90–106 High Street, Staines-upon-Thames

Historic building recording by K Bower, P Cavanaugh and C Matthews of PCA revealed that nos 90-102 High Street were early 19th century in appearance and are shown on the 1841 tithe map. All had a ground, first and attic storey. Nos 104 and 106 are shown on the 1896 OS map and were probably constructed between 1864 and 1896, although no 106 was early 20th century in appearance. Both properties had a ground and first floor only. At the time of the initial recording, the ground floor interiors of all the shops had been opened up to create maximum shop space and were covered with modern wall coverings. Soft stripping revealed the scars of former chimneybreasts, staircases, shelving, shop counters and removed walls. The ground floor internal walls to the front of no 92 were lined with tiles that included a multi-tile pastoral scene signed ‘JE’ and dating from c 1937, when the shop was occupied by the Maypole Dairy Co Ltd. The Maypole Dairy Co was established by Watson Brothers in 1887, and their first shop was opened in Wolverhampton. They specialised in butter, margarine and eggs but also sold a narrow range of staples including tea and condensed milk. The walls of Maypole shops were often decorated with pictorial tile panels and a shop in Acorn Road, Jesmond (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) from 1921 to 1947 has two Arcadian scenes, also signed ‘JE’. Maypole apparently commissioned tiles from several different firms, including Pilkingtons, in the inter-war period. Further recording of no 92 revealed that original fireplaces, tongue-and-groove partition walls, plain four-panel doors, staircase, architraves and skirting boards had survived at first and attic floor level. No 96 was also of interest with its gas-light fittings, timber staircase, tongue-and-groove partition walls, timber-panelled partition walls, plain six and two-panel doors, architraves, skirting boards and historic paint scheme at first and attic floor levels. During the soft stripping of no 96, a mummified cat was uncovered within the structure of the first floor.