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Kenneth Young interview: Changes in shops in Wimbledon High Street

In 1994, I gave myself a self-imposed task of making a written record of all the shops in Wimbledon Hill Road (from 1906-1938) and in Wimbledon High Street (from 1911-1930).  The finished record showed each shop, each year with names and use. A copy of my record was lodged with the Wimbledon Society Museum of Local History – now the Museum of Wimbledon - for its records.

Many changes have occurred in the shops over the years, especially in the High Street since the end of the Second World War. Using my earlier record I have made a “then and now” comparison between shops in the length of this road between the top of Wimbledon Hill and the Church Road junction in 1929 and 2011. The results were as follows:

  • In 1929, there was one restaurant, a dairy, butcher, baker, a second butcher, coal merchant, ironmonger, greengrocer, and two grocers.
  • In 2011, there were 12 restaurants or cafes and one baker. All the other household suppliers had disappeared, except of course Tesco Stores.

The comparison also shows a marked increase in the number of clothing shops and accessories, mainly for women. But the loss of the household supplier outlets is sad.