Our second article by Tony Barnard of Stoke Damerel Parish Church.
The church at Stoke Damerel issued its first monthly magazine in January 1878. In modern times each magazine carries between eight and a dozen advertisements for local businesses, services, or charities, no paid-for advertisements appeared in that publication, or any of the other monthly magazines for that first year of publication.
Though we do not have any copies from 1879, in the church archives there is a bound volume containing all of the 1880 magazines. The first four traceable adverts were published in January of that year. As can be seen, these adverts were all printed on just one page.
In the January 1904 magazine, the number of adverts had increased quite dramatically. There were adverts for a total of 25 companies, presenting their wares or services. These businesses have all now disappeared, as well as some of the buildings.
J. TOMLINSON & SONS, of Devonport Nurseries, do not give an address, but no doubt everyone knew where the nursery was to be found. Maybe this was to the north of “Higher Stoke” where a nursery is noted on old maps of the area, partway down what we now call Ford Hill. One interesting advert is for Wm. Browning, Coach Proprietor of 12 Trafalgar Place. He states: “First-class Wagonettes, Landaus, Victorias and Broughams lent by the hour”.
The advert for C. WHITE, at No. 36, seems to differ little from what one would expect from a Greengrocer today, although sausages might be an unusual item for them to deal in nowadays. One might now also have difficulty in obtaining “Reeves & Rademakers’ high class confectionery”, “Sunny Island Tea and Coffee” or “Beechwood Hams and Breakfast Bacon”
At No. 37, M. CHURCHWARD appears to be qualified to cover most building works. Though unusual for a builder today, in 1904 the position of “bell hanger” might have been of use to local churches.
Towards the end of Mr. Churchward’s entry he indicates that he can supply and fit “Electric Bells”. This may have been a luxury item at that time.
At 80 Albert Road, DAMERELL’s list of wares does not seem to include communion wine, although the “Special Port” at 8 shillings and 6 pence per gallon (equal to 421/2 new pence) might have been acceptable for church use. Some comparison to today’s prices can be seen from the cost of Plymouth Gin – 2 shillings and 3 pence for a bottle (just over 10 new pence) – you would now need to spend in excess of £20.00 for the same amount! The prices listed for the supply of wines and spirits are fascinating to read, as well as the liquid volumes available.
All advertisements reproduced in the above article have been photographed from the originals published in Stoke Damerel Parish Church magazines between January and December 1904. These documents are held in the parish church archives.