Leisure => Retail => Topic started by: davpott on April 05, 2012, 16:57:18

Title: Gillingham area mystery building photo
Post by: davpott on April 05, 2012, 16:57:18
Does anyone know where this building is?
(http://i1065.photobucket.com/albums/u386/davpott/FDPottgillinghammystery-1.jpg)

My aunt has it noted as its where my grandfather Frederick Pott had his architects office. In reality he worked from home in Gilligham and this clearly isn't Richmond road. Neither is it the address of the builder Ernest Rowden in Osborn Place.

Unfortunately the stamp is missing so I don't have an exact date. It was posted to Miss E French, later to be his wife, 137 Livingstone rd. Perhaps very romantic but nonetheless now very frustrating the message just reads 'con amore FDP'giving no clue as where the building was. Other similar messages on postcards were posted in 1914-15. The photo was taken or at least printed by W.Hipperson, Gillingham.

I guess it is a picture of a recently finished commission also that it is fairly near to Gillingham as that is where the builder was based. But where?
Title: Re: Gillingham area mystery building photo
Post by: seafordpete on April 05, 2012, 17:11:01
What is written on the window, shop name?
Title: Re: Gillingham area mystery building photo
Post by: colin haggart on April 05, 2012, 17:23:13
Could well be an advert, the more I zoom in on the photo, the more blurred it becomes.
I guess that the shop name would be above and not on the window. Seafordpete.
Title: Re: Gillingham area mystery building photo
Post by: ChrisExiledFromStrood on April 05, 2012, 19:10:10
The curved bit looks like
"ENGLISH & xxxxx"
possibly
"ENGLISH & FOREIGN"
Title: Re: Gillingham area mystery building photo
Post by: grandarog on April 05, 2012, 20:26:37
Looks like English & Foreign Provisions. (In Upper case.)
The Shopfront Header Board doesn't appear to have been sign written.   :)
Title: Re: Gillingham area mystery building photo
Post by: davpott on April 05, 2012, 21:51:09
On the window it says ' English & Foreign Fruitier' and the display is what looks like apples and another couple of types fruits that I can't make out. The right hand window there is an advertisement for Cadbury and has jars that may be sweets. Unfortunately I can't make out any name above the shop. Even blowing the image right up I can't make out what is on the shop sign, perhaps it was one of those glass ones and the angle of the sunlight has obscured it also it may have been brushed out on the photo or even as suggested it hasn't been finished yet. Tomorrow I will try and load the picture into a photo editor and see if different filters make it any more legible.
Title: Re: Gillingham area mystery building photo
Post by: JohnWalker on April 05, 2012, 22:21:02
Davpot - can you scan at a higher resolution perhaps.  It pixelates before any further detail can be seen.
Title: Re: Gillingham area mystery building photo
Post by: davpott on April 06, 2012, 11:44:53
High res here (or at least should be)   http://i1065.photobucket.com/albums/u386/davpott/High%20%20res/FDPottgillinghamoffice.jpg
Title: Re: Gillingham area mystery building photo
Post by: smiler on April 06, 2012, 11:54:10
Could this possibly have been in James St , top of Richmond Rd.No doubt someone will know better but does this remind me of a small shop owners name Lu Duc there in the early 70s?
Title: Re: Gillingham area mystery building photo
Post by: Paul on April 06, 2012, 13:25:53
 :)
(http://i297.photobucket.com/albums/mm223/Paulwp/Captureshop.jpg)
Title: Re: Gillingham area mystery building photo
Post by: swiftone on April 06, 2012, 16:15:24
Looking at Paul's close up it looks like it is split into two shops and what I thought was a rendered gable end is painted brickwork.

The other thing I noticed earlier was that the ground in front is level which probably rules out James Street.
Title: Re: Gillingham area mystery building photo
Post by: swiftone on April 06, 2012, 17:03:14
Is this a reflection of a name on a shop opposite? I have flipped the photo, can anyone read it?

(http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/swiftone_album/FDPottgillinghamofficezoomtestflippedcr.jpg)

It could also be over the top of the shop door

(http://i864.photobucket.com/albums/ab206/swiftone_album/FDPottgillinghamofficezoomtestcr.jpg)
Title: Re: Gillingham area mystery building photo
Post by: davpott on April 06, 2012, 19:51:25
I think the different shades are down to different brick being used i.e. there are Kent commons on the gable wall as it will undoubtedly be hidden when the vacant site next door is built on. Most of the front elevation matches the existing property next door and a different brick was used in the shop entrance to match the clients instruction.

