---- News, Views & Information

Memories of Amersham's Old Shops

Through out its history Amersham has changed greatly, particularly with the development in the 20th Century of Amersham on the Hill (See a Potted History of Amersham here ). The physical changes in Amersham over the last 50 or so years have not been as great. Although during this time Amersham has gained new housing, schools, factories, Tesco and the redevelopment of part of Sycamore Road and Chiltern Avenue, it still remains physically much the same. However, one of the things that does and has changed in Amersham are the shops.

Today, Amersham still has a wide selection of shops, but over the years shops have come and gone, but the buildings they occupied remain largely unchanged. Some shops make an impression on the local community and stay in the memories long after they have gone.

Below are a list of the shops that my family and I can remember in Amersham, along with memories from people who have emailed me. Today we have many more chain store shops, estate agents, coffee shops and charity shops. Some shops only last a short time, but the older shops tend to stay in people's memories. If anyone has any other shops to add to the list, then please email the web master or post a message on the message board here . I hope the following bring back some memories for you -

Please either scroll down this page, or use the links below to go a road / street
Oakfield Corner - - Sycamore Road - - Hill Avenue - - Woodside Road
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Oakfield Corner - Sycamore Road

The corner building has seen many tenants. Kennards (Chemists) (Originally on Oakfield Corner, but it later moved across the road to be next to Barclays Bank), National Provincial & Union Bank, Moons and Esquire (Mens clothes) - now The Imperial Cancer Research Shop
J V Moon - upmarket ladies and gents clothing - details supplied by Pamela Denton
The International Stores - now Thomas Cook travel agents, also the first home of The Book Shop
Bucks Library then Kerridges (news agents and gifts - used to have an upstairs with paintings) - now Martins and the Post Office
(The Post Office has moved a lot. Originally in a building opposite Challoners (now the telephone exchange) it moved to a new building on Hill Avenue, then in the 1990s moved to Oakfield Corner sharing a building with Martins. The Hill Avenue building remaining as a sorting office).
Bucks Library used to have a lending library upstairs - details supplied by Gill Bilski of Amersham
Howard Son & Gooch - estate agents (details supplied by Sue Brigden of Hyde Heath)
Brazil's Butchers - now Boots
Greeves - plumbers
Worrells - Gents & Ladies hairdressers - now Step In Time (shoes)
Step In Time - Gents shoes, occupied the same site as Worrells
Glover's - Photo Studio (details supplied by Kenneth T. Marsh. now from Toronto)
The Flower House
Bloods (ironmongers)
Jane Evans (ladies outfitters)
Doris Brazil (ladies knitwear)
Sweet Shop owned by Mr. & Mrs. Coles - details supplied by Cleone Patterson of Amersham
Berkeleys (butchers) - details supplied by Gill Bilski of Amersham
Heading towards the old Post Office / Telephone Exchange (opposite Dr. Challoners)
was Amersham Tool Hire and a barbers - details supplied by Phillip Troth of Amersham. The barbers was called Bernard's

Oakfield Corner in 1960
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Sycamore Road
Lavells (news agent) - before Lavells it was A Woods, Pete Wood, now from Southern California, has advised me this was also a news agent. The shop is now empty but for a while it sold material (can't remember the name) and it was a French Patisserie (again, can't remember the name)
Next to where Lavells used to be is now Val's - green grocer. This shop used to be on Hill Avenue. Before Val took over the site in Sycamore Road, it was occupied for many years by a green grocer who we used to call the "mini market", the site developed from a market stall to a lean to building.
Keens - TV sales and later repairs - closed in Amersham in 2003 after many years

When Halfords closed in June 2009, the removal of their sign revealed the name of an old shop, W Noble & Son

A long term business in Amersham, Woolworths closed in early January 2009 and Halfords closed next door in June 2009
W Noble & Son (Amersham)
George Raymond
Halfords - bicycles and car parts - closed June 2009
Woolworths - closed January 2009

Amersham Sycamore Road Halfords Woolwrths

Two famous names lost from Amersham in 2009 - Halfords and Woolworths
Dewhurst - butchers - now a bakers
Baker's Oven - taken over by Greggs the Baker 2009
Brownings (hardware / home supplies - a shop which had a rambling layout across a few joined buildings) - the site of this shop is where M&S (before that Budgen) is now - the new building was built in the 1980s  M Fagg, now from Newbury remembers "I worked there as a Saturday boy throughout my sixth form at Dr Challoners, 1976 to 78. What a fantastic family run ironmongers cum china cum garden store. And the best boss I've ever worked for, Mr Halley!  Pleasant, caring,efficient, knowledgeable, diplomatic and an excellent communicator and teacher. A sad day when Budgens bought it."

Picture Courtesy of Gill Bilski
This picture of Amersham Carnival in 1972 shows Brownings in the right
Just off Sycamore Road, leading to Woodside Close - Pamela Denton remember - "As a young girl in the forties, I remember a small single storey shop, a bit of a ramshackle affair, opposite the public toilets, which sold baby clothes.  It later became Hill's the greengrocer before being pulled down for the present buildings."
Woodcocks (ladies fashions) - became Accent (corner of Woodside Close) - closed 2005

Amersham Sycamore Road
Above Accent, previously Woodcocks.  This shop had a lovely shop front with deep entrance and windows both sides.  Now a bland mobile phone shop!
The Silk Shop
Boots used to have a private lending library above their chemist shop before it moved across Sycamore Road
There was also a wool shop - name not known - anyone know it - it was a "half" shop - Gill Bilski believes it was called The Wool Shop
Eighteens (fishmonger)
Jeskins (baker)
Spurriers (baker) - details supplied by Gill Bilski of Amersham
ABC (baker - see above, became Baker's Oven)
Budgen supermarket, closed March 2007

