58 High Street Stanstead Abbotts

A 1950s family business

Stuart Moye


        Number 58 High Street Stanstead Abbotts is just two doors along from the junction with South Street, currently the home to Taylor Heating. For many years in the C20th this building displayed an angled sign with gold letters advertising “HOVIS” bread. The Jones family had taken on the shop in 1934 and ran it as a bakers and confectioners. The Jones family remained until 1948/9 when they sold the building and business to Mr. Carpenter

R Jones, Bakers and Confectioners 58 High Street as it appeared in 1948/9

         Mr William C. Carpenter had after WWII started up in a road haulage and coal merchants business with a Mr Baron. The business was known as Barons and Carpenter and operated out of premises off The Broadway, West Hendon in London NW9.


A Barons and Carpenters lorry at the Hendon business premises about 1948

Wishing to diversify and run a business on his own he looked to Hertfordshire and found two businesses that he felt suited his requirements. At about the time he was purchasing the shop in Stanstead Abbotts he also managed to buy a smallholding near Braughing. At the time the location of this business was known as Highview but today it is known as Friars. Paperwork that survives indicates that he had taken over this smallholding by August 1949.


Mr Carpenter’s lorry at the Braughing smallholding about 1950


Mr Carpenter commuted by car to Hendon as he still had an interest in Barons and Carpenter. He also oversaw the running of the smallholding while his wife ran the bakers and confectioners shop at number 58. She was assisted in the shop by her sister Anne for about 5 or 6 years. The shop delivered produce to people’s homes and soon had a suitably lettered small van for this purpose.

The shops delivery van with gold lettering on black paintwork