55½ King Street
The first reference we have found to 55½ King Street as a separate property was in the 1881 census, which shows the premises occupied by lamp and oil merchant Florence Becquet (1857- ) and her two-year-old son Edward. Mrs Becquet is described as 'married' not a widow, but there is no sign of her husband Edward, who was listed as the occupant in an almanac published the year before.
By 1885 W W Woods was running a millinery business at No 55½, and in 1891, when the premises were described in the census as 55a, they were occupied by draper Charles Woods (1863- ), presumably his son, wife Isabella (1868- ) and their year-old daughter Kathleen.
By 1900, and probably a few years earlier, Wilfred Baker (1878- ) was running the millinery business. He was shown in the 1901 census as a draper, living with his wife Adela (1878- ), daughters Winifred (1893- ), May (1894- ), and son Wilfred (1900- ), and Wilfred's grandfather Clement (1831- ), a retired master mariner. However, the distinction between No 55 and No 55½ is confused by advertisements placed when Wilfred Baker gave up his business in 1908. He advertised that the business at No 55 would close, but the auctioneer tasked with selling his goods and equipment showed 55½ in the advert below
From about 1930 until the 1980s the premises were occupied by Beuzeval's tobacconist, started by H P Beuzeval, whose ancestry we have been unable to trace. This business continued until the 1980s, when the premises were taken over by jewellers Sapphiro, and more recently travel agents Lunn Poly and Thomson Holidays have operated from No 55½
The property now appears in some official records as 55a King Street
- 1880 - E Becquet, paraffin lamp and oil depot
- 1885-1890 - W W Woods, milliner
- 1900-1919 - Wilfred Baker, milliner
- 1930-1980 - H P Beuzeval, tobacconist
- 1990 - Sapphiro, jeweller
- 2000 - Lunn Poly, travel agent
- 2010 - Thomson Holidays