The signs are taken down from Budgen 31/03/07 - courtesy of Paul Eden

The New Bakery
Challis ladies fashion / clothes
Plummers (green grocer) (Mr. Plummer used to run the Amersham Fire Brigade - the fire station used to be by Woolworths)- details supplied by Cleone Patterson of Amersham
Sainsbury's (moved to Chesham) - where the Woolwich is now. This was an "old fashioned" Sainsbury, with counters each side of the shop where you where you were served by assistants. The shop had nice tiles on the floor and walls.
Beckleys then Curry's (electrical) also used to be Eastern Electricity - now Clinton Cards. There used to be a clock on the shop when it was Beckleys, there has been a call for a new clock to be put in Sycamore Road
Multibroadcast TV rentals - opposite Woolworths - details supplied by Gill Bilski of Amersham
Walton Clothing - ladies fashion, closed 2010
Peter Chilton remembers - "There was a ladies dress shop near where the present Wimpy Bar is owned by a Mrs Degenhardt but I cannot recall its trading name" - can anyone confirm the name?
Freeman Hardy & Willis shoes - opposite Woolworths - details supplied by Gill Bilski of Amersham
Superfly (boutique) - - details supplied by Gill Bilski of Amersham
Etam (boutique) - - details supplied by Gill Bilski of Amersham
London Kiosks (sweet shop) - opposite Woolworths
Achille Serre (cleaners - you could hire a black and yellow checked umbrella if it rained)
Junior Toggs (children's clothes)
Alexanders - ladies fashion accessories
Cullens - grocer/delicatessen - details supplied by Phillip Troth of Amersham.

Eastman (cleaners)
Millwards - shoes - now Clerks Shoes
Fords - shoe repairs
Darvells and Kathleen Grahams (bakers)
Haddocks (photographer)
The Baby Bar / The Pram & Toy Bar (toy shop - became The Entertainer)
Starbucks - had a branch in Amersham for a few years.
Hiron & Sons - butcher

Sycamore Road in 1979. On the original picture we can make out the shops Browning Chilton and Blackytone Opticians, Pram & Toy Bar (this was taken over by Gary Grant, who then made it The Entertainer, the first shop in his now successful chain of toy shops), Haddock (photography), Sketchley, Wheatleys, Abbey National (with what I always thought was a strange looking shop front) and Multi Broadcast. There is a butchers shop (with red and white canopy) called Hiron & Sons (see below) - thanks to Steve Hiron who tells me the shop belonged to his father, Steve now owns Mayo Bros Butchers in Chesham Bois

I am grateful to
Peter Chilton who has provided the following details about the opticians mentioned above.  "The Opticians was Browning Chilton and Blackstone, although by then it was owned solely by Mr Blackstone. Mr Browning had died a number of years before and I, Peter Chilton had moved on. Mr browning had taken on those premises in 1964 prior to which it was a handbag and leather goods shop owned by Mr Case. Mr Browning had previously had a smaller shop further down Sycamore Road opposite the Brownings hardware store. The next door neighbour was Collins and Jervie owned at that time by a Mr Schofield. Next to that was a ladies outfitters called Alexanders. Nearby on our other side was a hardware shop owned by Mr Arthur Blood."

Where the optician, toy shop and Haddocks is in the photograph above has since been demolished and replaced by a new building now occupied by a book shop (formerly The Book Shop before being taken over by a chain) and Superdrug.

Thanks to Steve Hiron for providing the above picture of his father's shop (mentioned above)

Michael remembers the shop to the right was Adey & Biglin an optician. In the late 1970s he had an eye test with the then-incumbent partner, consulting optometrist, Mr Biglin. His recollection of this Sycamore Road shop was an evocative 1950s time-warp, very unflashy. with courteous service.
Rumbeloes (electrical) where a book shop is now
The Book Shop - taken over by a chain
In the 1980s, there was a children's clothes shop called Rascals
Brandons (furniture) - where Cargo is now. For some time the Cargo shop was Shergolds / Carpenters
Threshers (off license)
North Thames Gas
Stowell Ltd. (wine merchants)
The Regent Cinema (where Iceland is now)
The Regent was replaced by the Maypole and then Liptons (supermarkets - the Maypole used to have a cafe upstairs)
Keens Cycle Shop - - details supplied by David Woodridge of Perth, Australiajust about opposite the old "Regent" cinema perhaps west a little was a cycle shop Keens
Andrews - butcher

Sycamore Road in 1960. The Regent cinema on the right was demolished in 1961. On the left are the Sycamore Trees which gave the road its name. At this time there were small shops and the original Free Church on the left and behind the white gate on the left the original St. Michaels Church. In the 1960s this site was redeveloped with new shops and flats above and a new St. Michaels Church.

At the Woodside Road end of Sycamore Road is a row of shops (with flats above) built in the 1960s, this parade used to have -
"C&Q" supermarket (this turned into Budgen and moved to Woodside Road)
Benetton (boutique) - - details supplied by Gill Bilski of Amersham
Ambers (ladies fashion) - Ambers moved to Amersham Old Town
Challis (ladies fashion)
Ellis John - a piano and organ shop
Rediffusion then Granada (TV rentals)
Newsman (news agent) - After Newsman there were news agents on this site called Preedy's and Dillons
Masculine (gents outfitters)
Record House - originally called Radio House in the 1960s, closed in 2005. Used to also have branches in Chesham and Princess Risborough, now only in Aylesbury
Adrian Partington now from Portsmouth remembers there was a Chinese Restaurant called 'Swans' in the '70s, this changed it's name in the 80s to "Manns"
Gateway Travel Agent

The 1960s development in Sycamore Road taken in 1979. From the original photograph, we have been able to make out (from left to right) Gateway Travel, Rediffusion, the Chinese Restaurant, Challis (ladies fashion), Bertram Allen (menswear) and Midland Bank.

