The original “Lost Shops” list.

Here’s the original list, serialised in “Buzz” over the last few months.  Thank you to everyone who responded with their own memories and additions.

Listed below are some of the businesses that Bideford has lost over the last 50/60 years  –

A.F.Beer & son ,Builder

Bawden, Butcher, Mill Street

Braund, Shoeshop, Mill Street

Boyles, Outfitters High St

Bennet, Ironmonger Market Place

W Beer Builder, East the Water

Beers grocers, Market Place

Beers Grocers ,East the Water.

Bideford Wines, Old Town

Boyles Cycle Shop, Allhalland St

Briggs Shoeshop, High Street

Brights Antiques, Bridgleand Street

Burtons Stores, Grocer, High Street

Bus Office, Quay

Blackmores Shipyard,New Road.

Blackmores Depository, Quay

Bideford Shipyard, Bank End

Bus Garage, Bank End

Bagelows Hat shop, High St.

Bideford Radio Service, Bridgeland St

Baters Furniture, Mill St.

Bartletts Builders Merchant (Now Jewsons)

Braunds Florist, Handy Cross

Bridge Street Chapel

Bromleys Cafe, High St

Brian French Chiropodist & Baby shop

Burrows Electrical, Bridge St

Basil A’Court, Mill St Jeweller.

Bideford Building Society, Grenville St.

Bideford Gazette, Grenville St

Bideford Dairies, Kingsley Road

Bartletts Record Shop, Bridgeland St.

Brights Gift shop, Jubilee Square

Bristol & West Building Society, Quay

Chubb’s Wool shop

Charlie Broughs, Outfitter Market Place

Convent, Strand

Cordings Outfitters, Grenville St

Couches Tobacconist, Mill Street

Currys, High St

Cecilles, Bridgeland St


Cycle shop North Road

Chopes, High St (Closing in January 2011)

Cattle Market, Meddon St and Bank End

Daymans, Hairdresser, High Street

Dawes Grocer, High Street

Denis Dymond, Market place

Devon Creameries, Mill Street

Devon Trading, East the Water

Derrigans, Butcher Mill St.

Daddy Yeos, North Road

Encore Electrical, Mill St

Eastmans Butcher, Mill St

Freeman Hardy & Willis, Shoe shop, High St.

Fogaty Newsagent ,Mill St

Ford & Lock, Supermarket, Mill St.

Florist, Mill St. (opp Gales)

Fraynes Stores, High Street

Friendship (then Mitchells) Bakery and Restaurant, Market Place

Elliotts Garage, Kingsley Road

Frisby Shoes, Mill St

Gents (& Ladies Toilets), Pill

Gazette Office, Grenville St.

Gas Showroom,Quay

GasWorks, East the Water

Glover, Furnisher, Market Place

Giddy, Butcher, Old Town

Grenville College, Abbotsham Rd

Gales Sports & Toys, Mill St.

Gubb, Baker, Meddon Street

Hepworths. High St.

Heath, Ironmonger, Market Place

Hold, Tobacconist, Mill Street

Holman and Ham, Chemist, Quay

Hopcraft, Hairdresser, Mill Street

Home & Colonial, Grocer, High St

Hold, Butcher, High Street

Heywood & Cock, Genville St.

Heards Garage Showroom, Quay

Heards Garage Service Bay, Cooper St

Hardings, Blacksmith, North Road

Hope Hearson, Fancy Goods, Mill St.

Hutchings Electrical, Pill

Hair Modes of Mayfair, Bridgeland St.

Hopkins Garage, Meddon St.

Insley, Photographer, High Street

International Stores, Mill Street, (now Co-op)

Isgard, Cobbler, Meddon St.

Jon Brown, Furniture & DIY, Market Place

Jenny Forbes Cafe, Quay

Johns Printers, Lower Gunstone

Johns, Saddler, Buttgarden Street

Johnstone’s, Chemist, Mill Street

Kingsbury Fisheries, Mill St.

