In September 2018, the High Wycombe Society received into its archives a donation of a collection of brochures relating to auctions of properties (mostly) in the centre of High Wycombe in the 1950’s through to the 1980’s. Assembled here in roughly chronological order, together they tell a potted history of our changing town. The brochures have been scanned, so clicking through on the links will take you to the individual pages.
From the 1950’s:
Desborough – A single brochure from 1954 concerns the sales of 226, 228, 230, 232 and 234 Desborough Road, 57, 59 and 61, Desborough Avenue and three villas: Nos 51, 53 and 55 Desborough Avenue.
7ChurchSt Built in 1930 by Messrs. John Bright (Outfitters) Ltd – hence the JB monogram on the frontage, by the time it was up for auction in 1955, the ground floor was shown occupied by James Walker The London Jeweller (see left), while the first floor was accommodating hairdressing saloons of Messrs. W G Harding Ltd.
11-12QueenSquare On sale in 1956, said to have been built 24 years previously for Boots Cash Chemists Ltd who had demolished the previous building on that site. A three-storey building including a showroom on the 1st floor.
15ChurchSt In 1957, the former Wycombe Savings Bank was being sold by the Custodian Trustees of London Trustee Savings Bank, a brick-built building with a parapet wall of stucco finish, being a good example of the architectural style of its period (see right). Title dating from 1842.
13-14OxfordSt formerly a china and glass shop, on sale with vacant possession in 1957.
46OxfordSt On sale in 1957, next door to G F Stacey. It appears on the map inside with the name of “Adrienne”, presumably the previous business to occupy the shop.
16QueenSquareWhiteHartSt Property for sale in 1958/9 – leaflet only.
Woolpack40-41OxfordSt Dated 1959, photographed clearly showing it was a Wethereds pub.
46-48Frogmoor Dated 1959 and including minimal pointers to earlier title commencement in 1884.
From the 1960’s:
RedLion+RyeHotels Dated 1961/2, with 3 bars, dining room for 120, banqueting cum ballroom for 300, lounge, 45 guest and staff bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, modern kitchens, the Red Lion Hotel was an iconic landmark in the High Street with 2 lock-up shops. Also in the brochure as a separate lot, the Rye Hotel comprised a modest 15 bedrooms.
OdeonCinema With a capacity of 1340, said in 1961 to have been built about 30 years previously, included a self-contained flat and two lock-up shops (see right).
148-158Desborough+59LondonRd Being sold by order of the trustees of the late F H Dring in 1961, the Desborough Road properties comprise a variety of tenancies – while the London Road property is described as a “pleasant semi-detached” house overlooking the Rye.
16ChurchSt Home to Milward and Sons Ltd., on sale in 1962 (see left).
1-3ChurchSt+2WhiteHartSt Sold together in 1962, partly vacant possession, formerly F H Dring Gentleman’s Outfitters and partly with a continuing lease for Shoe retailing unit.
59Frogmoor In 1963, a 3-storey factory and adjoining car park adjoining the Thames Valley Bus Station when it was in Frogmoor, included information about title commencing in 1932.
201Desborough At one time the property of a motor engineer, then a shop selling ladies’ gowns, more recently used in connection with ironmongery. On sale in 1963.
14-15HighSt A brochure with associated Auctioneers’ announcement. Leases include Imperial Stores and several different offices including those used by the Bucks School of Music and The Wycombe Show. On sale in 1964.
92+EastonSt+135QVR Dated 1964, this single brochure covers property from 92 to 102 Easton Street and round the corner to 1, 3 and 5 Queen Victoria Road. Many varied leases in operation and associated lock-up garages.
19HighSt Dated 1965 and offered with vacant possession, the photograph shows it in use as G.F. Stacey – Flowers and Fine China. Handwritten notes say the property was sold to Co-op Building society and subsequently let to International Travel in 1966.
1CrendonSt Dated 1967, the corner premises are said to be leased to Mrs G E Bedford as Milliner and Ladies Outfitter.
24-26Frogmoor Dated 1967, offered with vacant possession because the owner of the pictured old established business of R. Mealing & Son, Newsagents, Tobacconists and Retailers of Leather and Fancy Goods wished to retire.
17HighSt-BFPAdvert also mentions Pann Mill for Sale in 1967.
PannMill – dating from 1968 and including an aerial view of the Rye and East end of Town, in this brochure Pann Mill is described as a former water Grist Mill with adjoining Miller’s House and Office.
CastleStNewShops An undated brochure for the six shop units at the base of the new office block which would subsequently become known as Thame House.
CastleStThameHouse Hand-dated 1968, a leaflet only for the six shop units at the base of Thame House, two of which are already “Under Offer”.
Marlow Dated 1967, Shop premises with business and flat accommodation over Nos. 4 & 5 Market Square, Marlow. Brochure to be offered to the Marlow Society.
OctagonPart1 The earliest leaflets date from 1968 – block diagrams of planned shop units (see left).
From the 1970’s:
OctagonPart2 More detailed information when the Octagon units first went on sale.
OctagonPart2Appendix Update added to literature in 1971.
1-2HighSt Dating from 1970 – this single brochure includes the freehold of both No 1 and 1a High Street and No. 6 Church Square. At the time of the auction the properties were leased to Messrs H &J W Aldridge, Greengrocers, Fruiterers and Florists.
4BullLane Dated 1970, the premises are said to have been occupied for many years by Messrs. Frasers who wish to retire.
2-3BullLane Dated 1972, with a lease in place for G. Smith & Son (Fishmongers).
12WhiteHartSt+34GreenSt 12 White Hart Street otherwise known as Buckinghamshire House, the shop with the ornamental pigs, here illustrated belonging to the butchers: C Stevens & Sons. (see right) 34 Green St is also illustrated as C Stevens & Sons Ltd, Quality Butchers. Both on sale in 1973.
42OxfordStreet Dated 1973 and offered with vacant possession but photographed when it was Courtney’s Watches and Clocks. The brochure includes some earlier historical details relating to a marriage settlement in 1870 and subsequent inclusion in a will of 1906 of John Parker.
ChurchSt+QueenSquare Also in 1973, following the opening of Woolworth’s in the High Street, F.W. Woolworth & Co. are the vendors in this sale for their previous premises in Church Street and Queen Square.
From the 1980’s:
6WhiteHartSt Shown (in 1988?) as Wycombe Belle, between The Honeypot and F Hinds.
2OxfordSt Shown (in 1985?) as “Twinsum”. The whole of Frogmoor at this time is shown as a “proposed pedestrian area” – while Archway aka the “Frogmoor Bypass” is shown as a “shortly to be constructed” road improvement.
Unit6ThameHouse changed hands in 1985
OctagonParade Later sales of individual units. Nos 18 and 22 in particular.