I have looked hard at the name board under different filters. The picture being primarily to promote the architect and builder, albeit this one printed as a postcard to send to a sweetheart, I am fairly confident that it has been deliberately obscured on the original plate so as not to confuse anyone who it was promoting.
However I am not too sure that it is two different shops rather than one shop specialising in two fields. It looks as if there is one name on the centre of the board with fruiter on the left and confectioner on the right.

Going back and zooming into to my original scan I noticed that there are tram lines which must at least limit the possible locations a little more.
Title: Re: Gillingham area mystery building photo
Post by: Sentinel S4 on April 06, 2012, 20:13:56
To me with my appalling sight the wording in the reflection looks like; & REX (or BEX)  819. Could that be any help?

S4.
Title: Re: Gillingham area mystery building photo
Post by: swiftone on April 06, 2012, 20:14:48
Yes. I thought they were tramlines which also limits the date. You could be correct about the bricks although they look more like stocks to me.
Title: Re: Gillingham area mystery building photo
Post by: swiftone on April 06, 2012, 20:20:46
Sentinel S4, I had thought it could be [Coleman] & Reckets if that's how it is spelt.
Title: Re: Gillingham area mystery building photo
Post by: grandarog on April 06, 2012, 20:25:50
Having tweaked and twiddled the best I can do is little help. I still can't make out the word after the &.

(http://i637.photobucket.com/albums/uu92/grandarog/FDPottgillinghamofficezoomtestflippedcr.jpg)
Maybe someone can decipher it.
Title: Re: Gillingham area mystery building photo
Post by: grandarog on April 06, 2012, 20:31:32
Could it possibly be a Telephone number . Following S4 thinking ,m aybe it is     & Ecx. 819  (Ecx being Exchange)
Or perhaps it is  & Export.
Title: Re: Gillingham area mystery building photo
Post by: Merry on April 06, 2012, 21:13:43
I think the first character is &, followed by a capital E - squinting it looks like E C K E R T .   

I just love this sort of puzzle!
Title: Re: Gillingham area mystery building photo
Post by: jaj on April 07, 2012, 00:52:33
Think I've got it guys.

It's in Strood High Street and was opposite Eckert's cycle shop (long gone) .  According to Streetview it is the Demelza shop.  Here's the Streetview link

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=+strood&hl=en&ll=51.394942,0.498569&spn=0.00405,0.00809&sll=53.800651,-4.064941&sspn=15.738773,33.134766&t=h&hnear=Strood,+Medway,+United+Kingdom&z=17&layer=c&cbll=51.394829,0.49639&panoid=C8AgJif5iHFhOYE0jLUGnw&cbp=12,62.3,,1,1.54

jaj
Title: Re: Gillingham area mystery building photo
Post by: JohnWalker on April 07, 2012, 05:18:20
Excellent work jaj - .
Title: Re: Gillingham area mystery building photo
Post by: swiftone on April 07, 2012, 06:47:06
How did you find it so far away? Well done to both jaj and Merry.
Title: Re: Gillingham area mystery building photo
Post by: jaj on April 07, 2012, 10:39:32
How did you find it so far away? Well done to both jaj and Merry.

I knew i had seen the tiled lower walls and heavy corbels from some time in the past, probably from where I've sat at the traffic lights outside the shop for far too many hours.  Anyway, all day I had been thinking about it and couldn't let it go, but when you guys came up with the excellent discovery of window reflection 'Ekerts' I recall the name being mentioned elsewhere on the web and who had stated they were in Strood.  I then just did a Streetview tour of the Highstreet and came across the Demelza shop and its neighbour.  So  a great collaboration from the guys on this thread really, one of us would have got it in the end regardless, of that I'm sure.

jaj
Title: Re: Gillingham area mystery building photo
Post by: swiftone on April 07, 2012, 17:12:27
This image on MALSC shows the building that jaj found. According to the description the gap to the left of the building in davpott's original image was caused by demolition. If that is true then the gable end was tidied up well. The description states "looking west from Rochester Bridge". I think that should read "from the railway bridge".

http://www.medway.gov.uk/apps/MALSC_thumbnail/Imager.dll?Image=/apps/medwayimages/ImageLibrary/High%20Street%20c1915%202.jpg&width=450&height=300&Compression=80 (http://www.medway.gov.uk/apps/MALSC_thumbnail/Imager.dll?Image=/apps/medwayimages/ImageLibrary/High%20Street%20c1915%202.jpg&width=450&height=300&Compression=80)

Use the browser zoom function to see the image better.

