Clement Mallet's fruit and veg business

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Anc15MalletShopConwaySt.jpg

This picture of Clement Mallet's fruit and veg shop in Conway Street was used as our Picture of the week in November 2015.

Incorrect date

It was sent to us with the information that it was taken just before the end of the 19th century, or possibly just into the 20th. This proved to be incorrect and some detective work on the part of a number of Jerripedia visitors helped us to trace the history of Clement Mallet’s business.

The picture shows the business to be owned by C Mallet, but was it in Conway Street, and which C Mallet ran the shop? It was not the Clement Mallet (1874-1963) that our informant suggested, because a check of census returns showed that this Clement, the son of Philippe and Mary Ann Le Couteur, originally of St Lawrence, was an apprentice carpenter and then a coachbuilder.

The 1891 census showed him at the age of 16 as a carpenter, and ten years later he was living in Trinity with his parents, and by then a coachbuilder. This was still his trade when he was living at Town Mills in 1911 with his wife Ann Mary Le Luan (1886-1947) and children Gladys Stella, Clarence Clifford, Archibald Percy, and Evelyn Flora, the latter born a few weeks after the census.

This is a superb quality photograph, and while we had no reason to doubt the location, we were determined to establish more details about it, and try to give it an accurate date.

Corner shop

Our suspicion that the shop was in Conway Street, and made the corner with Cross Street, was confirmed when we were able to find the picture below online. This picture of Mr Mallet's Central Market premises confirmed the Conway Street address as No 5, which is indeed on the corner with Cross Street, and also indicated that Mr Mallet clearly had a substantial business, with wholesale premises in nearby Commercial Street.

But the picture below threw up further anomalies. We hoped that the telephone number would identify Mr Mallet, but the 1901 Jersey directory listed 73 as belonging to C Le Masurier at Commercial Street. So were these pictures taken some time after 1901, and had Mr Mallet acquired Mr Le Masurier's business by then?

The search was complicated by our suspicion that Mr Mallet and his family did not live above any of the commercial premises, so could not be identified from census returns. Further research and information supplied to us, suggested that the pictures were taken considerably later than the turn of the 19th to 20th centuries, as had been suggested.

5 Conway Street/Cross Street was purchased by Clement Mallet from Harry Leopold Marks and Arthur Robin Riches on 14 August 1923 for £822 10s. Clement was dead by October 1963 as he left a life interest of his “shop property with dwelling accommodation above and known as 5 Conway Street” to his daughter Gladys Grandin and her husband Philip with the reversionary ownership to his son Clarence Clifford Mallet. The property is now the new public conveniences belonging to the Parish of St Helier.

Clement also owned 3 Conway Street, which he sold to the Parish of St Helier in 1930, retaining Number 5. He had bought 3 Conway Street on 26 January 1924 from a Mrs Ethel Pugsley, only some five months after buying number 5. We believe that the large painted panel on the gable end was painted on part of 3 Conway Street.

Other pictures of the Mallets' market shop well into the 20th century show it looking older than in the picture here, leading us to believe that both these photographs were taken in the 1930s, not the 1900s.

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