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Oxford Ghost Signs: 127 Walton Street


127 Walton Street

This ghost sign at 127 Walton Street (on the corner of Little Clarendon Street) reads:

[Top window]

THE
FINEST TURKEY
COFFEE
1/4

IN ONE POUND
CANISTERS

[This is painted over an earlier sign in white
lettering which began G. LUMLEY'S]

 

[Lower window ]

TRY
GEO LUMLEYS
2/6
TEA

[This is painted over an earlier sign in white
lettering reading
F[INE?]ST / … / BACON / CROSSE /
& / BLACKWELL PICKLES

Below: the shop in context:

Blencowe shop

George Lumley was the grocer here at 127 Walton Street in the 1870s and 1880s.

George was born in Oxford near the beginning of 1850, and at the time of the 1851 census he was one year old and living at 3 Speedwell Street, St Ebbe's (Holy Trinity parish) with his father Willilam, who was a college servant, his mother Ann, and his three siblings. In 1861 his address was given as 7 Speedwell Street, and his mother was a widow.

In 1871 George (21) was a grocer's assistant, living with his employer in Stony Stratford, Buckinghamshire.

On 27 July 1874 at Islington parish church, George Lumley, described as a grocer of 123 Walton Street married Martha Elizabeth Brewer, a baker's daughter from Holloway. On 9 January 1875 he advertised in Jackson's Oxford Journal for an apprentice for his grocery business, again at 123 Walton Street.

When their first child Edith Elisabeth Lumley was baptised at St Giles' Church on 1 June 1875, their private address was given as Little Clarendon Street. This is probably the part of 127 Walton Street that turns the corner, showing that they were definitely in these premises by that date.

Their address daughter Amy Ann Lumley was baptised at St Giles's Church on 27 November 1877, and their son George Lumley junior on 25 October 1879: again, both were recorded as having been born in Little Clarendon Street.

Their address was for the first time given as 127 Walton Street when his first wife Martha died there at the age of 32 on 6 July 1880.

At the time of the 1881 census George (31), a widower living over this shop at 127 Walton Street with his three-year-old daughter Amy, was described as a master grocer employing seven men.

On 11 April 1881 at Esher, Surrey, George Lumley (31), described as now living in Esher, married his second wife Elizabeth Sarah Williams (37), the daughter of a farmer. They appear to have returned to Oxford, and their daughter Gertrude Maria Lumley was born on 13 April 1884, and their son William Arthur G. Lumley was baptised at St Giles' Church on 6 January 1886. The first was described as having been born at Little Clarendon Street and the second at 127 Walton Street, indicating that the addresses were interchangeable.

On 7 December 1888 it was announced in Jackson's Oxford Journal that George Lumley had gone bankrupt. The meeting of creditors was reported on 9 December and described Lumley as being of Nos. 3 & 4 Market Street and 127 Walton Street, Oxford and also of Oxford Street in High Wycombe.

George Lumley moved to London, and at the time of the 1891 census he was a beer retailer living at 140 Albert Road, Camberwell with his second wife Elizabeth and their son William. In 1901 he was a sewing machine agent living with his second wife in Hammersmith.

The shop after George Lumley

By 1899 Major Solloway & Co, grocers were at 127 Walton Street, and they were still here in 1930.

By 1935 the grocer here was Frederick B. Stott.

By 1941 this shop was occupied by Robert F. Hedges, MPS, dispensing and veterinary chemist.

Stephanie Jenkins