Photographs I've gleaned from flea markets, junk shops and sometimes ebay. The cheaper the better. Anything with a story that can be extracted from hand written notes, location research, local histories, census records......anything. A small band of fellow enthusiasts worldwide have helped me with many of these. Of course there are always mysteries that defy research, but there's even a story inside these. All images can be viewed at super-size on Flickr.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

"Coffee roasted daily" Atkins & Turton coffee & tea merchants. 2 High Street, Coventry

Atkins & Turton coffee & tea merchants. 2 High Street, Coventry, UK. 1930s.

The shop window of Atkins & Turton coffee and tea merchants in Coventry. Have a look at the large version on Flickr. I love the cheerful chinoiserie. See the thoughfully provided match-striking plate? This building was erased by wartime bombing and post-war redevelopment. I was able to identify the location by the name plate of architect T.F. Tickner, to the left of the window, who had offices next door. He designed the Coventry war memorial. See here for another pre-war photo of the high street (Atkins & Turton is on the left) alongside a modern view. The same website also transcribes this tantalising childhood memory of the shop:

"They had a coffee roaster and grinder in a window specially made for it - polished metal and red paint - which smelt wonderful. I can still recall the smell to this day."

 You can see the shop assistant here loading a cylinder into a chain-driven grinder in the window, exactly as described.


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