The archive alphabet of Torbay

The West End branch of Shapley’s in Lucius Street in circa 1910 from the lost collection of David Ma

The West End branch of Shapley’s in Lucius Street in circa 1910 from the lost collection of David Mason - Credit: Archant

After a short break, Torquay Museum’s archive alphabet is returning this week to bring you the letter S.

If you would like to access all the images from the museum’s archive alphabet, there is now have a dedicated page on the museum website.

Just log on to torquaymuseum.org, and explore the museum collections and you will find the pictorial records collection and the A-Z images.

If you would like to buy a print, just follow the instructions on screen.

The first letter S stands for the Strand.

As Torquay grew from a fishing village to an elegant winter health resort, so the service and distribution outlets emerged to provide for the nobility and gentry, who came to reside for the season.

The first nucleus of shops was on the Strand and the harbour area.

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During the mid-19th century, the Strand formed the main parade of retail establishments. Some of the major retailers occupying prominent positions on the parade were chemists Timothy Whites, Bobby & Co, furnishers Williams & Cox, bookseller Iredales and draper Robert T. Knight.

The second S stands for Shapley & Sons Ltd.

Established in 1832, this company developed through various changes in trading name to become one of the leading grocery firms in Torquay.

Their well-stocked shop was backed by a warehouse in Swan Street.

On August 23, 1897, the West End branch in Lucius Street was opened. It was expensively and elaborately equipped in mahogany and marble by a leading firm of shop fitters.

By the 1930s, the firm had opened another branch shop in Walnut Road. However, by 1960 after almost 130 years of service, the business closed for the last time.