No. 1 High Street is located in the heart of the village (currently ‘The Dog House’). In the early 1900s it was a Grocery Shop and Tobacconist run by Mary Stoneley, a widow. Mary and her four young boys returned to Tattenhall from St Neots following the death of her husband, Herbert. She took on the Grocery Shop which was owned by her family, the Parkinson’s. Permission to include the Post Card (below) has been given by John Stoneley (Mary Stoneley’s grandson). For chocolate lovers amongst us, ‘Cadbury’s Cocoa’ and ‘Cadbury’s Chocolate’ can be seen advertised on the windows of Mary Stoneley’s shop.
The procession which is shown on the Post Card (above) is of an ‘Oddfellows Parade’ along the High Street and this image is taken directly outside of Mary Stoneley’s Grocery Shop. The bearded gentleman leading the procession is believed to be ‘George Ashton’ and it is said that he led most processions through the village. A ‘George Ashton’ is listed in the 1911 Census as ‘Single, Aged 61, a Cabinet Maker and resident in Tattenhall’. Further research indicates that this is one and the same person and that George Ashton was a Past Provincial Grand Master of the ‘Oddfellows’ – the letters ‘PPGM’ can just be seen on the sash he is wearing across his chest. Additional information relating to George Ashton is to be found on the ‘Oddfellows’ Webpage (see ‘Local People’ on the tool bar). The young man in the foreground who is jointly carrying the Oddfellows banner is believed to be Sam Stoneley, one of Mary Stoneley’s four sons.
In the 1910 Kelly’s Directory, Mary Stoneley is listed as ‘Shopkeeper’.
In the following year which was the year of the 1911 Census, Mary Stoneley is recorded as ‘Head of the Household, Widow, 41 years of age and General Provision Dealer’. She is listed as having been born in Clotton, Cheshire.
Also resident with her on the night of the Census were two of her four sons, George aged 12 years and Sam aged 10 years. George Stoneley subsequently died in The Great War and is remembered on the War Memorial and Sam Stoneley subsequently took over the Grocery store from his mother.
In addition, both Annie Cliff aged 16 (General Servant Domestic) and Cecil Owen aged 19 (Boarder and Butcher) were resident at the Grocery Shop at the time of the Census.
John Stoneley, who was born in 1934, remembers the shops and businesses that were immediately adjacent to his Grandmother’s Grocery Shop. John’s earliest memories, therefore, are of the late 1930s/1940s.
John Stoneley’s memories of the shops near to his childhood home capture the flavour of the High Street in the early 20th century:
- Mary Stoneley’s Grocery Shop and Tobacconist
- ‘Tinman Jones’ who lived on his own – ‘a little shop where he made pots and pans’
- The Letter’s Inn
- Next to this lived ‘2 old ladies, Madge and Phoebe Sumner. Madge had thick glasses. They sat sewing all day long’
- The ‘Whites’ lived in the next house – ‘Ernie White was a painter and I played billiards with him’
- Then there was the Garage – where Nisa now is – ‘there was a petrol pump outside’
- On the other side of the Grocery Shop (currently ‘Tattenhall News’) ‘was Frank Pierce’s Motor and Cycle Shop. Frank was married to Emma and she was very good to me’.