TitleWigborough Shops and Businesses
AbstractA set of notes...

Beer Retailer
John Balls 1861 census - farmer of 28 acres employing 1 man and beer house keeper. Peldon Rd, Great Wigborough
John Balls 1871 census - farmer of 24 acres and beer house
James S. Balls 1891 census age 35 Licensed Victualler & farmer, Hall Road, GW.
James L. Balls 1901 census age 44 Farmer & Beer house keeper
James Balls, listed as Beer Retailer in Kelly's 1874, 1882, 1899, 1914, also in the 1918 and 1929 Register of Electors.

Carriers and Bus Proprietors
William Christmas, Percy Christmas - see Wigborough Carriers and Buses

There was a forge on the road to Salcott, about a quarter of a mile beyond the King's Head, and in the Parish of Virley. It is shown as 'Smithy' on the 1881, 1895 and 1925 Ordnance Survey Maps, and is now known as Forge House.

Essex Record Office has the 1833 will of Thomas Fookes, Blacksmith, of Virley. He leaves the property, business and goods to his Son Jonathan Fookes - we can then follow the succession of Blacksmiths in the census returns for Virley:

1841 Jonathan Foakes [Fookes] Blacksmith, age 50
1841 Lewis Sparrow Blacksmith, age 16
1851 William Tiffin Blacksmith employing 1 man, age 29
1851 William Neville Journeyman Blacksmith, age 37
1851 Benzilia Birling Apprentice Blacksmith, age 16
1861 Charles Hunwick Blacksmith, age25, Maldon Rd
1871 Nathan Howard Blacksmith, age 25
1871 Thomas Bright Blacksmith, age 36
1881 Thomas Bright Blacksmith, age 43, Colchester Road, Virley
1881 James H. Bright Blacksmith, age 17, son of Thomas, Colchester Road, Virley
1891 Thomas Bright Blacksmith, age 56, Colchester Road, Virley
1901 Thomas Bright Blacksmith, age 67, T.Darcy Road, Virley
1911 Thomas Bright Blacksmith and shoeing smith, age 77, Virley
Oct 1919 Thomas Bright Blacksmith, father of bride Great Wigborough wedding

There were also two forges in Peldon.

Samuel Hyam Hawker, age 32, Colchester Rd, GW. 1871 Census
Samuel Hyam Hawker, age 42, Colchester Rd, GW. 1881 Census
Samuel Hyam - Kelly's 1882
[A hawker is defined as a seller of merchandise that can be easily transported, or in older times, a person who hunts with hawks or other birds of prey.]

Public House
The Kings Head - see GWG_KHD
There was also a saddlers and harness making business attached the pub, mentioned in the census 1851 - 1881.

Shop and Post Office
Thomas Clark Grocer, Baker & Agricultural Labourer, Maldon Rd., Great Wigborough Age 54. 1861 Census
Thomas Clark Grocer & Baker, Maldon Rd., 1871 census
Thomas Clark, shopkeeper, Kelly's 1874, 1882

1950s and on
Alan Theobald says "The only shops I can recall are a small shop attached to a bungalow at Salcott cross roads. Dansies at Lower Road Peldon. Another very small shop that I can recall was at Chestnuts Farm belonging to Mr & Mrs Barrow, the parents of John & Robert Barrow. They opened a tiny confectionery shop on the side of the house. It's on the Peldon Road Great Wigborough. I seem to remember it from about 1956 or 1957, but don't know when they closed up.

Tammy Lou says "We had a mobile shop when I was a kid in the 1980s. He was more like a baker's van but had stuff other than bread and cakes.
Alan Theobald: there was a mobile shop came from Mersea ...

Oscar Whiting of Barfield Road had a number of mobile shops and vans. One run for the shops was through Little and Great Wigborough to Salcott, turning round at the end of the lane. The driver on this was normally Mr Nessling, with Rose Harvey serving in the shop.

In the days when cars were not common, most local shops would take orders and deliver. Dansie's from Peldon certainly covered Wigborough, and doubtless other shops further afield. The 'order book' would be put in, and the van would then deliver the order a day or two later.

Dorothy and Fred Bousfield ran the Oak Stores at Hardy's Green, Birch, around 1960. The would take orders and Fred delivered round Birch, the Wigboroughs, Salcott, Layer Breton, Copford and Easthorpe.

John Cook - Kelly's 1874, 1882

Thanks to
Ron Green
Tammy Lou
Alan Theobald

Read More
t=Will of Thomas Fookes of Virley 1833 ERO D/ACW 43/5/10

SourceMersea Museum