Before the parade of shops was built, this part of Sycamore Road used to have -
Hewitts the Jewelers (moved to Woodside Road when the new shops were built - now Warners)
King - shoe maker (Mr. King used to be very interested in astronomy)
The Late Pete Wood, from Southern California, remembers right on that corner of Sycamore Road and Woodside Road, next to King's was Hearns, Ladies and Gents Hairdressers. A boy's haircut in 1940 - 45 was 9d (that's 3.75 pence!). My parents also remember this shop and tell me it had a traditional red and white pole outside.
This section of Sycamore Road also used to be where the original St. Michaels (rebuilt in the 1960s) and the original Free Church (moved to Woodside Road in the 1960s) were situated. At Christmas, the church hall was used as a depot to deal with the excess Christmas post.
Opposite used to be -
Saunders & Hance (grocer)
Cherry's tea shop
East's (green grocer) now Newbury's
Where the Wimpey is now has in the past been a clothes shop and a jewelers called Aurums
Rippens then Carol's (sweet shop - used to have a large round table in the shop) - now a newsagent called Terry's
Wartime Food Office - details supplied by Cleone Patterson of Amersham
WRVS Office - details supplied by Gill Bilski of Amersham - over the years there has been a cafe on this site on and off. This shop has also been Victoria Wine and a tea and coffee merchant.
Hopper & Babb butcher, with tea room / cafe upstairs, closed summer 2010

Radiocraft (Sycamore Corner) Radio, Television and Electrical Engineers

Past the junction with Woodside Road, there used to be -
A chemists, possibly called Garlics - can anyone confirm?
Lilian Gray (ladies fashion)
Lawrence Tune (electrical)
Kingham's (grocers)
Pamela Denton remembers - Kingham's the grocers also had a second shop in Hill Avenue, almost next to The Express Dairy
"Marguerite" (Drapers / Haberdasher)
Phillips Presentation Products - a book binding company where for a time the famous big red books for the TV programme "This is Your Life" were made

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Hill Avenue

The Co-op - At one time Pamela Denton remembers  "The Co-op had three shops in the forties, a fish monger, green grocer and grocer"
Bradbury' the Jewelers - details supplied by Pamela Denton
Copper-Fields - gift shop situated in the left hand side of what is now The Entertainer
Kathleen Grahams (baker - moved to Sycamore Road) - next to where the Entertainer is now
There was a news agent next to the baker - Simon Jordan, now living in High Wycombe remembers this shop to be called Swindells' and they always had a sign on the door - "No more than four schoolchildren at a time" to stop the shop becoming over run with Challoners pupils
Profits (photographers)
Nancarrow and Temple (gents outfitters, moved to Sycamore Road - appears to have closed summer 2004
Express Dairy shop (in front of their milk depot)
Kingham's the grocers - details supplied by Pamela Denton
Audio Visual Systems (TV, Hi-Fi and records)
Adrian Partington now from Portsmouth remembers the original name of the chip shop on Hill Avenue was Tuckin'
The Bucks Advertiser newspaper office
LeisureLines (music and hobbies)
Geary's (music)
Bennets (shoe shop)

Hill Avenue in 1979. We have been able to make out the following shops - Hamnett Raffety Chartered Surveyors, Amersham & Chesham Advertiser, Home & Colour, Express Dairies, Bennets Shoe Shop. The post office is also clearly shown, as is if you look carefully the old Station Garage Building, now where the brick office block is opposite the station.

Heavens (news agents)
W Heavens (toys - not sure if that is the same shop as the newsagent)
M Fagg, now from Newbury remembers
"The tobacconist near the post office became Spencers home brew in 1978. I delivered hops and stuff there when I worked for the owner who also had a very successful mail order business selling road maker, a corgi/dinky toy road layout kit.  It was sold via the daily telegraph and other papers. "

G W Chapaman "Radio House" (radio and television)
Demi-Lune Cafe - used to be delicatessen on the ground floor
Jennifer Harland, now from Eynsham, Oxford, writes
"In 1982 when my husband Peter Harland, an ex-Sunday Times man, had established our company, Bookwatch, we were working from our house in Weedon Lane, Amersham. By the time we had five screens of word processors in our dining room and a computer the size of a small chest of drawers and one delivery of stationery too many for space available we moved the office from our home to what was the just-vacated Demi Lune first floor cafe.

The delicatessen had been on the ground floor. Here we developed the business of collecting data for the bestseller lists of top selling books for, initially, only The Sunday Times. We also published a weekly trade newsletter called Books in the Media, subscribed to by booksellers and libraries across the UK. This was written and produced and posted from the old Demi Lune premises and Friday nights would see our staff dashing back and forwards across Hill Avenue bearing boxes of mail to the post office trying to catch the last post. At that time the post office would accept all our mailings, in later years we had to drive all the way to Hemel Hempstead to ensure sorting and delivery the next day. A feature of our early years in the Demi Lune was members of the public appearing at the top of the stairs, quite indignant to find us at work instead of a hoped-for source of coffee and Greek cakes. For some quirky reason the block housing the old Demi Lune had four No.7s of which one was Bookwatch. So Peter had our address printed as '7up' and mail never got lost and this address 'Bookwatch, 7up Hill Avenue, Amersham' was known to all the major publishing houses and national newspaper literary editors, radio and television book and magazine programmes.

By 1990 further expansion necessitated a move to larger premises in Chesham but when I was last in Amersham, in August 2005, I noticed the curtains I had made in 1982 were still hanging in there! We had many problems in the little alleyway. Coming between 'Annie's Bar' further up our side of Hill Avenue, and the Iron Horse this was a useful area at weekends when it was quiet for their respective customers to throw up, ditch broken glasses or indulge in a little fornication in the car park. At 7up Hill Avenue we hugely appreciated our proximity to the station and easy access to London which enabled us and our staff to get to London for book launches or for visiting publishers. Those publishers who came out to Amersham invariably said how much they had enjoyed the increasingly beautiful journey on the underground out to Buckinghamshire, many had never been before, and how good the fresh air seemed after London."