Title: Re: Gillingham area mystery building photo
Post by: DaveTheTrain on April 07, 2012, 19:47:49
Well done Jaj and Merry, a briliant bit of detective work.  I spent a a couple of hours last night looking for clues in the old directories but could not find it.   The thing that I am still wondering about is how the reflection of Eckerts appeared on the glass in this shop. 

Anyhow, well done.

DTT
Title: Re: Gillingham area mystery building photo
Post by: ChrisExiledFromStrood on April 07, 2012, 20:15:27
Crikey, it's CSI Medway!
Title: Re: Gillingham area mystery building photo
Post by: Sentinel S4 on April 07, 2012, 20:55:01
Crikey, it's CSI Medway!

Yes, and are we good or what? Nice bit of tracing lads. S4.
Title: Re: Gillingham area mystery building photo
Post by: Merry on April 07, 2012, 21:28:16
Golly, I am ridiculously pleased!

Well done Jaj...your contribution much greater than mine!
Title: Re: Gillingham area mystery building photo
Post by: davpott on April 07, 2012, 23:15:10
Thank you and well done by everyone.
I have had a copy of the picture in my car for ages and looked in vain every time I go into the Medway area trying to locate similar architecture. I doubt it would have crossed my mind to look on the other side of the river.

This is a link slightly better image than the one Swiftone posted. The sign writing seen on my picture is clearly visible making them roughly contemporary.
http://cityark.medway.gov.uk/query/results/?Mode=ShowImg&Img=/cityark/Scans/Unofficial_or_Privately_Originated_Collections/DE0402_Couchman_ephemera_and_MSS_/DE0402_12.html/DE402_12_25U.jpg
I had a little dig around on Edina Digimap. (Old OS maps for those with a university or college library access) sorry cannot post them due to copyright. Comparing the 1896 map with the 1908 map it is clear the entire shown on the photo was cleared along with the rest of the plot down to Station road. Rebuilding then began from east to west but on a setback building line, which is perhaps why the entire area was demolished in the first place. 
A later, perhaps between the wars, photo.
http://cityark.medway.gov.uk/query/results/?Mode=ShowImg&Img=/cityark/Scans/Unofficial_or_Privately_Originated_Collections/DE0402_Couchman_ephemera_and_MSS_/DE0402_12.html/DE402_12_23.jpg
The architect Frederick Pott was my grandfather. He was born 1887 and served his apprenticeship in Chatham. At 21 in 1908 he would have finished his training and able to form his own business.  I know that he set up in practice in Sheerness but I was told by my father he then paid ‘a fine’ to his master to allow him to also practice in Gillingham as well as his father had died (landlord of the Ghuznee).
I have a similarly written postcard to who was to become his wife, my grandmother, dated June 1908. I suspect that this is not too many months afterwards, a young man with a commission as an architect for a building close enough for her to go and see. Young love....
It may even tie in with the tale my father told me. His father told him his mother had been so stuck up she once ignored him when they passed each other on Rochester Bridge. I had wondered what either of them were likely to be doing on the bridge at the same time as they both lived in Gillingham.
Title: Re: Gillingham area mystery building photo
Post by: swiftone on April 08, 2012, 08:41:07
Well done Jaj and Merry, a briliant bit of detective work.  I spent a a couple of hours last night looking for clues in the old directories but could not find it.   The thing that I am still wondering about is how the reflection of Eckerts appeared on the glass in this shop.  


Having used the reflections in shop windows for many years as a driving aid in heavy traffic, I was pleased when davpott published a better resolution image. I was able to resample it at a much higher resolution and apply other tweaks to enhance the reflection. I would not be surprised if the photographer used a filter to cut down any reflections in the window, although, looking at the image again it does look as though some form of masking has been applied. This would also have obscured the name over the shop which, I believe was glass covered.

In my previous post I meant to give the link that included the description which stated that the photo was approx 1915 ( although Couchman's description states 1911, which I trust more as Couchman, like myself, was a former draughtsman) and that the market arcade was later built on the vacant site. Davpott, I had forgotten about Couchman although the description by MALSC states copyright and source unknown (Couchman images came from many sources).
Title: Re: Gillingham area mystery building photo
Post by: johnabutler on April 16, 2012, 15:52:27
Any chance this might now be the motor spares shop, just below the Rainham W M Club, in Station Road, near the taxi office?