Tag Archives: Bath Street

E Francis & Sons, Bath Street

Until about 1790 Bath Street was the site of an orchard with a few cottages and outbuildings. William Abbotts discovered Leamington’s second spring on the land adjoining the former Bath Hotel, where he built the first hot and cold baths, demolished in 1867 by Frederick William Francis in order to extend his store. Mr Francis […]

Mrs Margaret Mary Maitland Fowler, O.B.E.

Mrs Fowler, legendary owner of Leamington’s pre-war Blue Café, was born in Derbyshire and grew up in Polesworth, where her father was Vicar of the Parish Church, and Rural Dean.  In 1906, at the age of 25, she married George Herbert Fowler, an Oxford-educated mining engineer who was managing director of Arley Colliery in nearby […]

The Blue Café

Mrs Margaret Mary Maitland Fowler, sometime owner of Leamington’s famous Blue Café in Bath Street, became something of a Midlands legend in her own lifetime. She was appointed OBE for her services to charity, to disabled ex-servicemen and the Red Cross. Mrs Fowler worked for the Red Cross and fund-raised for charity for most of […]

Samuel Thomas Wackrill 1828 – 1907, First Mayor of Leamington

Samuel Wackrill, the son of a prosperous draper from Chelmsford, and an experienced draper in his own right, arrived in Leamington in 1861 and set up a drapery business with his brother Jack.  In common with other tradesmen of the time, the brothers worked very long hours.  There was no early closing, or Bank Holidays, […]

Bath Place School in the 1940s

History Group Member Jeff Clarke was a pupil at Bath Place School just after WW2, until he left to take up an Apprenticeship at Henry Griffiths’ jewellery factory at the age of 15. He recorded these reminiscences of his school days with Margaret Rushton. He remembers the overcrowding, in the Infants, Juniors and Seniors, – […]

Thomas Baker, 1808 – 1864

  Although known  professionally as ‘Baker of Leamington,’  Thomas Baker was born in Harborne, Birmingham, the son of the headmaster of Harborne Free School. He studied in Birmingham under the artist Joseph Vincent Barber, (who had business connections with the Willes family in Leamington), and in 1827 exhibited at the Birmingham Society of Arts. In […]

James Brown

James Brown, (1804-1854) Parish Clerk and Builder James Brown was one of the group of builders active in the first half of the nineteenth century who together developed the rapidly growing town of Leamington, shaping the town we know today. Alongside contemporaries in the trade Brown benefitted greatly from the sheer scale of the population […]

Firecracker! A Leamington Postal Scandal

A Leamington Postal Scandal   Leamington’s first Postmaster in 1783 was Benjamin Satchwell, who oversaw a postal service very different from that of today.  A recognised postal system had been operating throughout most of the country since the 1630’s, whereby the recipient, not the sender, paid the postage, summoned outdoors by the ringing of the […]

William Thomas Edwards, Chief Inspector of Police (1842-1909)

  William Thomas Edwards joined the 30-strong Leamington Police force which had been in existence since 1825, on the 15th October 1863. At that time, a Constable’s pay was 18s 6d (92.5p) per week whilst on probation and on being given permanent appointment, it was increased to £l-0s-6d (£1.025p) per week. The hours of duty […]

The James Family

  The James family were involved in the local licensed trade for over eighty years.  Francis James commenced his business activity on 23rd July 1897, when he took over from James Walters the Park Tavern Inn, at 1a Union Road, Packmores, Warwick, (renamed Lakin Road in 1941).  The Park Tavern had a bar, smoke room, and a […]