Station Garage
Pamela Denton remembers - "Next to the Station Garage was a news agent and sweet shop, Heavens (see above), and opposite where the bus stop used to be, right on the corner in a couple of wooden shacks, was a coal merchant and Savages estate agent."
Howells (dairy)
Regency Rest (cafe) - Richard Ayres remembers - "This was the first (and probably the only) cafe in Amersham to have a juke box. Consequently, in the mid 1950s it became the haunt of Amersham's Teddy Boys."
BE Haimes & Co. (estate agents) - details supplied by Sue Brigden of Hyde Heath
Swannell & Sly (estate agents) - details supplied by Sue Brigden of Hyde Heath
Douglas (hairdresser) - details supplied by Sue Brigden of Hyde Heath
Daws (watches & clocks) - details supplied by Gill Bilski of Amersham
Eastern Electricity - details supplied by Gill Bilski of Amersham moved to Sycamore Road, then closed
Hearnes (corn merchant)
Fullers  - household goods (original shop in the Old Town)
Popes (seed merchants)
Carruthers & Co. (Drapers / Haberdasher)
Home & Colour (decorating shop)
Michael Murphy and Gardiners (furniture) - see below details provided by Peter Chilton
Norman Jenns owned a house hold linen / soft furnishing shop called "Norman Heal"
Malcolm Johnsons corn and seed merchant
F Meyer Ltd. (green grocer)
Botts (fishmongers) - details supplied by Gill Bilski of Amersham roughly where the sports shop is now (used to be In Sport)
Savages (fishmongers)
Phillip Troth of Amersham remembers a coffee bar called Wander Inn (or Wander-In)
Wege (dentist)
Lights & Shades - always seemed warm in there with all the bulbs and lights
By the station was a small sweet shop (now Belly Busters). It used to be one of the few shops open on a Sunday afternoon (along with the newsagent on Station Road under the bridge), useful for enticing small boys out for a walk on a Sunday in the 1960s / 70s! The "Station Concession" was for many years run by Lillian Greaves
Michelle, originally from Washington D C asks - was the little sweet shop next to the station at one time called Lucy's?
In Station Approach used to be The Copper Kettle cafe
In Station Square there was Goodfare Cafe
Opposite the station, where the brick office block is now, used to be a blue and white garage. This was originally Station Garage (it had petrol pumps on Hill Avenue which were under a drive in roofed area). There used to be a taxi office next to the garage (see below). After Station Garages closed, the building became Autofarm, a specialist garage dealing with Porsche cars.
John Tooley, now from Delaware, U.S.A., remembers a little shop across from Station sharing the same entrance with the Taxi cab business. John believes the shop sold all kinds of electrical bits and pieces. On the inside of the shop window was a piece or two of metal foil. When one touched or lent on the window it closed a circuit that powered a turntable sitting in the window that would then start to turn! John also remembers that on Christmas day, his father would disappear for hours at a time. It turned out that he would do all the taxi work from Amersham Station. Many, many people told him that he saved their day. They would arrive at the station to visit people and he was there only form of transportation for that day. He took people all over the area after they arrived by train! Today, there are no trains on Christmas day!
To the right of the station, where NHBC and the multi story car park now stands, used to be the goods yard (with fine goods shed), a coal yard, coal merchants and a small newspaper office.
On the station there used to be W H Smiths and the paper stall run by Mr. Bird. John Tooley, also remembers on the station the penny label machine You dropped 1 penny in the top then turned a large pointer to any letter or number on the dial. At each letter you wanted you pulled a lever down very hard that would then print that letter on to a thin strip of metal. After repeated dialing and pulling the level you ended up with something like a Dymo label but made of metal. Lola Richards now from Canada also remembers on the station a weighing machine which gave you a funny saying (or horoscope, or something) on the cardboard square that came out with your weight printed on it!!
Up until the 1980s there will still houses along part of Hill Avenue, these have been replaced by office blocks
Peter Chilton remembers - "I along with my partner David Watson, opened an Opticians practice - Chilton Watson - in the parade of shops in Hill Avenue that included the original Demi-Lune which was by then a dance boutique shop, in 1984. Our next door neighbour was the furniture store owned by Mr Davies (his sons still own Crystal Carpets in Woodside Road). In 1986 Chilton Watson moved to Sycamore Road next to the then Masculine shop. The premises were previously occupied by Victoria Wine, which moved over the Road. Chilton Watson then moved over the road in about 2002 to occupy the Victoria Wine shop again which had closed.
By this time David Watson and I had retired, although the shop keeps our names."
V Roberts menswear M Fagg from Newbury remembers
"I bought my sixth form uniform there from Vic Kuschel. We had to have a jacket and 'smart' trousers of our choice as long as the sixth form tie was worn. The trousers were baggies and altered free of charge. Super hip just before punk! My sister went on to marry his son a few years later."
Bertam Allen menswear remembered by M Fagg

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Woodside Road

The Spar and Domino Pizza - now Laura Ashley. This building was built for Budgen - opened by Henry Cooper in 1973 - (Budgen then moved back to Sycamore Road before it closed down to be replaced by M&S Simply Food.
The building was also an electrical shop for a while called Elite - (details supplied by Phillip Troth of Amersham).
Breakaway (lady's fashion opened by Jimmy Tarbuck in the late 1960s) - where the computer shop is now
Pages (toy shop) next to Ruth Ingrid (lady's fashion) - where the Lock Smiths and Computer shops are now
Punch & Judy (gift shop)
Haycraft (radio & TV)
"The Toadstool" (children s clothes)
Manhattan Cafe
Mayo the butcher
The Bucks Examiner newspaper office
Marshalls Garage - now the site of Chiltern Ford and the Shell garage. The garage used to have a small shop selling cakes. This became, on the opposite side of the road -
Mary Marshall (M&M) cafe (Thanks to John Tooley, now from Delaware, U.S.A, for the memory of the cake stall.)
Parry's (hardware) where Woodside Walk is now
Topdec (paint and wallpaper) - now Majestic Wine
Marie Francois (beauty salon)
Goughs (off license)
Stanley Masons (stationers) - now Boville Wright
Caudreys (hardware)
The Bois Snack Bar
R W Gibson - plumbers
Scougalls (bric a brac)
Elizabeths Fashions
Ward and Medleys (furniture repository) - on the corner of Woodside Road and Chiltern Avenue. This site also used to be Freezer Fare (forerunner to the Iceland type of shop). Freezer Fare, besides selling frozen goods also sold some catering packs of goods - (details supplied by Phillip Troth of Amersham)

Picture Courtesy of Gill Bilski
This picture of Amersham Carnival in 1985 clearly shows Freezer Fare. The building was a land mark on the corner for many years.

