Buxton between the Wars. 1914-1939.
With few cars available and poor public transport Buxton had all its own services between the great wars.
A local circular described how you could have a fowl house, wheelbarrow, dog kennel, summer house, bee hive,
wireless set, snow plough, harness, harrow, cart or wagon, suit of clothes, or a bicycle made in the village.
Coal, meat, grocery, flour, bread, drapery, iron and tin ware were waiting to be delivered to your house.
Motor transport, house repairs, land drainage, thatching, plumbing and painting, ladies and gents hairdressing,
engineering, blacksmithing & undertakers, dress making and laundry work were all available.
So we have had an undertaker in Brook Street in the past.
Below are some of the shops and their situations starting from the church and going down Mill Street,
then Crown Rd and on to Brook Street.
Two aircraft crashed near Buxton during WWII. Details are in the
In Mill Street just beyond the Church on the left. This was opened in 1910 and burnt out in a fire 24 years ago
and Tom Catchpole now has his house on the site. Bicycle, gramophones, and prams were repaired and sold.
Ladies & Gents hairdresser. In Mill Street on left beyond the Church Corner.
Coal merchant. No 2 Mill Street.
Ladies & gents tailor. In Mill Street beyond Church on left.
Motor & cycle engineers. In Mill Street beyond church on left.
There were several pumps in front of the bicycle shop in Mill Street.
The petrol cost 1 shilling & 3d (now 6p) per gallon with 6d tax and the commercial fuel 10d per gallon.
This moved to its present site in the 1940's.
Butcher. In Mill Street. Mrs Gladys Child still lives there.
Buxton Stores. Groceries. At Mill end of Mill Street on left.
Dressmaking Mill Steet, near Clock House
Flour and wheat meal. Cakes and pig rations.
Saddlers and shoe repairers in Mill Street beyond railway bridge on right. Closed around 1930.
Footware for men and first class repairs. Run from a hut opposite the Crown Pub.
Shoes cost 50p and boots 60p. Closed in the 1950's.
His daughter still lives on the site - Mrs Joy Bobbitt at Dix Rest near the Crown Pub.
Steward & Patterson. Proprietor J.Mason
Yongs & Crawshays. Run by Beano Woodhouse. Also had Bowling Green.
Lion Corner (see picture) at the house on the corner opposite the Black Lion.
A (possibly) earlier pic of this shop is also included here, when it was a butchers.
Which came first, the Butchers, or the Grocers?
The Watts Grocer photo shows a ladder up against Dudwick Lodge, with the thatch looking a bit bare,
whilst the Butcher photo shows a lovely thatch, pointing us to think that the Grocer photo is the earlier.
However, these pictures come from a postcard, and the frank date on them says 1909 for the Grocers,
and 1894?? for the Butchers, and the photo style/quality confirms this.
We have a photo of the Watt´s Grocers shop when it was in Brook Street,
and a photo of this Brook Street establishment without the signs.
We do not know in which order of date these pictures should be.
However, we can guess from various clues - in the first photo the houses are unpainted,
and the windows on the left hand side of the house are two pane both up and down,
whilst in the second photo, the houses are painted, and the lower window has been widened to three pane.
Today, both upper and lower windows are three pane,
so we can surmise that the first photo is earlier than the second - the windows being widened over the years.
But whether this shop was here before or after the time it was on Lion Corner, we do not know for sure.
The frank date of the first ´unpainted´ picture is 1906, but the ´painted´ photo was never posted, and therefore has no frank date.
General store & Post Office situated where Roger Rice's shop was in Brook Street.
It sold ironware, paint, paraffin and garden tools.
Thanks to Roger Rice for the following addition:
Research and comments by Roger S. Rice December 2002 on
The building formally Buxton Post Office and Store, Buxton Stores (BOB’s), Londis Store.
Now 5, Brook Street
From the Title Deeds and other references it is possible to track the ownership of this,
the former Post Office back almost one hundreds and fifty years.
Sadly it ceased to be a business in July 2001.
|Year ||Name of Owner ||Function |
|1972 - Current(12/2002) ||Roger S. Rice ||General Store until 2001|
|New purpose built Post Office opened at an adjacent site in Brook Street.|
|1966 - 1972||Erwin and Margaret Hensell ||Post Office and Store|
|1919 - 1966||Oscar George Woods (Died 1955)Elsie Florence Woods (Wife to Oscar) ||Post Office and Store|
|Note the first telephone exchange was installed in the building in 1919,
12 years before electricity, which was first installed in the Mill House in 1931|
|18?? - 1919||Walter Woods (Died ????) Emma Woods (Mum to Oscar and ten others)(Died 1917)||Post Office, Butcher and Store|
|187? ||Mrs Wiggett||Post Office and Baker|
|186? ||Mrs Fox||Post Office|
Some of the dates are unclear especially the early ones but it does seem that there is a connection to the Lane Family (an old Buxton family name) through Fox and Wiggett. Then Walter Woods bought the holding with a loan from the Oddfellows. Half of this loan was still outstanding in 1919 when Oscar, one of his sons, bought out the rest of the family for £70. I assume that he took over the debt as well. What did he get for his money? The three houses with gardens now known as 3,5,7 Brook Street and the site of the New Post Office. There was a barn where the Post Office is now and a Saddlers business, in a small building approximately on the site of the telephone box. The Saddlers was run by Carlton Woods. I think Carlton was Oscar’s brother but I could be wrong.
I have on many occasions tried to imagine what it was like to run the business in the days of Oscar, when times were slower and everyone knew everyone else and their mothers. Just imagine the responsibility (and fun) in knowing everyone’s news, the telephone switch board was in the sitting room and all calls had to be connected by hand, day or night, all mail and all telegraphs were routed through this door.
There is also a picture, published here
, which I believe is of the Woods family, you can see a child with his name round his neck so possibly this was taken during the second world war and that child is an evacuee. I am told Oscar is the tall guy in the black hat.
When undertaking various works, over the years, I have identified various features. These include wells in the garden, meat hooks in beams, and most recently a very large inglenook fireplace. These along with various other pieces of physical history have been sympathetically covered so that in the future someone else may enjoy uncovering them again. There is a piece of living history in the rear garden a yucca plant that was planted by Emma Woods, this plant flowers in December January so it must be from original South American stock and must be approaching one hundred years old.
I was fortunate enough to meet Elsie Woods and learned much of the history of this building from her.
Roger S. Rice.
Ivy Farm, Buxton (see map). West of Dudwick Park.
Produced and delivered milk on a daily round by horse and cart.
She lived in Dell View at Town End and gave Pianoforte instruction.
Hand laundry work
Carpentry, furniture, repairs, with fried fish and chips every Saturday.
2d for fish and 1d for chips. First Thatched Cottage over the Beck in Brook Street.
Sold sweets out of the window which opens on to the road.
Smithy, Brook Street, Buxton.
Wheelwright, blacksmith and undertaker.
Pub in Brook Street - last on left after Beck.
Timber & general merchant. Heath Farm, Buxton
Builders ( see picture) Thought to be the Watts building the Glen.
Marsh & land drainage. Ponds cleared. Sports grounds made
Run by the Rust family, Humble, Basil, Jimmy, and Gerald.
There were at least 4 steam engines in Buxton.
See photo of Gerald Rust next to a Wallis Stephenson traction engine similar to the one he used to use around Buxton.
These were in use from 1910 to 1945 and run by steam.
They were used for many jobs on the farms.