Bradder Street. The Bottom Shop

The above is the shop at the bottom of Bradder Street. In the beginning it was built by George Bradder, and it was decided at the time that his son Clifford Bradder would become the grocer who would manage the day to day running of the shop. He and his wife moved across the road from the family home “Arlington House” to run what was to be a successful business.

The shop and the area around it.

The shop was twice the size of the terraced houses on the street. The  rooms in the shop were much larger and gave views across the River Maun, Quarry Lane, and the railway’s stone built viaduct. I am not sure when the Corn Mill was demolished, as he would have also had views of the dam that had been constructed with locks to form the dam, opening the locks gave water to give the power that was supplied to the Mill.The shop also looked straight across the road allowing the view of Arlington House with it’s lovely gardens.

The shop had it’s own back yard and store room, and at the rear of the yard was the toilet and a small shelter where the old fashioned dust bin was housed, then attached to these was a coalhouse. Both the toilet and the coalhouse had fitted doors, the place for the bins did not, but was a little larger open room. At the back of these was the Tippin.

Although it was not so much a tippin behind the shop, for just behind the shop was a social hut, a kind of posh wooden large shed that had been converted into a place for out of work people, maybe to keep them out of the Lord Byron Pub  I don’t really know, what I do know is that they didn’t have a lot of money.

 Inside the hut was all sorts of things to keep them occupied. There were games, comfy chairs, tables, sports gear, a fire, cups to make a drink of tea. Outside was an allotment type garden that was nurtured by the men to keep busy.

There were the two shops on the street known as the Top Shop and Bottom Shop. It seemed, in my time. that the top half of the street went to the Top Shop, and the bottom half of the street went to the Bottom Shop. There were the people who would open up their front room to sell Greengrocery and vegetables to help pay the rent.

People who owned the Bottom Shop

I shall try to elaborate a little more on the people who in their turn owned the shop..I do not know the kind of money that changed hands for the business from owner to owner, but up to a point I would guess that the purchase price did increase each time up to the early 1960’s. There is little known of how long Clifford Bradder owned and ran the shop but in the 1930’s the owners were the Milton family, the proprietor was a Mr A. Milton.

By 1939 the shop was owned by Mr F Barker, I don’t think there was any movement during the war years, so I believe it continued to be run by the Barker family .  In 1947 it changed hands again, This time purchased by S. Austin. Now I cannot remember if the Austins had the shop first, and then moved across the road into Arlington House, or if they bought the shop whilst they lived in Arlington House. The Austins became very good friends of ours, especially Margery the daughter, she was very close to my eldest sister Alice…Funny, the thing I always remembered about Marge, that is what everyone called her, Marge was a tall quite large lady who took a size 11 shoe! But what a lovely family they all were.

The proprietors who next had the shop were Mr M. Beresford in 1949. The Beresford family had the shop until 1956 when it was taken over by Mr A.Milnes. Four years later it was again sold, this time to a Mr.D.Bowden in 1960, but wait a minute, were not the Supermarkets beginning to flood the areas with their large ‘We sell everything’ stores. Mr Bowden moved out and a Mr.G,W.Sellars took over in 1965 when sales were not as they used to be. Finally, after five years in the shop, Mr Sellars sold the shop to a Mr. Ledbetter, in 1971. He was the last proprietor of the Bottom Shop until 1974 when one of the Bradder families pride and joy buildings was demolished.

 It was the end of a piece of Mansfield’s important history, and each time I drive past, or walk the area, I get goose pimples, for each time I see people from the past who helped make Mansfield a decent place to live.

It is with a kind of pride that I write the stories of Bradder Street. Firstly because it brings back the lovely memories of my childhood days, and secondly, it sort of brings into my mind the memories of a close family that I no longer have, and in a funny way brings them here, for in my inner mind, I can see them on the street that also is no longer there. Alan C.



Alan Curtis

Comments about this page

  • Hello all 

    I am Gary my mother  is Marge and cousin to Carl, 1953  I was born at Arlington house  am not sure when we left Bradder Street  but I do remember living at Ladybrook estate thats where my father died. My next memory is living at that corner house  on Westfield Lane and is it Portland Street (I think) right next to the footy oval. My next memory, mother and step father Jim bought  a house back on Bradder Street, it feels she went home, but her dream was to go to Australia, In 1970 her dream cam true we arrived in Adelaide, Australia – three to six months my step father applied for a job at Whyalla about a 4 hour drive from Adelaide in the bush, the  whole family worked in Whyalla for two  years  then returned to Adelaide. So my mother Marge the daughter of Sam Austin came home to Bradder Street and full filled her dreams in Australia. I and am so happy to be her son .

    Regards Gary

    By Gary Noble (10/05/2014)
  • Hi, I just stumbled across this website whilst looking for old photos of my old school in Mansfield (QEGS for boys). My father was a Director at Neville Charrold Ltd.,  the factory that was built at the top of Bradder Street, and as a boy I recall the old terraced houses in Bradder street being demolished. One day I was in my dad’s car leaving the factory and I saw the “LYONS TEA” sign from this corner shop lying amongst the rubble. I asked him to pull over to take a look, and to this day I still own that lovely old metal sign, it’s still in my attic. Hope it evokes some memories for some of you?

    By Nigel (03/02/2014)
  • Hi All As promised, a few photos of my grandad Sam Austin with some of his family, including one of him with my Aunty Marge (for Alan Curtis) and her family prior to their emigration to Australia. Find them on page Sam Austin, Arlington House, Bradder Street, Quarry Lane. Regards Carl.

    By Carl Stevenson (11/01/2014)
  • Hello Carl, I distantly remember Sam Austin, Mrs Austin, Carmel Austin, I think his wife was Lucy. Carmel became quite a Spiv after the war along with my Brother in Law Reginald Atkins. (Refer to the comment from Tom Shead above). Carmel and his wife had a son named Ricky. Marge Austin married Jim Noble, a ginger haired man. I recall Marge having a child ,which she often brought with her when visiting our house.

    By alan curtis (05/01/2014)
  • Hi All, Thanks to Christina White of MDC for pointing me to this website. I am (one of) the grandsons of Sam Austin and nephew of Marge. I will post a few photos as soon as I get them out the loft . . . Happy New Year everybody Carl.

    By Carl (04/01/2014)
  • I remember in the late 50s going to Arlington House, Bradder St,. to buy tools, they were selling Government surplus tools, spanners etc.

    By Tom Shead (23/09/2013)

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