Agnes Barstow (nee Ratcliffe) now from Lincoln remembers - "When I was 14 I worked for Harry Gill. He had a small dairy in Woodside Road and I helped deliver the milk. He had a horse and cart. At weekends I washed the bottles and filled them, Quarts, Pints and ½ pints. I enjoyed being there."

Where the Free Church is now used to be the Sycamore Bowls Club - this closed in the early 1960s when the new Free Church was built, the Amersham Bowls Club opened in Hervines Park

Not a shop, but there was also a synagogue - opposite where the Free Church is now.

Off Woodside Road in Orchard Lane used to be Hyrons Nurseries - now occupied by housing

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Chiltern Avenue

Although Chiltern Avenue has very few shops, it is perhaps the road in Amersham-on-the-Hill that has changed the most over the last 50 years.

Now it has along its route the ambulance station, community centre, youth club, library, council offices, health centre, police station, police area HQ, office blocks, houses and the multi storey car park, but I can remember in the 1960s when it was in many places an unmade up road with fields along part of its route leading to the station.

If I have got my geography right, this view from Chiltern Avenue of the police station and courts is not available today because the Chiltern District Offices occupy the site of the car park.

The late Pete Wood, from Southern California, remembers circa 1941 a plumbers shop called Dolling and Green at the end of Chiltern Avenue on Woodside Road.
Pete remembers Chiltern Avenue as just an unpaved pot-holed road running past Darvills Farm (Woodside Farm - later some of the farm buildings became the community centre).
During the war the orchard of Darvills Farm was used as a coal dump.
Pete also remembers open fields now occupied by the Council offices, Police station and the retirement homes. The fields contained corn and had a shortcut path from the end of Orchard Lane to Amersham Station.

Pete's aunt kept a horse in some of the fields of the farm, my parents also have memories of horses in fields along Woodside Road where St. John's Church is now and how on occasions the horses would get into the gardens in Highfield Close.

On part of the site now occupied by the office block on the corner of Chiltern Avenue and Woodside Road, I believe there was a church or chapel - can anyone provide any more information about this?

The road off Chiltern avenue to the swimming pool and St. John's Hall for many years had no name. It has now been names after one of Amersham's twin towns - Bensheim Way

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Rickmansworth Road
Where the entrance to the car park is now, there used to be a row of cottages.
Pages an antique shop was also located in Rickmansworth Road.
Elm Stores (furniture)
On the corner of Rickmansworth road and Chesham Road, opposite the Boot & Slipper used to be Darvel the plumbers and a newsagent run by the Wells

Round the corner from Rickmansworth Road, passed the Boot and Slipper on Chesham Road was a shop. Michelle, originally from Washington D C remembers - a fun gift shop on the Chesham side of The Boot and Slipper by the name of Ampersand.
There was also a cane and pine shop at this location for a time.

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Station Road

Just under the bridge is a parade of shops (the first to be built in Amersham-on-the-Hill) called London Parade.
This used to house The Medical Eye Centre (an optician called Mr. Weatherall was based there) - A Chinese Restaurant now occupies the site.
Next door used to be a newsagent - Nick Sanderson from London remembers this shop was A P Parish
Next door is now Pretty & Ellis auction rooms - the Amersham Theatre used to be in the building now housing the actual auction room.
The parade also used to have a music shop selling pianos and guitars.
Opposite was Renshaws - gents outfitters - details supplied by Allen Webb now from Devon
Just down the hill Turret House used to be a school and also had a cafe

David Woodridge of Perth, Australia remembers - there is a road that runs alongside the old Theatre and on the opposite corner used be the "Fabian School of Dancing" (Turret House) and that's where I learned to dance
Above the railway bridge was a bicycle shop called or owned by  'Middletons' - details supplied by Allen Webb now from Devon
At the bottom of Station Road where the bathroom / plumbers shop now is, I think there was a Spar or Wavy Line for a time. Before that Allen Webb now from Devon remembers Hamlins, he also thinks the shop included a barbers. David Woodridge of Perth, Australia adds "prior to Hamlin's it was a dairy called "Shearings" and they used to also do a milk round.
"Bryona" (general store)
Pearce's - cycles
Brown (newsagent)
Agnes Barstow (nee Ratcliffe) now from Lincoln remembers - "in Station Road there was Gibbs a small cabin that sold every sweet imaginable. Miss Gibbs used to serve the customers if I remember rightly."
Easts - ladies wear - details supplied by Pamela Denton
Martyn Sharing, now living in Lincolnshire writes ".My father ran a milk business from Station Road after moving from The High Street.The family name is Shearing and the business was named Shearings Dairy. We move away from Amersham in about 1950.
The Temperance Hotel - opposite the old Iron Horse. At one time this building was also home to Amersham Town Council
The Iron Horse formerly the Station hotel. One of the first buildings to be built after the opening of the station in 1892, refurbished into the pub above, then all too quickly knocked down and replaced by a building housing flats and a restaurant.

