No 36 King Street

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8 King Street


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A 1939 drawing showing No 36 on the left


This property now forms the north-east corner of King Street and New Street, but at some time after 1851 the corner property, which was formerly No 38, disappeared, apparently as the result of road widening when the structure now known only as No 36, was rebuilt.

When the property became a wine and spirits merchant after World War Two it was almost reverting to its use in the late 1800s, when widow Arabella Whetton and her daughters Jessie and Arabelle, three Scottish ladies, ran a public house there.

J F Belford ran a tobacconist here from 1912 to 1940, although almanac advertisements from the 19th century suggest that he was already in business there earlier. At the same time he was also in business at 35 Halkett Place.

Bank

From the mid-1850s to 1873 the imposing corner property was occupied by the Mercantile Union Bank. Following the bank's collapse in 1873, the property became a public house, run by Arabella and Jessie Whetton.

The next occupant, in 1903, was bootmaker Charles Bray, and from 1912 to the Occupation tobacconist James Francis Belford, followed by James Mauger Belford, was in business there. After the war wines and spirits Merchant C Le Masurier acquired the property and turned it into their principal town outlet.

In 2010 the property, which was owned by the Colley family until 1948, was sold by C Le Masurier Ltd to Modestine Holdings Ltd for £2.125 million.

Chronology

  • 1841 - Mary Ann Coutanche, independent means
  • 1851 - Several families living at No 36 but no obvious business
  • 1861-73 - Mercantile Union Bank
  • 1880, 1881, 1885 - Arabella and Jessie Whetton, publicans
  • 1896 - Osborne and Company
  • 1903 - Charles Bray, bootmaker
  • 1912-1940 - James Francis Belford, tobacconist (later James Mauger Belford)
  • 1949-1970 - C Le Masurier Ltd
  • 1980 - Wine Lodge
  • 1990 - Banks Restaurant
  • 2000 - Crabtree and Evelyn

Memories

Pamela le Clercq: 'My father was the manager of that branch (of the Wine Lodge) for over 40 years. Down in the wine cellar remained an extremely thick metal door to the vault, which was left over from the days when it was a bank. The New Street stream runs underneath and would certainly back up on a high spring tide, on occasion only, to flood the cellar. I seem to remember the conditions for that back flow required a heavy swell and a high (or low) barometric pressure, so was infrequent. In the days when there were English, French and Guernsey day trips aplenty, from the harbour the tourists would walk directly up to King Street and this Wine Lodge Branch was the first main shop they would come across. In the '50s and early '60s I recall the shop floor being jam-packed with a queue outside on the pavement, looking out for the 2-way traffic! There was no stairway up to what later became known as Banks.'

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