Kingsley Decorators, Bridgeland Street

Kingsbury (Bert), Honestone Street

Knighton Delve, Motorcycles, Bridgeland St

Kingsley Hotel, Quay

Lang’s, Upholsterers, Grenville Street

Lets Go Travel, Mill St

Littlejohns, Photographer, Mill St.

Leno’s Fish and Chips, Old Town

Laundons, High St

London Central Meat, Mill Street

Luxton, Tobacconist, High Street

Marshall Verren, Grocer, Mill

Mace shop Old Town – Now Complete Computing

MacFisheries, High Street

Mackenzie Dye, Bookseller, Mill Street

Madges Garage, Clovelly Road

Market Inn, Honestone Street

Margarets Ladies clothes, Mill St

Ministry of Pensions & National Insurance. Quay

Michells Paint Shop. Meddon Street

Magistrates Court

Merediths, Ironmongers, High St

Mounce, Ladies Fashions, High Street

New Inn, Market Place

New Street demolished

Nicklins, Records, Mill St

Neville Pullen Chemist, Mill St

New Street, Demolished

Number 5, Ladies Fashions Bridgeland St

Northcott, Jeweller, Meddon Street

North Devon Farmers, New Rd

New Road Garage

Orange Tea Rooms, Quay

Palace Cinema, Bridgeland St.

Polypress Printer North Road

Pridham, Saddler. Grenville Street

Princes, Outfitter, Mill Street

Providence Row Demolished

Pullars of Perth, Dry Cleaners, Quay.

Puddicombe, Toy Shop, High St

Post Office, (when in High St)

Perkins. Florist. Quay

Pickfords Quay.

Radclift, Grocer, Chingswell Street

Red Line Shoe Shop,Grenville St.

Red House Cafe, Quay

Ron Lake, Motorcycle, North Road

Railway (station and Goods yard, and eventually whole railway)

Raleigh Garage, Kingsley Road

Ridge, Wine Merchants, High Street,(later R H Salmon,Applegates, Westminster Wine, Peter Dominic, and Finally Thresshers (in Mill Street)

Royal Mail Pub, (now Tavern in the Port,& since closed)

Ring ‘O’ Bells Pub,Honestone Street

Rose Birds Glass and China, Mill St

Red House Antiques, Bridgeland St,

Rendles Paint shop

Seage, Butcher, High Street

Strand Cinema

Stephens & Brain, Ironmongers, High St

Sanguins Shoes, High St.

SWEB Showroom, High St.

Swan Inn, Mill St.

Scotts Model Bakery, Quay

Schillers Fish and Chips, Lower Gunstone and New St (demolished)

Sudburys Gloves. Silver St.

Talbot Inn, High Street (recently)

Taylors China Shop, High Street

Taylor (Miss) Ladies Clothing, Meddon Street

Taylor, Hairdresser, Clovelly Road

Taylor’s Boot Repairers, Old Town

Truscotts Newsagents, Quay

Truscotts Jewellers, High St

Torridge Inn, Meddon St

Trapnells, Haberdashers, High St.

Tradesmans Inn, Cooper St.

Trumps, Florist, Mill St

Turner Chemist, Mill St

Webbs, Furnishers, Mill St.

Woolworths. High St.

Wickhams Wine, High St.

West Bank, Girls college, Belvoir

Wynne Olleys, Hair Dresser, Quay

Wine Bar, Bridgeland St – next to Lavington Church

Walters Newsagents, Mill St

Warmingtons Garage, Bridgeland Street

Whitefield, Grocer, Grenville Street

Worlds Stores, Market Place


Morrisons, Supermarket

Tesco. Supermarket

Asda, Supermarket

Co-op supermarket, formerly Somerfield, formerly International

Atlantic Shopping Mall

Texaco Filling Station, formerly Elliotts.