The iron HorseMetro House where the Iron Horse used to be
The former iron Horse and on the right Metro House where the Iron Horse used to be

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Grimsdells Lane / Plantation Road / New Road / Grove Road
For many years near The Pheasant was Hills, later Ivy Stores
Just down the lane towards Sycamore Road was Westcotts, a grocers
In New Road there were quite a few shops.
Chestnut Stores (general store)
Tullett Stores (general store)
On the corner of New Road and Chestnut Lane a supermarket was built in the early 1970s, it did not last very long. Chris Farrelly now from Cheltenham remembers this store was a "VG", a sort of Spar type shop, it then changed to a furniture shop before becoming a set of flats.
Sue Pearson from Amersham remembers that the VG store was built on the site of another shop owned and run by Maggie Gough and her sister. The house was very old and the shop was in the parlour. It has sawdust on the well worn wooden floor and a large wooden counter. It sold tobacco and sweeties from large glass jars which were displayed on shelves behind the counter. Just round the corner into Chestnut Lane was W. Slade and Son the coal merchant (owned by Sue's grandfather).
Sue Pearson also remembers in New Road there was a general store owned and run for years by Mr and Mrs Chamberlain. It changed owners several times but is now converted in flats. Also in New Road were two shops, Compers the shoe repairer was in the right hand one. It later became a wool shop among other things. In Grove Road there were two shops. One was a Chemist and the other a general store. Sue used to attend Raans Road School and would get sweets from that shop. In Plantation Road before Amersham Health centre was built, there was a doctor’s surgery in the house to the right of Ivy stores.

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White Lion Road
There were quite a few shops and businesses along White Lion Road -

Baldwins Bakery
Bell Lane Stores
The Berkeley Stores
Comper - shoe repairs - see some pictures here
Flacks Garage
Foxwell - butcher
M Hills
Malcolm Johnsons corn and seed merchant depot
Mason & Sharpe Ltd. - grocers, fruit, plowers, potatoes, calor gas, camping equipment . . .
Oakwood Nurseries - nurserymen
Russell's Bakery
Stows Fish shop and Fish and Chip Shop
F J Trowbridge
Yorkshire Dainties - bakers / confectioners
White Lion Stores
White Lion Garages

Henry Wizgier, who writes the "Amersham Community Voice" column in the Bucks Examiner asks
"does anyone remember the old Flacks garage in White Lion Road next to the footpath (to Raans Road ED.) and a barber who operated from a room next door to it, called Mr. Gill? Known locally as 'chiefy', Mr. Gill was notorious for administering the most severe short back and sides in the district and was a favourite with our mothers, though not their young sons. Afterwards, he would placate the poor boys with sweeties, or "lollies" as he referred to them."
Phillip Troth of Amersham has provided the following information - "I have been thinking about the question raised by Henry Wizgier concerning a barber named Mr Gill.  I cannot be completely sure about this, but I believe that in the mid-1960's he used to operate a barber's shop on Village Way, opposite Chalfont and Latimer station.  The shop could be reached by a flight of stairs leading up from the main road (the A404).  And yes, he did give a lolly to his younger customers once their hair had been cut."
Bev Wilson of Amersham recalls "I used to go to Mr Gill the (Gents) hairdresser in White Lion road and from what I remember it was a small smokey building adjacent to Flacks and he used to give all his young clients a sweet of some sort. I also remember taking shoes to be repaired over the road to Mr. Comper . . .

Another well known 'character' who used to live in a genuine romany caravan, in a field (now the Raan's road industrial estate) at the back of Flacks garage was a women by the name of Alice. Although she was married to Bill who never seemed to work, Alice was a grafter. She used to clean the Regent cinema in top Amersham. I remember seeing her cleaning the steps that led up to the Regent, on all fours. She was invariably seen, pushing a pram and muttering to herself. The pram had other uses than to just transport her cleaning materials: I remember seeing her pushing the pram, along White Lion road, with Bill in it, legs and arms hanging over the side because he had availed himself of too much of the amber nectar.

The site today where Comper's used to be
Jenny Foster, now from Norfolk, remembers
"My father (A Foster) was born in White Lion Road in 1934 and lived in a bungalow next to a small wooden haberdashery shop owned by a Mrs. Lewis who used to live in a gypsy type caravan at the rear of the shop. My Grandfather (George) worked in Flacks Garage as a mechanic and chauffeur and my uncle remembers having his hair cut by Mr. Gill at the barbers. At around this time (circa 1939) the bakery was run by the Smith family."

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Old Amersham
Old Amersham used to be the commercial centre of Amersham, but as Amersham-on-the-Hill developed, the number of shops declined greatly. Now there are not many "everyday" shops in the Old Town (apart from Tesco), but there are many pubs, restaurants and antique shops. Many of the old shops closed years ago and I do not have many details, so if anyone can provide any information, please email the web master

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The Broadway

One of the most "famous" recent old shops was Scoops which sold house hold items (crockery etc.), later I think it became Stax
Broadway Newsagent Richard Ayres has provided the following - "This shop has been owned by members of the same family since about 1850 when William George (originally from Coleshill) was a baker there. It subsequently became a grocers. William George passed the shop to his daughter Ellen (born 1848) who had married Thomas West from Kingshill. The shop then passed to their son Percy West (1891-1984) and then to his daughter Sylvia Flitney (1917-1999). Five years ago (2006) the shop was still owned by Sylvia's children, Michael and Maureen, who are not resident in Amersham." Richard Ayres, is second cousin of Michael and Maureen Flitney through the West line
Penny Farthing - a gift shop for unique presents which later became a shoe shop - Primrose? - details supplied by Sue Brigden now from Hyde Heath
Either side of the 'Memorial Gardens' were 'The Old Malt Tea House' (Chalfont side) and the 'Willow Tree Tea Rooms' (Missenden side) - details supplied by Allen Webb now from Devon
Adrian Partington now from Portsmouth remembers the Willow Tree Cafe
"I think this is called the Eton Wine Bar now, or something equally vacuous, but my brother worked there in the 70s when it was in it's original incarnation as the Willow Tree Cafe. He actually planted said willow tree which stood in the garden for many years, and may even still be there now."

