At the beginning of the 20th Century, ‘Bateman’s Bazaar and Boot Stores’ were owned by Thomas and Eliza Bateman.
Thomas Bateman was listed in the 1911 Census as a ‘Draper, Grocer and General Dealer’.
He advertised a range of items including: ‘high class groceries and provisions; plain or fancy drapery; a gentleman’s clothing department which offered made-to-measure or ready-to-wear suits and overcoats, as well as a wide range of boots, shoes and a repairing service’.
His nephew, George Morgan Corbett, lived with the family in Tattenhall and was employed as a ‘Draper Shop Assistant’.
At the time of the 1911 Census Thomas Bateman was aged 48 and his wife, Eliza Bateman, was aged 50. They had no children.
Other than his nephew, George Morgan Corbett, two domestic female servants were also resident at the Store on Census night.
Bateman’s Bazaar and Boot Stores comprised two stores which were located on the High Street of Tattenhall.
- The Boot and Shoe Store (currently ‘The Post Office’) was situated between the ‘Nine Houses’ and the ‘Bear and Ragged Staff’ – this can be seen on the left in the image below.
- The Bazaar (complete with awning) can be seen further down the High Street on the left (currently ‘The Chemist’).
Below is a further image of Thomas Bateman’s Store from the ‘Perfection Postcard’ Series (early 20th Century).
The following memoir offers a remarkable insight into life on the High Street . . . ‘Bateman’s of Tattenhall had two shops. One a shoe shop and the other a general store. George Corbett called once a month and took orders for everything from shoe polish to scrubbing brushes, soft soap, toilet rolls, mops and mop buckets – you name it he had it; he had a large book with all the goods they sold and went down the list with mother – it would take them the best part of half an hour. One regular order would be two dozen candles and two cases of two dozen boxes of matches along with six large bars of white soap – a double block nearly the size of a house brick which you would cut in half.
George drove a little green van and always had a good story to tell about something or other. One tale he told was he had been to a farm up at ‘Bosley’ (Burwardsley) and had gone out to the van to get something and left the van door open. Unbeknown to him a dog had climbed in the back and gone to sleep when he had set off again and gone a short way before the dog woke up and came and licked the back of his neck; as he put it he didn’t need any ‘opening medicine’ for a day or two.
Since the Store was advertised as a ‘Family Drapers’, then it is logical to presume that other skilled personnel were also working at Bateman’s. One such woman was Hilda Davies Parry who was 20 at the time of the 1911 Census. She was a boarder at the home of Walter Ernest Bebbington and his wife, Annie Bebbington, of Church Bank in Tattenhall. Walter (the Head of the Household) was a ‘Draper’s Assistant’ and archival records support that Hilda (his boarder) was a Milliner’s Assistant at Thomas Bateman’s Store.