This postcard shows Andover market on a Friday during the late 1920s (changed to Saturdays after the Second World War).

It is a far cry from the line of smart, canopied stalls that we see today – much more basic with heavy wooden trestle tables and either makeshift covers or nothing at all overhead as protection from the rain.

The stall in the foreground has much of the fruit and vegetables piled up directly onto the street although the main display is laid out onto a flat bedded cart.

Noticeably, there were fewer stalls in those days, though the grey, wintry day had maybe put off anyone not selling essentials.

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Looking at the shoppers, especially the woman nearest the camera, shorter skirts had come in and everyone wore a hat – the trend being cloches for women and trilbies for men.  

Around the street, the war memorial is still in its original place in front of the Guildhall; Walter Rugg’s tobacconist is this side of the George Hotel, while the other side of it is Ford’s the boot and shoe dealers.

To the left is Barclay’s bank, in the same building as now, built in 1915 to a design by Horace Field who also did Lloyd’s on the opposite side a few years later. Both have architectural similarities to the Guildhall of 100 years earlier.

Made with Flourish

Next to Barclay’s is the wine merchants, T Dowling and Son.

This was a well-established business of Victorian origin; during the late 19th century, there were two Thomas Dowlings with shops on opposite sides of the High Street, one an ironmonger and the other a wine and spirit merchant; to avoid confusion, they were known as ‘Gin’ Dowling and ‘Tin’ Dowling.

Right of the Guildhall, is the building forever remembered as Scott’s shoe shop, though this was prior to his occupancy, and was then the music shop Handel House under the proprietorship of Arthur D Robbins.

A decade before, it was the brewery offices of Messrs Poore and Son.

Finally, Chaplin’s, the name on the lorry, belonged to a haulage firm, based in Town Station Yard.

A general market extending down the centre of the High Street, as it does here and continues today is not a practice that has gone on forever.

When the Guildhall was built in 1825, it was open on the ground floor and market traders would pay for their regular pitch underneath.

Later, in 1855, the Guildhall was enclosed and the cobbled forecourt was constructed to accommodate the stalls on that.

A corn market was held from noon to 2 am on a Saturday but complaints by the farmers that Saturday was a bad day for them caused it to be changed to Friday in 1857.

During the early 20th century, the corn market was confined to the lower Guildhall and a more general market evolved in the High Street.

In 1939, for reasons of supposed public safety, the market was moved to the corporation yard, a site that was roughly on the grounds of the present car park behind the recently-closed Sainsbury’s.

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It remained there until 1947 when it returned to the High Street and market day was changed back to Saturday.

Pedestrianisation of the street allowed for the introduction of more stalls, whereas the recent innovation of various Sunday artisan and craft markets brings extra activity to the shopping area.

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