"Fred's Cafe"
H Gilbert (dairy)
Rances (fish monger)
"Maison Lesley" (furniture)
Toms (newsagent)
At the end of thee Broadway, next to B&M Garage used to be the bus garage, this was demolished to make way for Tesco
Whence green grocer
Allen Webb now from Devon remembers a chap called Dave Wingfield who used to sell Sunday papers from the bus shelter outside the bus garage every week in the early to mid sixties. Allen does not know what shop he represented but he often sat with him on a Sunday morning and he had many regular customers. He normally operated from the shelter nearest the old police station, but sometimes used the one nearest B&M Motors.
On the corner of Broadway and Gore Hill I think there used to be a doctors surgery, now replaced by an office block
David Woodridge of Perth, Australia remembers in about 1945
"along London Road (West) passed Bury Farm (Fred Jarvis was the farmer although he did the dairy side of things, his son Don Jarvis did the ploughing, sowing and reaping) and crossing over Gore Hill was a piece of waste ground - for want of a better name. Then there was a block of units set back from the road. Then "Townsend's" garage and next to that was "Readings" the coal merchant. Then there was some terraced houses quite close to the street and then the doctor's surgery the doctor there at that that time was a Dr. Starky/Starkie.

Continuing passed some more terraced houses was "Webbs" the greengrocer
they had a, market garden stretching up the side where they use to grow a lot of their produce for sale. Then there was "Tomm's" the paper shop. Getting a little vague here, another sweet shop then "Rance's" fish and chip shop a little further along was "Butler and Pike" real estate. Now on the opposite side of the Broadway was the gas works but a little more west and set back a little was the old Blacksmith shop and the smiths name was Slade. OK, on we go on the south side of the Broadway to the corner of Whielden Street and in Whielden Street was a shop called Gascoine's, I'm not to sure of the spelling with that one, but they used sell paraffin and things like that and on the same side (east) was a men's hairdresser's, again a little vague but then there was Cundle's sweet shop. "

The Wool Shop wools and embroideries
Butler & Pike estate agents and valuers

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High Street

C Stevens & Sons - butchers - now the small arcade of shops by the Market hall
Next to the entrance to the Baptist Church was Haddon's Chemist - details supplied by Allen Webb now from Devon
The Post Office - there is now a post office in Market Square
Lloyds Bank
Brazil's Butchers - also built a factory at bottom of Station road, later taken over by Bowyers, demolished in 1980s, replaced by Tesco
The Daisy Shop (sold wooden toys and books etc.) - details supplied by Allen Webb now from Devon
Chennel's Grocery Store - details supplied by Allen Webb now from Devon
Climpson shoe shop and saddler
Richardson's the Gents Outfitters - details supplied by Allen Webb now from Devon
The Coleshill Collection (tapestry shop)- details supplied by Sue Brigden now from Hyde Heath
Next to the Eagle there was a small shop selling bread etc. and all the old fashioned types of sweets in large jars - aniseed balls, gobstoppers and those terrible pink plastic looking prawns! It was run by Mr. & Mrs. Walton who kept Schnauzer dogs - details supplied by Sue Brigden now from Hyde Heath
The Old Forge - Antique Furniture / Curio
Haddon's Pharmacy - which also included an optician
The Imp Cafe
Victory Tea Rooms
Willow Tree Cafe
Ward - cycles
Howell (Drapers / Haberdasher)
"The Red House" (Ironmongers / Hardware)
Puseys (tobacconist)
Hurst (tobacconist)
Gurney - Butcher.  Now the house called Buckingham's Gate occupies the site, you can still see cast iron rings by the curb where animals would have been secured to
Baker's Stores Lola Gudsell (nee Walton) from Wellington, New Zealand remembers "My parents owned Baker’s Stores, next door to the Eagle in High Street. They bought the shop, a little general store, in 1957 and sold it in 1967. The dwelling was behind the shop and during their time they converted the shop into a lounge and entrance hall. It had a shop window like the “Quality Street” box of chocolates with a bow window with big glass bottles of sweets. After supermarkets became more popular it was not viable to keep the shop going."
David Woodridge of Perth, Australia remembers from the junction of Whielden Street and High Street
"there was a bank on the corner then a wine shop I think, then the ironmongers and opposite on the corner of Church Street was "Wilson's" another sweet shop. On the opposite corner is, and even today, a white house with wooden beams and lead light windows, my grandfather lived there. He was the Postmaster at the little old Post Office up the High Street and now we are really getting trivia. I was born just up from there, 1931, over a men's outfitters shop (Fuller) and incidentally, more trivia, but remember this is a bygone era, when boys reached the age of about 12 years, coming into puberty I suppose, they were put into long trousers and I can remember my mother taking me to this shop for my first pair, but not jeans of course, grey flannels, ugh."
Anne Kaye from London writes - "I lived in Old Amersham from 1940-1945 at The Bungalow, High Street, Old Amersham. The Bungalow was a terrible tin shack, that was once the canteen for the bus crews, But it was home, and my evacuated mother, who shared it with another evacuated family made a cosy home whilst my father was away in the army. There was a wood yard, where wood was cut up and the fire station, and opposite in the High Street was Thompson's a shop which sold cigarettes and wonderful books. The owner was a fierce woman, but she always placed a few cigs in my Dad's newspaper when he came in her shop. He didn't smoke, but was too polite to tell her! My mother used to buy me Enid Blyton and Odhams Press Albums which were beautiful. The other shop which I remember, was my very favourite. It was on the corner (on the same side as the bungalow, and I passed it each day on my way to St Mary's School in School Lane. The shops was called Wilsons, and a lovely old lady ran it. The windows were filled with treasures, toys, cards, even then wonderfully old world. I wish I had some of them now! Sweets and chocolates were rationed, but occasionally something would come in that was not rationed. Liquorice pipes, and chocolate milk bottles. It was a treasure trove. The large house with pillars on the same side as Thompsons was Dr Starkys surgery, and further down was dear Dr Johns. He was brilliant and let me watch him make up his medicines with a mortar and various powders. My mother worked for a while as cook in the Imp Cafe and it was a cosy place. Been back since, but it has been homogenised into a high street that could be anywhere. Gentrified, and the old tough characters literally gone with the wind."

Picture Courtesy of David Woodridge

At the far end of High Street, it turns into London Road.  This area in many ways used to be separate from Amersham, it was a little community, Bury End.

