Arrival of supermarket signalled major change

This week, in his continuing series, Ion Castro takes a look at another section of Queens Road which saw drastic changes.

Friday, 24th March 2017, 7:01 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:46 am
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He writes. The building of Safeways Supermarket (now Morrisons) in the mid 1980’s had a profound effect on the western side of Queens Road.

The destruction of St Andrews Church in 1970 and its replacement with a petrol filling station was followed more than a decade later with the demise of the Gas Showrooms, a landmark in its own right.

Beyond that, was a fish and chip shop on the corner of an alley that led to the two houses belonging to the gas company and set back from the road (Nos 169 & 170).

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The chippy was one end of a terrace built in the 1870’s that extended, unbroken northward to Waterworks Road, not forgetting that the houses are in Queens Road are numbered sequentially, up one side and down the other not odd numbers on one side of the road and evens on the other.

In September 1940 No’s 155,156 and 157 Queens Road fell victim to a Luftwaffe air raid which left them completely ruined. A visit to the area today reveals that the former chippy is now a Chinese take-away and in splendid detached isolation because its neighbours as far as the appliance shop, no 158, have been flattened to extend Morrisons’ car park. The Appliance shop’s insularity is ending now that redevelopment of the bomb-site has at last started. Why or how these two buildings survived is not recorded.

Moving northward, No’s 150 to 154 have survived but the two houses 148 & 149 on the corner were demolished to make way for the widening of Waterworks Road, a result of the supermarket development.

All illustrations throughout this series are from Ion Castro’s own collection and he can make available copies of many of the historic images used in this series. Ion has had the 1933 Book illustrating the centenary of the gas company reprinted and it can be obtained from him for £7.99 plus postage, contact [email protected] or tel 01424 437468 and there’s more local history on Ion’s website,

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150-152 Queens Road.

In this image from the 1960’s close examination of the Sold sign reveals the sale is ‘by order of Co-operative Retail Services Ltd of 151 Queens Road’ Crowsons sweet shop on the right, at 150 Queens Road, was well known and frequented by generations of Hastonians (scholars at Hastings Grammar School) on their way to school in Nelson Road. No 151 was the headquarters of the local Liberal (pre-Lib-Dem) party for many years. At 152 Humphreys the butchers has replaced Apps the butchers.

152-7 Queens Road.

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Houses on both sides of Queens Road were severely damaged in a Luftwaffe air raid in September 1940, and No’s155/6/7 remained a bomb site for the next 77 years.

Apps 152.

No 152 Queens Road was a butcher’s shop as long ago as 1907 when this bill was written, ‘Prime Pickled Tongues’ seem to have fallen out of favour and sweetbreads, no longer feature on most people’s shopping lists.

Co-op 155.

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The local head office of The Hastings, St.Leonards, Bexhill and Districts Co-Operative Society Ltd was here at 155 Queens Road in 1912.

Dennett & Huskins 153-4.

In the very early years of the last century 153-4 Queens Road was a ‘General & Fancy Drapery Establishment’.

Moon 167.

At the end of the nineteenth century W J Moon at 167 Queens Road, wasn’t just a painter and decorator, he was also sign and glass writer offering ‘Gilding, Graining Embossing &c’.

Slack 155.

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In 1907 Frank Slack, a contractor to Her Majesty’s Government’, was operating as a tailor, hatter and outfitter and was using up his stationery printed in the previous century. The building was later occupied by the co-op

Warner 151.

At the end of the nineteenth century S Warner & Co. were trading from 151 Queens Road.

Webber 168.

A H Webber traded as Fruiterers and Greengrocers from 168 Queens Road, The building is one of the few still there (as a Chinese take-away) more than 120 years later.

Wheeler 158.

Wheeler & Co were Cycle & Motorcycle Dealers, a growth industry in those days, selling and repairing cycles and motorcycles. Petroleum spirit was originally sold by chemists but was later sold by retailers in two-gallon steel cans as can be seen on this bill head from 1919.

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