I doubt if anyone remembers the National Stores Co, reputed to have once been a photographic shop that was situated in the Fovant High Street during the 1920’s. However, the newsagents, which took over, the Handy Shop and the upholstery business, which followed in their turn, will be well within the memory of some of our residents. Firsthand accounts of the early days of this shop are lost to us, but we of the Fovant History Interest Group are intent on recording information on any other old Fovant shops before memories of them fade away.
I was told recently that there had been over forty shops in Fovant over a period of time. The period was not stated but I expect that many of them made a relatively brief appearance during the 1914–18 military activities connected with the army camps under Fovant Down. Almost certainly the branches of The London City and Midland Bank, Lloyds Bank, the tea room and small shop at Fovant Elm, and the Tipperary Tea Room in the Rectory garden in the High Street were established in Fovant to cater for the troops during the first World War.
However, there were other longer-term shops that served the Fovant residents
before, and after, that period. There was a coal merchant, a cobbler and a small haulage company in Brook Street. The butcher’s shop (on the left) was also originally in Brook Street but it subsequently moved to the High Street. Truckles little sweet shop and Norman’s small general store (on the right) were at the northern end of the High Street. So was the original Village Shop and Bakery, which later moved to the southern end of the High Street. There was a blacksmith at the junction of the High Street with the Shaftesbury Road and another at the bottom of Moor Hill. The milk depot was also at the bottom of
Moor Hill. A carpenter’s workshop (shown when being demolished) and licensed slaughterhouse was set towards the northern end of the High Street and a cabinetmaker plied his trade/craft from the building where the Youth Club now is.
There must have been others that we don’t know about – but as yet we haven’t got up to forty in number.