Forrest's Shop, Bridge Street, Worksop

Photo:Forrest's Shop, Bridge Street, Worksop, c 1940s-50s

Forrest's Shop, Bridge Street, Worksop, c 1940s-50s

R Barrowcliffe

By Helen Fox

Do you remember this shop - what did it sell?

This page was added by Inspire Librarian on 26/11/2010.
Comments about this page

This shop was a high class ironmongers. The large kettle, above the door, a well known feature, still exists.

By R.A.
On 08/12/2010

Mr Henry Forrest, a farmer’s son from Barlborough, had arrived in Worksop by 1851 and was working as a “servant” and ironmongers shopman to Mr Reuben Shaw at 13 Bridge Street. Within 10 years Henry Forrest had set up his own business as an ironmonger at the top of Bridge Street, number 96 (since renumbered 124) employing 6 men, a premises that would serve 3 generations of Forrest’s. In 1863, Henry married Pleasance Shaw, who was the daughter of his previous employer. Henry arranged the shop front to stand out from other shops by having carefully managed hanging plants cascading over its balconies and shop entrance. Another well known and local landmark feature of its day, was a large golden coloured kettle which was erected over the shop entrance by Henry Forrest and stood there for many years until the shop’s closure in 1959. Records exist by the ‘nuisance inspector’ in 1859 of complaints by passers by, of water dripping from this novelty steaming kettle. As well as the ironmongers shop frontage, there was an alleyway at the side which led to a range of workshop buildings, housing their engineering and metalworking side of the business. Towards the end of the 19th century, Henry Forrest had developed and manufactured a handmade metal bladed malt shovel which became popular in the malting industry and were sold throughout the country. The original Victorian style workshop machinery was still in operation until the premises closed and the buildings are now in use by small businesses. The yard behind the shop is still officially named today as “Forrests Yard”. When Henry Forrest died in 1924 at the ripe age of 92, his son, John P Forrest became the proprietor of the company. He was well known in Worksop as a pioneering motorist at the turn of the century, when cars were a rare sight. A photo of him and his father taking a spin, is reproduced in “Worksop Times Past” by M. J. Jackson. 3rd generation Jeffrey Philip Forrest took over in the 1950s. This appears to be a period in time when there was a decline in ironmongery and hand made implements due to modern mass production methods. By the end of the decade J P Forrests and Son, after a hundred years of trading, moved to smaller premises on Gateford Road. Upon the retirement of the last generation of the Forrest family to own the company in 1964, Mr James Hodgkinson, a former employee, purchased the company and operated as a sole trader. The company moved to its present location on Claylands Avenue in 1981, and offers a sub-contract engineering service to industry which the founder, Henry Forrest may well have been proud of. The kettle is still in existence and is displayed at the new premises. Nowadays, the old shop has been ‘modernised’ and has had several changes of traders but no longer has the recognisable character of its former days of glory.

By Colin Dannatt
On 24/03/2011

I have a Yorksire Range in my house made by SHAW & SON, WORKSOP.

By S W. S26
On 14/04/2011

The building was purchased by Gordon Nunns from Castleford ( not sure which year) he ran a betting office on the first level, and a furniture shop and gifts on the street level. I worked in the shop 1970-75 and during that period it changed from furniture to fashion.

By Diane Poplar
On 22/08/2015

Thanks to everyone for your comments on Forrest's shop - some very interesting historical information, and also great to hear from someone who worked there!

By Helen Fox
On 25/08/2015

Reuben Shaw was my gr gr gr grandfathers brother.

By Steven Roberts
On 20/09/2015

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