When we had 28 sweetshops

March 28 2014

A WEBSITE has been set up to tell the story of trading and living in Gloucester Road from the late 1800s to the present day.

A WEBSITE has been set up to tell the story of trading and living in Gloucester Road from the late 1800s to the present day.
The social history project was established two years ago by Chris Wallace who had just retired as a lecturer in computing at the University of the West of England.
Having lived in Bishop Road and Morley Square for the past 25 years, he became interested in how the road has developed and changed over time.
Chris then came up with the idea of 'The Gloucester Road Story', which offers historical views of the road, memories and historical events, as well as being an up-to-date record of local businesses.
The self-funded site covers all the premises in the street between Zetland Road and Quarrington Road. Most are illustrated with current photos, as well as archive photos, news items and relevant links.

Data comes from street directories sampled every ten years between 1890 and 1970; Census data; insurance maps for 1978 and 2002; and current observations collected by a team of Gloucester Road enthusiasts.
Chris Wallace said: "We are now starting to collect stories about life on Gloucester Road to flesh out the bare facts.
"Visitors to the site can walk - albeit virtually - down the road in a year of their choice. We hope that this will prompt personal memories and we would love to hear from anyone with a story to tell."
Information gathered through the website reveals that during the 1920s, there were 28 confectioners in Gloucester Road, now there is only one. In 1950 there were 63 clothes shops, now there are 14.
The biggest increases have been in estate agents, restaurants and cafés, financial and legal services and beauty salons.
Businesses that have remained remarkably steady are betting shops, pubs and off-licenses. However, Chris advises that care is needed when using the results, as more checking is needed by the team behind the project.
Chris added: "We still have more to do, including improving the site itself and introducing a mobile app, as well as better maps and navigation.
"We are also working on years prior to 1890, using more Census data and uploading missing photographs."
For more information about the project, visit: www.thegloucesterroadstory.org, or to submit any questions or suggestions, email: kit.wallace@gmail.com.