Burton Art Gallery

Kays, Ladies Fashions, Mill St

Factory Shop, formerly Woolworths

Farm & Country Cottages, Quay

Crabby Dicks, Pub in Cooper St

New Toilets in Park

Car Sales, formerly Bideford Dairies

Spar, formerly Heards Garage Showroom

The premises listed above are most of the places that I can remember being in our town from approximately the 1950s and 1960s which have since disappeared. Other shops have opened in their places in some instances, but a lot have come and gone, and I have not included them as they made no lasting impression.

I hope that  this will prompt memories of older Bidefordians, and perhaps they’ll be able to add to this list.

Mike Hudson, Westleigh.

This entry was posted in History, Local Business, Local People and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to The original “Lost Shops” list.

  1. Dan says:

    I’m looking for anyone who knows where Perkins & Son (florist) was located on the quay?

    My grandparents got married in bideford and have a picture outside the florists, I’d love to take my Grandfather there to show him what’s there now.

    Thanks in advance

  2. Michael Rowe says:

    The three Mitchell’s bakery shops one at the top of the high street , one in the middle of mill street and one at the bottom of bridge land street my grandmother mrs Elsie lock used to work in all of them .

  3. Jim Jilbert says:

    My parents moved to Bideford in 1957 from Exeter. We took over the gents hairdressers in Mill St opposite Lower Gunstone. Jilbert’s hairdressers and tobacconists. We lived above the shop and I went to school at Geneva. Sold to jewellers probably about 1967.I also remember a coffee bar at the top of High St called The Cat’s Whiskers.

  4. Eliz. Blight says:

    First specs bought at Batemans (Bridgeland St). Hughes were at the top. Hubson Verity was in Mill St before it became Dolland and Acthinson. The now Oxfam was once Lady Fayre. With another posh dress shop further down Bridge St.

  5. Elizabeth Blight says:

    In the 1970s I worked in Boots the Chemist at the bottom of High St., (Beside Grocery shop Home and Colonial) Then it became Scott’s bakery, then Specsavers before the recent fire. Boots moved further up High St on right hand side when it took over Timothy Whites. At the time my to be husband worked in Dingles cash and carry, East the Water and in laws bought us a barometer from Acourts the jewellers in Mill Street. My sister worked in Holman Ham chemist on the corner of High Street. There was Rawstrons chemists in Allhalland St and another Pullens in Mill St. Taylors chemist was where Gales toy shop was. Husband went to work at North Devon Farmers in1980s. Council were eager to develop the site (same state to this day 2023) so they temporary moved to the old UBM at East the Water before going up to new premises which is now BJs. Norman’s went in I think after NDF. He then went to work at South West Vets on the Pill. Other shops were Heywood and Cox, Goamans wholesale, North Devon Paints. First mortgage was from Western Countries Building Society that changed to Portman.

  6. Colin Brown says:

    And don’t forget Cyril Petherick’s fishing tackle shop in Grenville Street. And technically Bartletts is still there as it merged with Bayly’s from Plymouth the Powell Duffryn Timber and now trades as Jewsons…..

  7. Gavin Draper says:

    Also 11 Mill Street was a men’s clothes and shoe shop called misters and under Tony’s barbers was Indigo ladies clothes opposite Lamazone and 45 next to encore was Small wonders a clothes shop for kids. All owned by my parents Rose and Brian Draper. My dad also was the first to open the bar above the printers up lower gunstone called Bards ,jointly owned by fish monger Anthony Rutherford therefore the initials BARD,S.Not all shops didn’t leave a lasting impression especially for my local family.



    HE DIED IN 2005 AT THE AGE OF 87

  10. Carole Caple says:

    I remember some of these shops, we used to live on the top floor of the Curry’s shop building in the High Street, opposite the tobacconists Finlays (now closed). I remember so many shops, the lovely stationery shop in Allhalland Street where I used to buy 1p Christmas cards, the little tobacconist and newsagent that opened just along from there on Sunday mornings after church for 15 minutes only! Does anyone remember the delicious pasties from Cleverdons? I wish I had the recipe for them, they were the best ever. My Mum used to work in Torridge Hospital opposite Baldy Fred’s grocery shop and Matchams post office where the old lady used to sit in her chair and watch us kids pile in to choose sweets or use the post office in the very dark corner of the shop. I remember the First in Last Out and the sweet shop opposite. I went to St. Mary’s Infants (by St Mary’s church) & then Junior School (Honestone Street) before going to Edgehill College. Anyone else on here from Stucley Road? Remember the Crawfords shop next to the lane to Clovelly Road and Twinaways?
    Good times!

