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Co-op High Street Property - Timeline  
1828 Newspaper advertisement Indicated that the building had been a bakery and grocers for over 50 years (therefore from the 1770s). Property documents from the Co-op list the occupants as Mr Collett, Thomas Bromley, William Lockett, Sarah Lockett, William Blackband, William Gosnell and Samuel Addison. Pre-1828 Mr Collett. - A Wm Collett married  Sarah Langley in Gnosall in 1766. Thomas Bromley - Possibly the one born Gnosall 1878 to James and Ann Bromley. In1837 he was listed as a life-time elector as Sexton. Living on the High Street in Thomas Belcher’s house in 1841. 12-01-1828 Staffordshire Advertiser Ad. confirms William Lockett, baker, in occupation. 1837 Tithe Awards William Lockett occupying House & Garden (Plot 1179), renting from John Liversage. 1841 census: William Lockett, baker, married to Jane, born about 1778 Lilleshall. 1851 census William Lockett, baker with a nephew from Lilleshall, James A Johnston. William died 1851, grave B-28. 1861 census Widow Jane Lockett working as a baker with nephew James A Johnston. Jane died 1861. (It’s probable the Sarah Lockett listed in the Co-op document is a mistake for Jane). James became a photographer. Between 1861 and 1867 William Blackband, the son of long-standing Gnosall grocer Gerard Blackband, took on the business.  He was declared bankrupt in 1867. His brother-in-law Thomas Addison Ash and doctor William Baddeley stood trustees for him. 1871 census William Gosnell from Newport, butcher, had taken over the premises. He had been active in organising the Gnosall summer fete and horse races through the 1860s. 1872 - Kelly’s Directory Lists Gosnell as a butcher in both Gnosall and Stafford. The 1876 Kelly’s shows him at Gaolgate Street, Stafford. 1876 and 1880 Kelly’s Directories Samuel Addison jun. listed as a Grocer & Tea Dealer at Gnosall. (Samuel Addison Snr. his father  was licensee of Dukes Head) 25-02-1880 - Staffordshire Advertiser Samuel Addison, Gnosall grocer, had unwittingly cashed a stolen £10 note. 1881 census Samuel Addison, from Eccleshall,  running the premises as a grocers shop. August 1886 – Staffordshire Advertiser A new grocer’s license was granted at the Shire Hall, Stafford to Samuel Addison of Gnosall. 1889 The date stone on the side of the building shows 1889 so presumably some decorative or restoration work took place then. 1891, 1901 and 1911 censuses Addison still listed as a grocer on the High Street. He died on 31st March 1925. 1910 Finance Act The survey of each property in 1910 indicates that Samuel Addison both owned and occupied the plot shown here outlined in red. The additional area which is now the Co-op car park was owned by the Church 1920 Ordnance Survey Map There is now a building attached to the side of the shop arrowed in blue on the map extract. Also it appears that the boundary now includes land to the south of the premises and the old smithy used by Dick Hall who lived in the property labelled 321 on this map.   1924 – Property Abstract dated 1947 The property Abstract document shows the enfranchise release from Ecclesiastical Commissioners to William Boffey of 44 New Street, Wellington, Grocer & Provision Merchant. This assumes that Samuel Addison had sold the property to Boffey before 1924  1932 Directory Thomas Campion was the grocer. April 1934 – Property Abstract dated 1947 Property rented to Abel Edward Randle 1936 and 1940  - Kelly’s Directories Abel Edward Randle listed as grocer on Gnosall High Street 1947 – Property Abstract dated 1955  Boffey sold the premises to Abel and Doris Lilian Randle for £3000. In October 1951, aged 56, Abel Randle was injured in a woodwork lesson at an evening class at the school and died on 25th October at Staffordshire Royal Infirmary. He is buried in plot 06-14 in the burial ground. He left £3922.16s.4d to his widow who continued to run the business for the next few years. About 1955 Thomas Albert Bowell bought the shop. A Thomas Bowell had been listed in Kelly’s Directory living on Stafford Road in Gnosall in 1936. A family member says that Thomas Bowell worked at the shop when he first left school about 1915. When he purchased the property it was a traditional counter service shop. Behind the counter were some spice drawers from which he withdrew one of them to reveal his initials “TAB” he left many years ago. Thomas Bowell died in 1978 and his son Eric continued with the business. The Bowell family extended the shop into the living area and demolished the attached garage and old smithy from behind the shop making a new entrance to the shop and extending the carpark.
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