and Elizabeth Mary Shepherd, thus linking the Munt, Shepherd, Crook (perhaps related to the quarry owner John Crook?) and Phipps families. There was no mention of Arkell. so, perhaps he had taken over 2 Station Road from Arkell? In 1960, W H Phipps (possibly the William Phipps referred to earlier) made a planning application for the entire site of 48 High Street and 2-4 Station Road seeking permission to demolish the 48 High Street frontage (leaving the substantive side and back walls), to remove the thatch, and to change the use from a bank to a shop. But the application does not show Phipps breaking through from 48 High Street to 2 Station Road although, enigmatically, the site plan shows 48 High Street, the application site, shaded red and 2 Station Road shaded blue but not referred to. Barclays Bank moved to 4 Station Road, presumably as a tenant of Phipps. It is not until Yeats' occupation that we have any photos that show that this became part of the shop which fronted the High Street, so we do not know when this occurred. Barclays Bank moved from 4 Station Road to a purpose-built building at 95 High Street in 1972. 6 Station Road was then used by Stephen Putt who used to repair shoes (later he had the small lean-to beyond 62 High Street and  opposite the language school). Later the shop on the High Street became Yeats as shown in two of the photographs. During Yeats occupancy, they took over 2 Station Road, breaking through from 48 High Street to combine the two parts into a single shop. In 1988 it traded as Lavells Newsagents and then as Martins Newsagents. The business ceased trading in 2000 due, apparently, to an armed robbery which traumatised the owner so much that he decided not to carry on. It is once more a private house, via the 2005 planning application for the changes.

The sequence of occupiers is shown on a single-sheet plan. The family tree links between Shepherds, Mubts, Crooks and Phipps is also shown.

In 2017, Barclays closed its Wheatley branch and left the village without a bank. The premises were taken over by Neil and Anette MacCormack who moved Wheatley Post Office from their home at 107, High Street and opened The Old Bank - post office and gift shop. This continued the pattern of bank and post office following each other around the village for over 100 years! See 2131

For schematic sketches of occupation from 1930s to 2021, see record 2603


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