(Produced from presentations compiled by Allen Guille and Chris Humby in 2014 & 2015)
If you have followed our illustrations of Bishopstoke Mill you will be familiar with this location. What you will not be familiar with is how this area was in 1892, when this plan was developed by the County of Hampshire Land and Building Society for land purchased from Colonel Henry Best Hans Hamilton, owner of the Longmead Estate. The location of St Agnes, the Mill Stream (Channel), Spring Lane, and the proposed locations and developments in Scotter Road, Guest Road are recognisable today.
This sketch of old cottages is believed to be of the old cottages shown on the map from 1892, in Riverside, where the shops are today.
In the 1890s, the old cottages in lower Bishopstoke made way for development to support the employees of the London & South Western Railway Carriage and Wagon Works. From 1907 to the early 1920s the premises at No 1 Riverside became a bicycle shop run by Alfred Dunford.
Kelly’s trade directory lists Alfred James Flake as running a China Shop at 1 Riverside from 1926 to 1931, although as you can see, China Shop is a bit of a misnomer, it is perhaps what we would call a hardware store. These premises remained in use as a hardware store, under different owners, until around 1970.
For a short while the premises became Bishopstoke Launderette. Jo’s Chinese Takeaway opened in 1973, and although names have changed, the shop remains a Chinese takeaway in 2021.
The shop at No 2 Riverside was, at times, traded as part of the hardware store next door. From 1907 until around 1939 it also traded as Riverside Dairy. Pictured is Herbert Butler who ran the business in 1912.
Marsh & Son opened a Drapers Shop at No 2 in 1960 when they moved from premises in Church Road. In the 1980s, No. 2 became Riverside Video and Game Hire, catering for home entertainment with what was then new technology.
Business use changed to a tea shop when the video hire shop closed, but this business was not successful. It became a hairdresser called Clip Joint, who shared part of their premises with a tattoo parlour called Tainted Souls. The tattoo parlour now operates from the premises outright and, in 2021, trades under the name Seven Sins Tattoo Studio.
No. 3 Riverside opened in 1907 as a Butchers Shop owned by Mrs L. Wilson, by 1909, the Butchers Shop is owned by J. J. Boyt.
The row of shops at Riverside were built in 1907 to cater for the people working for the railway who had moved to Bishopstoke. New Bishopstoke, as it was known at the time consisted of terraced cottages in Spring Lane, Portal Road, Scotter Road, Montague Road and Hamilton Road. Houses for supervisory and managerial grade workers were also built in Hamilton Road and Guest Road. This picture of Bishopstoke shopping centre was taken circa 1917.
This is our earliest picture of the shop at no 4 Riverside. From 1926 to 1946 it was a Greengrocer and fruiterer, run by Miss D. Malpas. In 1975 it became a Bakers called Bryant’s Better Bread, and later another bakers called Crusty Cottage. Today the shop is an Indian takeaway called Kashmir Tandoori and has been so since 1989.
Essentially, in the early 1900s, most shops in Bishopstoke focussed on providing food. The shop next door at no 5 was also a Grocer’s. George Frederick Fryer operated the premises from 1907 until the 1930s. when the Grocers was acquired by Mrs. Gladys Richens. In the early 1950s the shop became Frank Wainwright and Son, Chemist, and still operates as Wainwright’s Chemist today.
This picture from around 1990 shows how little Bishopstoke shopping centre has changed physically since 1907. Only the names above the shops have changed. The business at No 3 was still trading as a butcher shop when this picture was taken. From 1917 to 1967 it was owned by the Punker family and continued to trade as a butcher until about 2016, when L. J. Smith moved his butchers to Market Street, Eastleigh. The business now operates as The Oven Door Bakery. It should be acknowledged that this shop operated in continuous use, serving the people of Bishopstoke as a butcher’s for over 100 years.
The cottages on the corner of Riverside and Spring Lane were demolished in the 1960s. The Yew Tree behind the three gentlemen on the corner survived and can be seen in the previous picture.
The building behind the family group is the old Post and Telegraph Office at No.10 Riverside. You can see a postman leaning against the fence by the telegraph pole. A new Post Office was built at No. 2 Spring Lane in 1906.
The premises at No 10 Riverside then traded as a general store run by Samuel Young until the late 1930s. It became a Fish and Chip shop in the 1940s and the business continued under different owners until it was demolished as part of the Riverside and Spring Lane improvement plan of the early 1960s.
The Anchor Inn is first mentioned in the Bishopstoke Rates Book of 1794. It was rebuilt in 1890. Now converted to residential flats, in its heyday it was used for Vestry meetings of the nearby old St Mary’s Church, was home to the Bishopstoke Manor Court of Presentments and, when necessary, a Coroners Court (when bodies were pulled out of the river). It was also a meeting place for the Royal Ancient Order of Buffaloes, as well of course for the purpose of drinking and socialising. Records show that most landlords supplemented their income by operating other business from the premises. The barn has been replaced by the Anchor Surgery.
The Manor Court was, in days gone by, central to control and order in our village. The Lord of the Manor (the Bishop of Winchester) held Court and the duty of attendance was one of the chief obligations of his tenants. The free tenants or freeholders were the jury, sworn to make presentments with impartiality and the steward of the Manor was the registrar. Sand, which is plentiful in the area was a useful commodity and source of income for the Manor. There were however problems because some people would cart it away illegally. There are records that show various people in the eighteenth century were fined by the Bishopstoke Manor Court for taking sand, and occasionally sand pits were even dug in the roads.
