News: “Over the graves of the Druids and under the wreck of Rome,
Rudely but surely they bedded the plinth of the days to come.
Behind the feet of the Legions and before the Norseman’s ire
Rudely but greatly begat they the framing of State and Shire
Rudely but deeply they laboured, and their labour stand till now.
If we trace on ancient headlands the twist of their eight-ox plough.”

-Rudyard Kipling
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Author Topic: Bike shop, Dover  (Read 5831 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline unfairytale

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1311
  • Appreciation 33
Re: Bike shop, Dover
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2011, 17:13:53 »
Nice post Dovorian. I've read that report of the fire in the exelent, History Of Dover Website, posted on the forum by Psycoquilla. I just didn't put two and two together when I read it. The conversion of  no 37 is complete and there's somone living there now.
  Charlie Minter was my Great Uncle so it's nice to find out where his shop was although I knew it was one of those three together in Tower Hamlets Road. I also remember Wiffen & Bradley's shop in Snargate Street and Andy's Bike Shop in London Road.
   All I need now is a Photo of Charlie's shop to appear on the forum. :)
When you've got your back to wall, there's only one thing to do and that's to turn around and fight. (John Major)


  • Guest
Re: Bike shop, Dover
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2011, 11:48:33 »
George Pritchard owned a greengrocers shop at 36 Tower Hamlets Road, he also ran a Taxi Company known as Blue Cars and lived in a flat above the archway at 37a.
To facilitate his taxi business he had his own petrol supply tank fitted in the yard to the rear of the properties with a hand operated petrol pump situated on the wall inside the archway.
During this time (circa 1910) there was also a forge operating at the rear of the yard. Horses awaiting shoeing were tethered to a wall bracket fitted to the side of the railway bridge in East Street. The animals were then lead to the forge one at a time.
"In January 1894 (according to a report in the Dover Express) there was a destructive fire disatrous in its affect that broke out a little after midnight on Tuesday morning in a stable in the chalk pit alongside the London Chatham and Dover Railway in Tower Hamlets Road.
In this chalk pit which is approached by an arch on the side of Mr F G Nowers boot shop (37 THRd) there is Mr E Ayers forge".
The newspaper report goes on to explain that several horses were stabled there including one that was owned by a Mr F Chatwin who ran a dairy business. All three aninals were lost in the fire, they were said to have been good roadsters in fair condition being worth no doubt £30 each.
The cause of the fire remained a mystery, the forge was some distance from the stables and the fire at night was unlikely to have come from there. There was a quantity of lime close by the stable door outside immediately adjoining where the fire appeared to have started and it has been suggested that spontaneous combustion of the lime set the straw alight.
Two fire appliances were promptly on the scene with two hose reels, one from the Police Station and one from the Queens Street Fire Station. Mr Superintendent Sanders- fourteen policemen and Mr Chatman (jnr) forming the brigade. Mr Ewell the turncock who was called at the same time concentrated the full pressure of water on the district he being informed that it was the Laundry that was on fire.
A good supply of water was secured as soon as the hydrants were fixed and in an incredibly short space of time the fire that was all aglow inside the stable was knocked out at five minutes past one and was entirely extringuished.
Some confusion seems to have occurred regarding the site of the fire, probably by an inaccurate report by a member of the public who thought the 'laundry' was on fire. The 'Laundry' was situated a little further up the road in the chalk pit at the commencement of Tower Street. New build houses now occupy the site that was once owned by the Castle Concrete Company.
Many years later my grandfather worked the forge and years later still I recall sitting in the forge as a small child fascinated by the roaring fire kept aglow by a large bellows.
The forge eventually became redundant and gave way to garages and storerooms.
In November 1940 a German land mine, probaly intended for the railway, landed on the bank to the right of the yard. hundreds of tons of chalk were blown skywards and deposited several feet thick onto the yard.
Luckily for me I was away that Wednesday afternoon with my parents, it being half day in Dover, otherwise I would probably have been playing in the back yard!
My father had a hard task clearing the chalk but fortunately there were soon a number of willing helpers on the scene such was the spirit of the times.
Sadly many of the properties now look somewhat run down and in need of repair, I have been told that work is proceeding on 37 THRd but have yet to see for myself. A newly built block of flats now occupies the rear of the yard where once stood the forge and more latterly the garages and storerooms.

Does anyone recall any of those times?


  • Guest
Re: Bike shop, Dover
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2011, 06:42:29 »
Strange: my 1939/40 Blue Book has, for Tower Hamlets Rd
37  Wood, Miss, pastrycook
37a Tower Garage, Pritchard G. W.
Jordan, J. W. coal stores


  • Guest
Re: Bike shop, Dover
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2011, 19:36:30 »
 my1937/38 Pikes blue book shows Minter C. cycle agent at the address ,delboy


  • Guest
Re: Bike shop, Dover
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2011, 18:39:09 »
Thanks, thats some good info :)


  • Guest
Re: Bike shop, Dover
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2011, 06:01:16 »
My 1962 Kelly's Directory shows Wiffen as London Rd: 156 WIFFEN WALTER, cycle engineer & dealer. I recall it as 'The Andy Shop' until comparitively recently.


  • Guest
Re: Bike shop, Dover
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2011, 22:16:07 »
I remember buying a bike from Arthur Wiffen when he moved from London rd to Snargate street in the late 70s.I think the shop was called Wiffen and Bradleys?,i,m sure thats what it was.As for the late Mr Whittmores shop in Tower Hamlets,i pass by there most days and it looks like its being converted into housing.Shame all these little shops are disappearing nowdays.I can remember on Tower Hamlets Hill,there was three shops together when i was a kid,  Les Files newsagents, Eric Pipers greengrocers, Dick Whittamores printing.


  • Guest
Re: Bike shop, Dover
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2011, 21:45:17 »
I lived next door to Mr Minter's cycle shop, the address was 37 Tower Hamlets Road, Dover.
I believe Mr Minter sold the shop circa 1948 to Mr Arthur Wiffen who conducted the cycle business until about 1958 whereupon he moved the business to a shop on the London Road opposite what was then Buckland School.
The last encumbent of the premises was Mr A. Whittamore who was there from about 1958 until quite recently but is now deceased. Mr Whittamore ran the business as a stationery /printing concern having for most of his life worked at The Hippodrome Theatre in Snargate Street.
I have been told that some work has recently been carried out on the premises but for what reason I have yet to learn.


  • Guest
Bike shop, Dover
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2011, 12:18:00 »
Does anyone have any information please, of the bike shop that was opposite the council yard in Tower Hamlets, Dover owned by Charlie Minter? He had it post - World War Two.


BloQcs design by Bloc
SMF 2.0.11 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines