Stanstead Abbotts Local History Society


“Beatty’s and Chandlers come next don’t they? Chandlers place used to be a women’s drapers shop; Charlie Harwood owned it. They were related to the Miller family; Charlie Harwood was related to the Millers, Harwood mother was a Miller you see. The girl, who ran it, well for a bit, was a Harper girl from the Red Lion.

Beatty's was always a grocers; Fred Martin ran it in 1926.  Mrs Martin was one of the Miller family.”

A large sign advertising Harwood / Catesby and Sons adorns the end wall of what is now the cafe. Picture taken during the flood of 1928

“You’ve got that stream by the side of Beatty’s, goes right under the road and into the Mill Stream somewhere down Glenmire. Then you have the Town Mead; Mr Chapman owns it. The Fair used it twice a year in April and September time and it was just left as grass; had cows in it sometimes. Those old houses come next with Arthurs Court behind. Doris and Allen Lawrence used to live there. Oh yes and Mrs Robinson. That little shop at the end there was the Gas Showroom; I think it opened there a long time ago. It shut about ten years ago didn’t it? That house set back was a small farm sort of place. They brought cows down the High St sometimes. They came from round Cappell lane somewhere. I think there was a dairy behind the house. There was a little shop by the gates just next to the Gas Showroom at one time.”


“Then there’s Protheroe’s shop. It was a temperance place once, a long time ago. It was a sort of hotel with no drink then a cafe later. Before the Protheroe’s the Miller family had it as a shop at one time.”

[Was the Kimberley Temperance Hotel before WWI then the Kimberley Cafe.]

[Now Rehab Hairdressers and Wine World]

“The next shop well that’s Sweeney’s now they were there when I got here but it used to be a Smithies. Shoed horses and all that sort of thing, in that open wooden bit. When the smithy went Sweeneys moved in. They still kept that old wooden open bit though. You would have thought they would have done something with that.” [The Sweeneys opened their shop as a fishmongers and later changed to greengrocery]


“Then there was that row of little houses. They were mostly wood and plaster, not that good, bit cold and draughty. They went all the way up to Halls. They were quite a good butchers but I did not go there. They had a slaughter house round the back, you could hear noises sometimes. The Clarkes had it before; the Halls didn’t come till the 30’s”.

“You’ve had that row of terraced houses next then Neeves the grocers. Jack worked there for a couple of years, 1935/6 I think. Used to be Hopkins in the early 20’s sort of time, before then it was a china shop. [Now Abbotts Spice]

After Willowthorpe entrance there was that old cottage with those lovely leaded windows. Who let

them knock it down? It’s gone now; it’s such a shame.”