See Faringdon Streets for an indexed list of all streets in Faringdon.
The second building on the left is #1 Bromsgrove or Bromsgrove Place, which was built around the 1850s as a draper’s shop. At this time the owner was probably William Collins Sell who was listed as a linen and woollen draper, silk mercer, hatter, hosier and agent for sewing machines. The building has a glass roof presumably to provide better lighting for displaying the stock. In 1882 it was owned by the Goddard family and known as ‘Top Goddards’.
1916-1931. Keeping the name J. Goddard & Sons, the draper’s shop changed hands and in the 1950s was owned in turn by Mr Fish and Mr Geoff. During the 1970s it was converted into a restaurant, first called ‘Mistinguet’, later ‘Rat’s Castle’ and then ‘La Bobina’.
1995 & 2001. The restaurant at Bromsgrove Place has since become known as the ‘Rat’s Castle’ on changing ownership during the 1980’s and again around 2010 to become ‘La Bobina – Spanish Tapas & Wine Bar’. The building has been renovated but the drawers and storage units that would have been used are still preserved in the present day restaurant. The frontage of the building was also changed but the glass roof was kept in place. Next door to Bromsgrove Place, shown in the first photo, is Brockendon House at #3.
2000. Ferndale School, established in 1952, moved to Brockendon House in 1956 and was there until 2016. It was a private school for boys and girls aged 4½-11. The founder and principal was Mrs N. B. Reeves. More…
Looking back towards Marlborough Street at the junction with the new Hart Avenue. The site is being redeveloped for new housing, called Blissett Terrace. Hart Avenue is a new road built to link Ferndale (Union) Street to Bromsgrove and help alleviate traffic flow through the town centre.
Moving along towards Station Road was an entrance on the left to a builder’s yard owned by S.G. Bowler (est 1920). It was still there in 1972 but the site was later demolished to make way for Walnut Court. A little further along the road is a track leading to the school that was on Southampton Street.
1953. Looking towards Christopher Square and Station Road. The Swan Inn is dead ahead. The Baptist Chapel is on the right. Bowler & Son, builders and decorators, on the left. The street is very quiet and lacking in vehicles – only 1 in 10 households in the UK owned a car at this time.
1911. June 22nd Coronation of King George V. Looking back from Christopher Square into Bromsgrove. The street is en fete for the Coronation celebrations and everyone is dressed in their best. The children are able to pose in the middle of the street as there was no danger from traffic. The child on the left is Dick ‘Tammy’ James. The third person from the right is Mr Harry Whipp; fifth from the right is Mr Harris, head tailor for Pocock, and left of him is his son. The Baptist Chapel is off the picture on the left hand corner. The front door on the far right with the mother and her young boy standing on the step is the one behind the white car in the second photo, taken in 1995. On the far right you can just see the edge of The Swan Inn on the corner with Station Road.
c1900. Looking back from the Swan Inn on the right into Christopher Square and the road into Bromsgrove. The Baptist Chapel is on the far side of the Square. The next tall building to the left that looks like part of the church has since been demolished as shown in the second photo taken in 1995. The next building on the far left is the start of the cottages shown in the next two photos.
Bromsgove, where the cars are in the second photo, runs parallel to Station Road and heads back towards Marlborough Street . The photos show a string of terraced cottages both before and after renovation works. The very last building at the end is the back of The Rookery Coffee House on Marlborough Street.
The following shops and businesses were advertised in Bromsgrove, Faringdon in the years stated:
BOWLER S.G., 49 Bromsgrove, builders, plumbers, decorators. G.R. Davis & K.A. Davis (est 1920), FV 1972.
FERNDALE SCHOOL, (Brockendon House in Bromsgrove) Principal: Mrs N. B. Reeves, boys and girls, 4.5-11 yrs., FDS 1966
GODDARD J. & SONS, drapers & haberdashery, Bromsgrove Place, FA 1916, 1919, 1931, 1937. FDS 1949, 1953 (A.J. Fish, L.W. Gough).
Media Key: FA = Faringdon Advertiser; FDS = Faringdon Dramatic Society; FV = Faringdon Venture; FF = Faringdon Folly
The Changing Faces of Faringdon and Surrounding Villages – Book 1 p8. By Rosemary Church, Jim Brown, Millie Bryan and Beryl Newman. Robert Boyd Publications 1999.
Researched by Ian Lee, February 2020.