For the first post of 2023, I wanted to take a look back at another of the village’s one-time retail establishments – something the village no longer lays claim to, sadly. Unlike the various Post Offices, pubs and village stores that Brimpton has seen over the years, this one was situated over on Hyde End Lane, in the Eastern-most part of the Parish.
Originally opened in 1883 (pre-dating the Forge Stores by some years), the store in Hyde End Lane was run by a Mr Richard Matthews, and sold a variety of groceries and provisions to the villages. Twelve years later in 1895 the store was taken over by Charles Tanner, who renamed it after his family name. As well as the various grocery items, bread was baked daily (hence the ‘old bakery’ you can still see next door to the once-store on Hyde End Lane) and distributed around the area via Horse and Cart – one of which you can see in the photos below, being drawn by villager Jack Butler.
According to the ‘Brimpton Story’, the bread carts went out as far as Kingsclere, Headley, Tadley and Greenham – the horses were apparently well fed, with straw from the Upper Hyde End Farm which used to sit opposite the stores. Other produce from the farm was also used and sold in the store, including bread for baking – the giant bread ovens had to be kept alight at all times, so Sundays often saw villagers using the ovens to bake their roast joints for dinner!
The Tanner family ran the shop until 1934, after which it was taken over by Mr Mullins; After the war it became known as Smith & Eyes, and then from 1958 to it’s eventual closure in 1962 it was ‘Hunters’
The building is now a private family home, though many of the original shop features can still be recognised as part of the façade.