Headington history: Old postcards

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South end of New High Street

South end of New High Street

South end of New High Street today

The postcard above looks towards the London Road from the south end of New High Street, where the houses were poorer and the street narrower than the north end. The bushes on the right mark the position of the present All Saints Church Hall.

The shop on the left of the top photograph (now a house, numbered 50) is inscribed “Headington Cash Drapery Stores”: this was a draper’s shop from 1901 to 1917, and then became a sweet shop. The draper’s business was run by Miss Frances Smith, who at the time of the 1901 census was 40 and lived here with her father Richard (68), who was a deaf-and-dumb cabinet maker, and her sister Clara (39). Miss Smith was still here with her father at the time of the 1911 census, but now her widowed sister Mrs Maud Walker (43) with her three young children lived with them.

The four adjoining houses to the north (now numbered 48, 46, 44, and 42 respectively) were known in the nineteenth century as Southill Cottages and were built in the 1860s. The girl standing in the doorway of No. 44 (then 2 South Hill Cottages) and talking to another girl out with a pram is one of the Adams sisters, probably Rosa (born 1886). The Adams family lived in this house at the time of the 1891, 1901, and 1911 censuses, and Mrs Adams worked here as a laundress.

Nos. 40 up to 26 come next, and then the Methodist Chapel and the grocer’s shop at No. 24 can just be seen in the distance.

© Stephanie Jenkins

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