217 - Brooks Cleaners Ltd.

At the time of writing this is A J' S Domestic Appliances.

Picture Some local people may recall that in the 1950s and '60s the firm of Brooks, dyers and cleaners used this shop.

The origins of Brooks goes back to 1819 when the firm of May & Collins was established. Their first depot/works was at 57 Castle Street, Bristol. In 1862 Alfred Brooks, the nephew of Mr Collins, bought out his uncles share in the business. In the 1880s the operation was known as Brooks London Dyer and Cleaner. The business expanded steadily and after 1945, Brooks had 65 branches, their fleet of laundry vans was a common sight.

Brooks had vacated No.217 by 1973 and the premises was used by a fancy goods business. For a time in the '70s, the shop was used for the sale of second hand car parts. Pride of place in the window was a 'leaping cat' silver jaguar. These were attached to the bonnets of 1960s Jaguar cars. By the early 1990s No.217 had been transformed into 'The Cake 'n' Coffee Shop'. If we go back to the early half of the 20th century this premises was an oil store, run by various members of the Leonard family.

An impression of Brooks
at 217 Church Road.   

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