Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Pither, Wokingham

The shop is gone, but Pither's ghost sign still dominates the main street of the small Berkshire town of Wokingham.

I haven't found when this butcher's opened but in the 1860s, James Pither, who was the landlord of the public house The Swan in nearby Arborfield, also traded as a cattle dealer and as a butcher. Maybe he later moved to Wokingham or someone from his family did. In any case a postcard of Broad Street from c. 1919 shows the painted sign was already there. In 1932, his name appeared in the following notice published in The Meat Trades' Journal and Cattle Salesman's Gazette. The Organ of the British, Colonial, and Foreign Live Stock and Dead Meat Trades:
S. A. Pither, Ltd, 15 Borad-street, Wokingham, Berks--To carry on the business of butchers, meat salesmen, etc. Nominal capital: £1,000 in £1 shares. Permanent directors: S. A. Pither, 15 Borad-street, Wokingham, Berks (mang. dir.): Mrs. L. Pither, 15 Broad-street, Wokingham, Berks
Nine years later, on 18 July 1941, The London Gazette announced that
ALL persons having claim against the estate of Thomas Ballard Pither late of Number 22 Broad Street, Wokingham in the county of Berks retired Butcher (who died on the 27th day of January 1941; and whose Will together with a Codicil thereto was proved by Alan Howard Perkins and Herbert Bernard Jones the executors therein named on the i8th day of April 1941 in the Principal Probate Registry) are required to send particulars thereof to the undersigned on or before the 3oth September 1941, after which date the executors will proceed to distribute the estate having regard only to the claim of which they shall then have had notice.—Dated this i4th day of July, 1941.
Did the shop close when T. B. Pither retired or did it remain open for a few more years before falling victim to the competition of supermarkets?

English Meat Purveyor

The ghost sign can be seen on this picture taken c. 1955.

Location: Broad Street, Wokingham, Berkshire / Picture taken on: 31/07/2011

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