This building on the corner of the upper High Street is one of the sad casualties of town development. Pictured above, in around 1910, it was the offices for Poore’s Brewery. The house immediately behind it was the living accommodation of the brewery manager William Tilbury and this may indeed be him standing outside.

Essentially it was a fake, decorative façade constructed in the 1880s around a much older building to give a more prestigious look. The brewery itself lay behind, hidden from view and occupied the entire length of the shops behind the Guildhall, and entered from West Street. This street is now the site of the Chantry Centre.

There were several breweries in and around the town during the 19th Century but they were small, individual affairs and could not compete with the much larger conglomerates that began to dominate the market after the First World War. Poore’s Brewery was well-established but its owner Philip Henry Poore was nearly 80 by 1920 and he took the decision to sell up to the Winchester Brewery Co (later Marstons). Local breweries owned pubs around the district and this was the real asset that the larger companies wanted. The actual breweries themselves were of little use and sold off.

Poore’s offices were bought by Arthur Bertie Scott who let them to E Price, then music sellers on the corner of Union Street. However, the office doors and windows of No 51 were not suitable and a large double-fronted arrangement replaced the small front door and windows above. In addition, another large window was put in at the side. Price’s named their new shop Handel House, one of several Price premises of that name in other towns and the Andover shop was eventually run by the founder’s grandson A D Robbins who, after a few years, ran out of enthusiasm.

In 1932, A B Scott moved from 74 High Street into what were his own premises and this then became a shoe shop, known locally as Scott’s Corner. William Tilbury’s old house was one of the last houses in the High Street to be converted into a shop, becoming Teague and King’s, and later Sainsbury Fisher. A B Scott died in 1944 and the premises were taken over by his son. Sadly however, in 1968-9, the entire run of old shops behind the Guildhall was demolished.