  11. Keith Williams says:

    I am not a native of Bideford but I hope I am permitted a few words.
    I spent some very enjoyable times in North Devon in the late 70’s and 80’s. I have some extremely fond memories of the area and of some very good friends.

    Madge’s Garage is on your list. I remember Cecil Madge well, we did some business occasionally.

    I was offered a very tempting job in Barnstaple in 1977. I eventually declined but the decision was a tough one. The area still has a soft spot in my heart.

  12. Andrew Hutchings says:

    I’ve been looking into early Skoda cars of the 1960s (not the V.W. designed ones produced now) and have found that the motorcycle business run by Ron Lake in North Road, Bideford, was a Skoda dealer in 1964! Back in the 1970s I remember a motor accessory shop opposite the entrance to the Government offices & I wonder if this was the same premises…..

  13. Alan Sturk says:

    In Mill Street near where the Co-Op now is there was a sweet shop. I think it was called The Chocolate Box. I remember it from the 1940-50’s.
    Was owned by Mrs Kivell.
    Nearby was a butcher shop; was it Locks? A boy from my class in Geneva
    (Baz Bailey) and later at the Tech in Barnstaple worked there until he suddenly died of peritonitus. That would have been in the 1960’s

  14. Andrew Hutchings says:

    I’ve just looked over a few of the earlier comments on this site, and noticed the following:

    1/ Hutchings Electrical was my Father’s and Grandfather’s business!
    2/ The car sales business that was Bideford Dairies was (many years before that!) the engine shed for the Bideford, Westward Ho! & Appledore Railway!
    3/ “The Gannet” was the restaurant half-way up the High Street & I remember it well, as I do The Durrant House Hotel, in Northam.

  15. Andrew Hutchings says:

    Does anyone remember Bideford Motors, on Torridge Hill. They were Audi & Volkswagen dealers in the 1970s and 80s. I worked there for a few years, learning the motor trade, before moving away. I expect they closed their petrol pumps when the Atlantic Way bypass opened, killing the petrol sales of garages in the town stone dead!

  16. Patricia Beer says:

    Sandra clare, i hope this puts your mind at rest, the pub steak house half way up the high st was called the gannett, we use to eat there quite often,

  17. Patricia McLaughlin says:

    I remember Gunner Philips scrap metal yard at Handy Cross, and next door a shop/flower nursery called ?Braund.

  18. Patricia McLaughlin says:

    The steak house was, I think, The Gannet. Also there was a newsagent’s in Allhalland Street called Gill’s and a ladies dress shop with a very narrow entrance next to what was Trapnell’s, and The Gannet?

  19. Sandra Clare says:

    In 1972 there was a pub/steak house about half way up Bideford High Street on the right. It was a very nice, quiet place to spend a few hours. It is driving me mad that I cannot remember the name. Anyone help please?

  20. Sarah says:

    I lived in Bideford until 1968 and went to Edgehill school with the daughters whose families owned some of the shops mentioned – Janet Walters, Treena Derrigan and Robyn Trapnell

  21. Sue Montgomery says:

    I remember Trapnell’s Department Store and Funeral Directors. This was my grandfather’s – Howard Trapnell and his sons Peter and David worked there too. As children we used to love seeing our grandfather greeting people with a carnation in his buttonhole put there by our Granny.

  22. nick lee says:

    At the top of Bridgeland St just below Braddicks there was an optician’s. Think the old boy who ran it was called Price.
    Between Jacquemands and Leetes there was a small road that ran up to Bookers wholesale depot.
    Wouldn’t describe the Burton Art Gallery as ‘New to Bideford’ although it has grown a bit. I remember it years ago as having quite a few model ships carved by Napoleonic prisoners of war; assume they’re now in storage.

