We tramp up and down Queen’s Crescent pretty much daily. Increasingly vibrant twice-weekly market aside, not much changes, maybe a dog off the lead here, a rolling mango there.So imagine our surprise this morning when confronted with this just-revealed carved deco signage. Its juxtaposition with the neighbouring plastic facades was so powerful, in fact, that the shop owners were standing agog, and passers-by gathered to stop and stare.
So what on earth was Home & Colonial? Only one of the UK’s largest retail chains, that’s what. Founded by Julius Drewe in 1883, by the late 1920s stores, which mainly sold tea, mushroomed across the country.
We’re unsure as to exactly when H & C opened up on Queen’s Crescent, but this old picture from 1910 (right) suggests it was probably a similar time. And don’t forget, Sainsbury’s also opened its first store on the street (click here for a lot more on that).
We spoke to the owners, who were busy moving their bargain homeware store from over the road to the new premises; delighted with the interest from local residents, they assured us that the sign will be staying, as with E.Mono and Housepresso, but not, sadly, this one on Brecknock Rd.
But our advice is to go take a look today – just in case.