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31 Fore Street

31 Fore Street. Photo taken July 2013  Some rights reserved by ndl642m

 Situated at the lower end of Fore Street is a shop window where many people stop and take a look to remind them of days gone by.

31 Fore Street is a smaller town house, nestled between the wisteria draped Vicarage (until the 1880s) on one side and a larger town house on the lower side. The front room was converted to a shop at least as far back as the beginning of the 1880s, when Mrs Caroline Geach ran a Toy  andFancy Goods shop, with the later addition of a Newsagent. The shop has a fireplace, and stairs to access the first floor. Noticeable from outside is an extension added lengthways, which dates back to 1864. Mrs Geach continued to run her business until she passed away in 1910.

Mrs Kate Wevell immediately became the new proprietor, and ran it as a Stationers, Toy and China Shop with a private Lending Library. When Mrs Wevell's daughter Florence married Mr Alfred Alexander, the couple moved into the premises and helped to run the business. Previous to his marriage Alfred lived at 'The Moors' and operated a smallholding with dairy cattle, selling milk, cream and butter to the local residents. He continued his Dairy business after moving into 31 Fore Street and had the ideal storage for his goods adjoining the shop. The entrance to the shop was on Fore Street, with a neat garden to the side, and the archway to the rear was always adorned with roses. Through the archway is a covered courtyard with a slab floor, ideal for keeping goods cool, and this business 'Fore Street Dairy' Alfred carried on throughout the 1930s.

When WW2 started and the children were evacuated from London, Alfred and Flo became 'adopted parents' to a young boy. This young lad, now local resident Mr Sam Roberts MSM, considered himself extremely fortunate to live with this couple. Alfred was a musician with Lostwithiel Town Band and encouraged Sam to enrol, a decision which led to Sam having a distinguished career in the Band of the Welsh Guards. Sadly, during 1945 Flo predeceased her mother by three years. The business closed, and Alfred became a postman and bought a house next door to his sister in lower North Street.

The premises were then taken over by a father and son from Fowey who ran it as a printers known as Nashleigh Printers. The garden was removed and became a forecourt, and the shop entrance was repositioned to the side. An employee in the Printers, and his wife who worked in the office above the shop, lived on the premises.

By the 1980s, 31 Fore Street had become a Television Sales & Repairs Shop. During the 1990s the building was used as holiday flats, followed by a Pine Furniture Shop and then an Antique Shop. In 2000, Adrian and Marianne bought the premises and continue to run Deja-Vu, a successful Antiques business. Gillian Parsons

Credit: Written by Gillian Parsons.  Published in Lostwithiel Newsletter July 2018 as part of the "My Lostwithiel" series.