  23. Bernard Merrick says:

    At the top of High Street there was Pickards Dairy (on right going up), and further up on left there was a grocer. This was in the ’40s.

  24. Bernard Merrick says:

    In the ’40s there was a gents hairdresser in Mill Street, opposite Lower Gunstone and next to Mr Littlejohns photographic shop. Cannot remember the name unfortunately!

  25. Bernard Merrick says:

    Two more just remembered. Stuart Turner Photography (bottom of Bridgeland Street and Mr Edwards sweet and tobacco shop in the middle of Old Town. Oh Yes! Mr Alford’s sweet and tobacco shop at the bottom of Clovelly Road, just after turning the corner from Meddon Street. Further up was Miss Hicks sweet and grocery shop on the right going up, just opposite the “First In, Last Out”. Four or five doors down from her lived a dairyman who, in the 40s, used to go around with a small cart hauled by a pony containing a churn of milk and filled bottles, capped them (cardboard tops) and delivered to our doorstep. What about the Co-op bakery in Old Town – shop and actual bakery – next door to commercial stables. Co-op used to deliver bread and cakes in a large horse-drawn cart. Next up from Madges Garage (there was a cottage in-between) was the Devon Creameries Bakery with a shop. The Bakery had been a garage before it was converted, if I recall. Opposite the top of Meddon Street was a Post Office run, when I was a small boy, by a Miss Seaton. Between the PO and Geneva Road was a grocery shop – now – was it called Taylor & Hooper? I’m dragging the memory now!

  26. Bernard Merrick says:

    Have just found this site today (5th Feb 2018) and find no mention of my father’s glove factory at the end of The Strand. It was W.E. Gloves and was there from 1940 until sometime in the 1960’s. Also Hooper’s the Estate Agents in Mill Street?? The was a little corner shop in Royston Road run by Mr Jewell while I went past on the way to Grammar School during the late 40’s , early 50s.

  27. William Grant says:

    My grandparents Erny and Olive Blackmore ran a clothes shop at 12 North Road.
    They made a lot of clothes on site.

  28. Faith Greenfield says:

    Does anybody remember Pats Bakery in Northam, North Devon. A lost shop.
    I am trying to trace the recipe for their Cut Rounds which my Granny used to buy from them and serve with jam and cream – jam on first! – this was in the early forties but they were probably there much longer.
    I’ve tried several recipes but they are not how I remember them. I feel that the name cut round probably refers to the shape of the roll, rather than the flavour.
    Please can anybody help?

  29. Malcolm Harvey says:

    Don’t forget Geneva School, which I attended, is now closed and Cordings were on Mill Street and the Quay. Nicklins Music store was in Mill Street and there was a pub across the bridge to the right on the right hand side of the road which backed onto the railway line, but can’t remember the name. The railway sidings were farther along bthe road on the left hand side, now a housing estate.

  30. Malcolm Harvey says:

    I worked at Leetes for five years and I didn’t know what they made! I was an apprentice with them, but only managed two years before they closed, and don’t forget Geneva School which I attended is now closed. Cordings outfitters were in Mill Street and on the quay, my dad was manager of Cordings on the quay.

  31. colin brown says:

    Don’t forget MacFisheries in the High Street,on the right hand side down from Bromleys cafe.

  32. steve fowler says:

    Hi I remember my mother taking me to Gales toy shop, Mill Street. My mother lived under the bridge in Torrington Lane, by the name of Schillers. Good days.

  33. michael sheppard says:

    I remember a small bakers shop just above Madges garage in Clovelly road and and Captain Marshalls which became Twinaway stores with Catsall lane behind, which lead to a farm – now a housing estate. I used to go to school across the fields until the Pynes lane/Highview estate was built. I remember well taking my shoes to Mr Taylors for repair and taking our accumulator to Mr Vanstone on Clovelly road for recharging, and paid the princely sum of 6d for a fully charged one !. I wonder how many remember Mr Scarborough the PE teacher at Genva? I nearly spiked his foot with a javelin when the wind changed, he was not amused ! and I remember well his moustache bristling wildly as he told me off.

