151 - Singer Sewing Machine Co. Ltd.

In the early 1900s No.151 was a 'Singer' sewing machine shop.

Sue Stead writes: 'At the end of WW1 my Granddad, Reginald Whale, returned to Bristol and worked as a sewing machine mechanic at the Singer Shop at 151, Church Road, Redfield. At the end of 1927 he was promoted to Manager of the shop. Since there was living accommodation above the shop, he and his wife Lily decided to sell their house in Northcote Road and move the family to Church Road.

Picture According to my Mum, Irene, the living accommodation was 'horrible'. There was a sitting room and a small kitchen at the back of the shop and three small bedrooms upstairs. Lily used to help Reg by selling in the shop and by visiting people in their homes and showing them how to use their sewing machines; she also made beautiful dolls' clothes and the dressed dolls were put in the shop window: they sold for £1 each. The family remained living in Redfield for seven years until July 1935 when Reg was promoted to manager of the Singer shop at 262, Gloucester Road, Horfield.'

In 1946 this premises was one of two Redfield Radio shops on Church Road. From the mid 1950s to around 1972 Mrs Lilian Lewis traded at No.151. She sold china and glassware and her shop was well regarded in its day. After Mrs Lewis left, the property was used by the Bristol City Friendly Society.

At the time of writing, No.151 is no longer a shop but the wording Bristol City Friendly Society can still be seen.

Reginald Victor Whale and his eldest daughter Irene
Lovelace Whale outside of the Church Road shop c.1934.

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