I am grateful to Sylvia Osinowo for the following details.  - I was born in Amersham in 1937, my aunt Mrs Emily Chalwin  had a very small general grocery shop - "Chalwins Stores" -  in London Road. facing Waterworks Cottages, the site is now Tesco .  She lived on the premises with her husband and daughter.  I myself lived in Waterworks Cotts with my mum, dad and sisters.  Waterworks Cotts was owned by the Waterworks, there were six cottages in the row at the  end of which was a tiny shop up a few steps owned by a Mr. Pigott.  These cottages and shop were very near Bury Farm.    There was a line of cottages on the other side of the road leading up to the Police Station, some of them must have been empty at the beginning of the war, because quite a few evacuee families came to live in them, and some stayed after the war.  There was also an empty public house called the Wheatsheaf which housed several families.  This was in the middle of the row.

Bryan Callaghan from Little Chalfont has provided more details of The Wheatsheaf pub "The Wheatsheaf - London Road nearly opposite Bury Farm. First licensed as a beer house in 1830 and purchased by E. & W. Weller in 1842. It was in Benskin's ownership in 1936 when it was declared redundant by the licensing authorities and closed the following year.  The press report on the redundancy hearing described it as having small cottages adjoining on both sides and that the house abutted directly on to the pavement. The taproom was the only room primarily used for the licensed trade although a strategically placed form in the entrance lobby catered for any overflow. The bar parlour was used by the licensee as a sitting room and dining room. There was also a clubroom that had fallen into disuse. Demolished in the late 1940s else it would be on the perimeter of Tesco's car park."

Interestingly, for a few years after Tesco opened, there was a lone cottage left standing on the edge of the car park, later demolished, which may have been part of the buildings mentioned above.
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Whielden Street

Cressmans Corner Shop
Beaconsfield Bakery
Frank's Farm Supplies - between Cressman's Corner and the bakery- details supplied by Allen Webb now from Devon
Macgregor's Stores
National Provincial Bank - on the opposite corner to Cressman's - details supplied by Allen Webb now from Devon (This building was turned into the "County & Provincial Bank" in the BBC TV programme "The Peter Principle".  Previously, the building had been Wades Haberdashery and then The Union of London and Smiths Bank.
Roy's barber's shop was next to Brian Fuller's jewelers in fact where the lace shop Brambles is now - details supplied by Sue Brigden now from Hyde Heath
I am grateful to J L Harris who has kindly supplied a history Amersham Hairdressing Saloon, 4 Whielden Street
"The property 4-6 Whielden Street (known originally as Union Street) was built in the 17th Century. It has oak beams throughout, which were originally old ships' timbers. It has one large open fireplace.
A Census in 1851 records Mr Henry Redrup as Barber.
In 1863, Mr M Redrup was Hairdresser and Grocer. At this time Whielden street was known as Union Street.
1907, Mr Thomas W Ayres was Hairdresser and Deputy Registrar of Marriages in Union Street.
On 13th March 1914, Mr Ayres agreed to rent this cottage, shop and premises from William W Tyrwhitt Drake, Esquire of Shardeloes, Amersham. From 25th March 1914 a quarterly rent of £3.14s.9d was paid. 
On 11th March 1926 for £365, Mr Ayres purchased the property and outbuildings from Edward T Tyrwhitt Drake, Esquire of Shardeloes and continued to work and live there with his family. 
Mr Harry Elliot, Barber, took over the shop in later years and retired in December 1956.
In 1957 Mr Michael Harris, Barber, rented Amersham Hairdressing Saloon and purchased the premises in 1964, where he worked and lived with his family.  He retired in 2002, after 45 years. 
Mr Jamie Boomsma took over in 2002 and continues to run the shop as a well established Barber Shop."

- butcher
Fullers "Emporium" also had a shop in Hill Avenue
Gibbs (tobacconist)
The Nages Head closed in the 2000s.  It used to be next to Toovey's Bakery
Cater's the little grocery at the corner of the Platt - details supplied by Pamela Denton

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Market Square

King's Chemist - next to Nat. Prov. Bank - details supplied by Allen Webb now from Devon
On the corner of Church Street and Market Square used to be Butlers - tobacconist & toys
After Butlers it was Corns, run by Eric Corns and his wife Marie - details supplied by Sue Brigden now from Hyde Heath
Lawrences Hardware - details supplied by Allen Webb now from Devon
Mike Hinkley now living in Staffordshire writes - during the period between 1940-1965 my father had a greengrocers shop at the side of the Hardware shop at the Red House Market Square
Andrea Moignard from Amersham remembers Market Square Tea Rooms. This was a delightful 'traditional, cream-teas' type eating establishment, unlike the omnipresent contemporary, bistro-style cafe that seems to be on every street corner these days. Has Amersham lost its olde-worlde feeling with all the new restaurants and cafes? If you have a view on this, why not share your views on the Amersham Forum
Conesta's Restaurant - details supplied by Frank Philipson
R Butler Confectioner, tobacconist, toy dealer
C Stevens & Sons Ltd. butchers
Michelle, originally from Washington D C remembers - two places on Market Square in Old Amersham - Pauper's restaurant (where I had my first flummery) and a little shop that sold Indian clothing, jewelry, incense, etc., that was my haven in the early 1980's.

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Picture Courtesy of Frank Philipson

Other Closed Businesses
Ken House Hotel - corner of Chesham Road and North Road - burnt down in the 1980s
Boughtons - Bell Lane - now the site of The Entertainer's warehouse
Goya - Perfume Factory - next to St. Mary's, now Badminton Court (used to be the brewery), also had a site in Raans Road
Bowyers sausage and pie factor, London Road, now where Tesco car park is. Adrian Partington now from Portsmouth recalls "I had a friend who worked there in the late 70s who used to regale me with tales. Needless to say he became a vegetarian soon afterwards!"

If anyone has any other shops to add to the list, then please email the web master or post a message on the forum.
There is a strong possibility that I have spelt some of the shop names incorrectly, please let me know if you spot any mistakes.

You may like to see the page about Amersham's old garages here

You may be interested to see other old pictures of Amersham here
Also, the Pictorial Tour of Amersham of recent pictures here

Any additions, corrections, alterations, please email the web master

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