Christmas in the Shops
In December 1898 the local press certainly had plenty of good things to say about the shops in Ryde. This brief excerpt extols the qualities of a few of them.
Mr E. Sweetman’s ales and stout are so well known as to need no commendation—the remarkable progress made by the firm is sufficient evidence of that. But to their usual extensive stock of wines and spirits they have just added a decided novelty in whiskey, which is said to be one of the most delicious liqueurs ever introduced. The foundation of it is the finest Glenlivet whiskey which is imported to a French firm who flavour it with Montmorency cherries. Those who wish to enjoy a new sensation this Xmas should try it.
Messrs. R. Colenutt and Sons, of Union Street fame, invite the attention of purchasers, large or small, to their price list of wines and spirits, which they guarantee to be the finest quality obtainable. An extensive assortment of all kinds of provisions, choice hams, dried and crystallised fruit and an immense stock of table delicacies at prices defying the keenest competition.
Mr H. G. Jolliffe’s well-known establishment, 126 High Street is as usual replete with every necessity for creature comfort. Mr Stroud in Cross Street has his customary good show of comestibles, and Mr Benjamin Gage, 167 High Street has laid in a large stock for the Christmas trade.
The Bodega Co, make a speciality of Christmas hampers, of from one to two guineas, forming an ideal present to the bon vivant.
A visit to Mr Arthur S. Marlow, of 19 Union Street, and 3 Melville Street, where cakes in endless variety are to be seen, from a rich wedding cake to those for a 5 o’clock tea. Christmas puddings, and fancy cakes for children’s parties are a speciality. Mr Marlow’s windows have been tastefully arranged this week with tempting confectionery.
Mr G.E. Mears’ hygenic bakery establishment is well worth a visit at Christmas. Cakes in every variety, with the “staff of life” in all its best-known forms, and also the celebrated hovis bread, as supplied to the Royal household.
Messrs Hooper and Sons, 9 and 10 Pier Street, have an enormous consignment of Norfolk and Isle of Wight Turkeys, while every variety of fish in season is here obtainable, also here is the only oyster bar in the town of Ryde where can be obtained best natives from 2s. per dozen.
The well-known firm of Truckel and Brind, of High Street, are well to the fore as usual, and comical figures of a clown taking snuff and a blacksmith vainly endeavouring to strike a light with flint and steel caused great amusement to large crowds of young and old.
Mr Purnell’s handsome shop, in High Street, with the largest plate-glass window in the Island, is admirably adapted for the display of his varied stock, and ever proves a source of interest. Charmingly arranged against back-grounds of an eastern arch hung with pretty drapery in one window and gold embroidery in the other.
Mr W. Watt’s usually attractive window, 29 Union Street, contains an elegant assortment of useful novelties suitable as gifts. For books this year is par excellence the depot, there being over a thousand to select from.
Mr W. E. Weeks, Union Street, one has difficulty in choosing from the many suitable gifts on view. For those to whom gifts of jewellery are most pleasing, this is the place to visit.
Source: IW Observer 24 December 1898
Image: RSHG Archive
Article: Ann Barrett