  34. Richard Vellacott says:

    There was also “The Knitting Box” at 1 Pitt Lane, which moved down to 35 Mill Street and became “Vellacott’s Wools”. I remember them well – they were owned by my parents and I grew up above them!

  35. Frances Harding. Nee Littlejohns says:

    Lost shops there was also Order Office for HA&EJ Littlejohns coal business between
    Blanchards shop and my parents photography studio/shop Mill street Studio

    When it went I do not know ,after I left town !

    I do enjoy reading the Buzz ,brings back memories thank you
    Frances Harding

  36. nick lee says:

    Road Freight Repairs, New Road.
    Mitchells Transport, New Road.
    Bus Office / Waiting Room, The Quay.
    Bus Depot (Mainly Southern National), Bank End.
    Astburys Stationary Shop, Chingswell St.
    Bill Milton’s Grocery Shop, Hight St (opp Liberal Club).
    Bookers (I think) wholesale depot behind Jacquemands
    Devon Concrete Works, Bank End.

    The guy who owned the sweet shop halfway up Pitt Lane was called Mr Curtis and Leetes manufactured amongst other things bullet casings (my father had the transport contract with them in the 1970’s.

  37. Jonathan Frayne says:

    You have listed Fraynes Stores as a lost shop on the High street. I think this would have been my grandmother’s grocery shop. Originally the shop was a double entry and the other shop that shared the threshold was her husband, Roy’s, pork butcher’s shop. Also called Frayne’s but a Pork Butcher’s. The double entrance has now gone and the two shops are now one (a firm of accountants) opposite the entrance to Grenville Street.

  38. Tony Morris says:

    Another one was Charles Morris & Sons Ltd, Abbotsham Road.

  39. kenneth beer says:

    Perhaps the hardware general store that Di Walker refers to was Stevens and Brains.

  40. Di Walker says:

    This list has bought back so many memories of my youth, when I used to help my mother with shopping errands. What a pity so many are gone.
    I would like to add Pats the greengrocer in Mill Street, also Little the greengrocer. There was also a Hardware general store half way up High street which I can not remember the name now.
    There was also Pats the baker who was at the top of Bridgeland Street for a time.

  41. Andrew Hutchings says:

    As a child of Bideford I also remember a builder’s merchants behind where Elliotts Garage now stands, called Rawle, Gammon & Baker. The building was built on stilts (if memory serves) and sold all manner of building materials.

    I think one drove into their yard via a side entrance between Elliotts and J. Leetes premises. Leetes were an engineering company, I believe, but I never knew quite what they made…


  42. Jane Cooper says:

    Wasn’t there also a Colwells (or Colwill) delicatessen – he was also Mayor in the 70s

  43. carol king says:

    More lost businesses

    Mrs Langs, general store, North Road.
    DAWES general store, High Street.
    Sweet Shop, corner of Elm Grove.
    Sweet shop/Haberdashery, top of Gunstone/ Coldharbour.
    Sandras Music shop, Allhalland Street.
    Armada Cafe, Chingswell Street.
    Francis Flower Shop.
    Butterworth Dairy, Royston Road.
    Ashley Dairy, opposite Geneva School.
    Des Taylors Gents Hairdresser, corner Meddon Street and Clovelly Road.
    Chumleys, Old Town.
    Ponderosa, Queen Street.
    Chicos, next to Bus office ( I think it was previously called ? Ice cream parlour).
    Devon Creameries, Quay.
    Pickards Dairy, High Street.
    General Store, Bottom of Littles Hill /Lime Grove( owned by two ladies).
    LLOYDS Gallery, High Street.
    My old hairdresser’s – (Carol Anne ),Moreton Park.
    Aquarius Night club ( now the British legion), High Street.
    Jon Browns
    Leetes ( morrisons now).
    Sudburys Gloves.
    Jaqumans (Morrisons)

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