This view of Browne and Gradidge Ltd was taken in 1907.

The shop was at 19 High Street, two shops down from the Globe Hotel and was a partnership or business agreement between bookseller and printer Frederick J J Browne, and chemist William Ivimey Gradidge.

A generation earlier, Gradidge’s mother Ann had been a chemist and stationer on the opposite side of the street, next to the George Inn.

Ann’s chemist husband had died young and once he was old enough, William took on his mother’s shop. He married Emily Browne in 1877 and they employed two members of staff.

During the 1880s, the couple and their family of four daughters, moved across the road to this shop at No 19 and joined up with his father-in-law Frederick Browne.

He had been involved with several projects already, including running a local newspaper which had a succession of name changes – the Andover Chronicle, the Andover Standard, the Hampshire Rag and then back again to the Andover Standard before it finally ran out of steam.

He also started Andover’s first waterworks as a private venture in 1876. This was eventually bought by the council fifteen years later.

Browne died in 1896 but his name remained over the door of the shop and it continued to offer its customers a mixed assortment of goods and services.

As well as a chemist, for which Gradidge was qualified, there was a printing office down the side alley to the left, a photographer’s studio, a mineral water manufactory - which may also have been to the rear - and a stationer’s.

The firm was also a bookseller and lending library. The window signage here does suggest that there were two separate businesses, i.e. Gradidge and Son and Browne & Co but it is difficult to ascertain how it was all divided or whether there were joint enterprises as well.

A few years after this photograph was taken, the bookselling business was taken over by Weaver and Co and, as the premises were shared between the two businesses, the same front door was used for both; once inside it was left to the chemist and right to the bookshop.

The historian Bill Prosser wrote that his first job on leaving school was to work there at 5/- a week and it was run by a Miss Traylor who unfortunately ‘was a very difficult lady to work with and always looked miserable’. Happily, his woes were lightened by Miss Coleman: ‘a beautiful girl’ who ‘held the shop together’.

Browne and Gradidge continued into the 1950s when the shop was taken over by chemist John Ponting, but his early death in 1967 enabled Woolworth’s to buy this site as well as the four properties next to it.

The side entrance was moved to the right-hand side of the building but it may in the end have been surplus to Woolworth’s requirements.

Happily, it was not demolished and re-built like the line of adjacent shops, and the building – or at least its façade.

It still survives today as Caffè Nero.