Number 28 Cowes High Street - through the ages



The illustrations show Number 28 High Street in Cowes at various years going back in history.


The first illustration is Wine Therapy, an independent boutique wine shop established in Cowes in 2011.


The middle sketch shows how number 28 looked around the 1930s when it was the Domestic Bazaar Company (around 1927-37). The shop front looks identical, other than the colour, though the top window has been changed. The Domestic Bazaar Company Limited was started in Southampton by AO Beavis in 1895. They expanded quickly to 200 branches selling household goods, but the arrival of Woolworths in the 1930s selling similar, led to the collapse of the DBC.


In 1937 number 28 was Godwins’s the outfitters which stayed in the High Street until around the 1960s.


The illustration on the right suggests how Walter Sibley’s grocers business may have looked. Walter Sibley’s parents Thomas and Elizabeth appeared to be a perfumer and hairdresser in the High Street in the 1820s, occupying number 33 High Street Cowes in the 1840s. Son Walter started his business in the 1850s initially as a tea merchant and he lived over the shop at number 28 with his family. He died in 1892 and son Thomas took over the business. There are numerous newspaper articles featuring the Sibley family: petty theft from the shop, for selling non-weighed bread, for selling cocoa that didn’t quite fit the description, for keeping gun powder without a licence and for not transferring the wine licence from his father’s name.


It is clear from street photographs that the door was to the right of the building, with long rectangular windows on the left side of door. From the sign on the shop it would appear that they sold provisions and wine, especially to the yacht and shopping trade. There are numerous newspaper articles featuring the Sibley family: petty theft from the shop, for selling non-weighed bread, for selling cocoa that didn’t quite fit the description, for keeping gun powder without a licence and for not transferring the wine licence from his father’s name.


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