The Anchor was also the meeting place for the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes and the Manchester Unity Independent Order of Oddfellows as can be seen from the inscriptions above the doorway in this picture. These organisations exist or existed to support the welfare of their members. The M.U.IO.O. emerged from Medieval Trade Guilds. Ordinary people worked together to help each other out in times of need. There was no welfare state, NHS, personal insurance or even trade unions, so by joining friendly societies members could protect themselves and their families against illness, injury, or death. The R.A.O.B., by comparison, was and still is a philanthropic and charitable body and is structured on similar lines to masonic orders. It was founded nearly 200 years ago.
As attractive as Riverside appears, there is a more sinister element for the unfortunate and unwary. There are reports of children drowning on this section of the river. An article titled “Bishopstoke – A Child Drowned – A Witness Censured” appeared in the Hampshire Advertiser on August 31st, 1892. “The inquest on the body of a little boy found in the mill stream on Friday morning was held at the Anchor Inn on Saturday afternoon. Frederick Jennings, aged 6 years, was from London and staying with friends of his family in Eastleigh, for the benefit of his health. A lady called Rhoda Vince stated, to the coroner, that she offered to take Freddie with her and her own little boy, her niece, and her little girl on a walk to Bishopstoke. They left home at 3.30pm. Her little boy wanted to go fishing and herself and niece sat down on the bank, while the other children played with the water. They left the bank and walked in the direction of the village and did not notice but that all the children were following. When going through the village her niece noticed that Freddie was missing, and her own little boy said he thought he had gone back home. They continued their walk and on reaching home, about 5.30pm, she asked and was told, that Freddie had not gone home. They had their tea, and then, went out to look for him. They did not find him and by 8.00pm, went to the Police station to report him missing. The body of Frederick Jennings was discovered at 6.30am the next day by a worker from Bishopstoke mill, whilst clearing weeds from the head of the mill, in about 3 feet of water. The Coroner, in summing up, said it was an extremely sad case. No doubt Mrs Vince’s intention in taking the child out was with a kind motive, but kindness also carried with it responsibilities. To take a strange child by water required extra care. That, however, had not been shown by Mrs. Vince, and judging from her evidence, she troubled but very little about it. He was sorry to have to say so, but he must do his duty, and though it was not a case of criminal neglect, it was a case of gross culpable neglect and it would be well for Mrs. Vince to remember what she had said. The jury found that the deceased came to his death by drowning. The Coroner called Mrs. Vince forward and expressed his own and the jury’s view upon the case. The witness went into hysterics after the censure by the Coroner.”
Not all activities at Riverside ended in tragedy as these pictures from circa 1910 illustrate.
In those days real boats were used on the river at Bishopstoke Carnival.
Pub societies were once extremely popular. Leisure was a rare commodity for the working man and his family with limited means of transport available, so day trips to the seaside or places of interest were keenly supported. Usually there was an annual outing and money was paid on a weekly basis to help spread the cost. It was all good business for the landlord, as this picture taken at the Anchor demonstrates.
The Angler’s Inn is thought to date from the early 1800s. In the early days, when Bishopstoke Carnival was held, a stage would be erected over the Itchen outside “the Angler’s” and it was crammed with minstrels and players. A little too crammed it seems, for it is reputed that on one occasion, both stage, and occupants fell into the river.
From 1899 to 1911 the Angler’s was owned by Ann Miles, and her husband Tom, for a time the Angler’s became known locally as the “Annie Miles.” According to a person who worked at the pub prior to WWI, Ann Miles was a very ladylike woman – there was no nonsense in her pub.
It was also remembered, by a Bishopstoke resident that the Angler’s would open early in the morning so railway workers could “call in” for a glass of milk and a shot of rum, to set them up for the day before starting their 7.00am shift.
It is not known when the Angler’s was re-built, but architectural style would suggest 1920s or early 1930s. The old corrugated-iron Parish Hall can be seen next to the Angler’s, on the left.
The Angler’s after re-building.
The Angler’s and the Anchor photographed in the 1960s from what we now call Bishopstoke Beach. Nowadays it an area used by children for fishing, paddling, and feeding the ducks.
“Bishopstoke Beach” was originally a watering place for cattle and the road ran close to the river. The bridge pictured leads to Manor House. The house in the background is The Cottage, now called Itchen House.
The title Manor House is misleading, there has never been a house in Bishopstoke occupied by the Lord of the Manor. It is believed that when the house, once the property of the Bishop of Winchester was purchased privately, the owner named it the Manor House to raise their social standing.
It is hard to believe that “Bishopstoke Beach” was once the main road. Thomas Cotton, driven by Marriner his chauffer is leading a Band of Hope parade to his home, The Mount, for celebrations in 1910.
Here you can see how the road changed. Rumour abounds that the road was changed, and the mound installed to prevent accidents. Stories from the past suggested that furious downhill driving of horse and carriage, possibly by one or more owners of one of the grand houses, may have resulted in a soggy bottom. The road uphill from here is now known as Church Road. Before the new St Mary’s Church was built in 1891, opposite the school, the road had been known as Winchester Road, and High Street.
The main body of the old St Mary’s Church was demolished around 1910, although the bell tower of the old church stood, unsupported, until the 1960s.
The entrance to Itchen House stands next to Bishopstoke Beach, and the house sits between the Manor House and the site of the old St Mary’s Church. There is a rich history associated with this house and its owners.