Gerrards Cross, Packhorse Road, Summer 2011

The East side

This page was first created in 2002 updated in 2008 and now in 2011 is being rebuilt with new pictures, some new commentary but the most obvious change is that progress along the east side of Packhorse Road is shown from north to south.  Some of the commentary touches on changes between 1977 when an American friend went home and 2002 and some on changes between 2002 and 2011.  There is also a new link in 2014 to the changes created by the arrival of Tesco.  The page will be updated early in 2015 because there have been a number of changes since 2011.


We start our walk along Packhorse Road at the old Barclays Bank building, possible the most handsome building in the street..  It is now used by W R Beck, property management.


S.T.S Home Decor occupied the corner shop before the business moved along Oak End Way.  S.T.S was followed by Ducostat which started by offering stationery including office requirements which metamorphosed into a shop selling gifts of many descriptions, but new owners have joined the other shops selling clothes to fashionable ladies.  It is called Wine Rack now, but the next unit has been Stowells and Threshers before that, . Barnardos charity shop has been here for well over ten years, but before that, it was Jenny Lind, ladies's fashions.


In recent years, Health & Beauty Pharmacy has occupied two units.  Its original premises, on the left, was occupied by Savory & Moore, a Bond Street chemist. Rodgers Partnership used to be Worboys, a well known local butcher.  Ashley Brown, estate agent, in the next unit follows others over recent years, but it was Windsor Shoes before that, specialising, if I remember correctly, in children's shoes - they even had an X-ray machine!


Boots Opticians seems to have taken over D & A here and elsewhere   A little dress shop, Elna's, occupied the unit previously, following other dress shops under one name or another for a long time.  Cargo Home Shop was preceded by several businesses since Sainsbury's left.  Ones that come to mind are a dress shop and a steak restaurant.  What is extraordinary is that the shop front is still pure Sainsbury's!   Next door is Katies Confections.  These premises have housed bakers all along, under two or three names, but the one that sticks in mind from earlier days is Sturleys.  Changes in 2014 will be noted soon.  Next we come to the National Westminster Bank, occupying the premises formerly used by one its constituent parts, Westminster Bank.  Many changes inside, but largely unchanged outside.
Outside the bank is a new traffic light, mounted on an expensive stainless steel post, courtesy of Tesco who paid for various changes to our road system.  This set, at the junction of Station Road and Packhorse Road, with the one-way Ethorpe Crescent on the other side, is considered, by the local populace, a serious nuisance.  We have lost our light-controlled pedestrian crossing which was outside Katies.


In 2014 Guidelines shrank to the unit on the right, the two on the left, in December, still being unused.
For some of the time since County Garage went, these two shops were Cheyne ladies's and men's wear. All these premises are now Guidelines, ladies's fashions.   The unit on the right was part of County Garage, and the building at the end at the junction with Station Road for a period was occupied by Leisure Crafts.


Quite substantial changes to the scenery in this part of the road.  The new building to the left replaces the County Garage which had over-the-pavement petrol pumps, a way through to the rear premises and some retail space.  What we have now is the Subway snack bar, popular with the younger generation, and the tanning shop to get a healthy looking tan!. Hamptons used to be Giddy and Giddy, which is not much of a change


The new Tesco store opened 5 years late on November 29th, 2010.  It gets a large picture because it occupies a considerable length of Packhorse Road, replacing the railway bridge parapet which had been in place since 1905.  There is a small entrance on this side, the main one being some distance along the road to the left which leads to the car park.  Tesco made considerable efforts to make this store look different, with water features along this otherwise plain brick wall, with roof supporting pillars that are nicely clad with oak..

I have been asked, in 2014, what this part of Packhorse Road looked like before the arrival of Tesco.  I have added a supplementary page here which I hope illustrates the main changes.  You can go to it here.


The first shop in the parade south of Tesco is now Gascoigne-Pees, Estate Agents.  Previously it was occupied by Hetheringtons which a few years ago gloried under the name of Hetherington, Swannell & Secrett.  Frost has been an estate agent name here for a long time, but not always at this address.  Fine is another estate agent, occupying premises previously used by Haart, also in the property business.


The two units in the left hand picture used to be occupied by Bruce and Lumb, furnishers.  The first half of Bruce and Lumb is now a little place selling jewelry and gifts, although it has had a  number of incarnations since Bruce & Lumb left.  Woolwich Building Society occupied the next one which has been empty for quite a while now..

Cullen's was a good quality grocers, specialising in wines and cheeses in its later days, but in the mid '80s a restaurant took over, named Santucci for some years but now called Luna Rossa.  In 2014, the restaurant took over the unit shown here as being used by Sasso.  It now has a new front in the same style as the original restaurantJohn Morrish and then Anthony Badger sold jewelry here, then Ballare took over selling shoes, giving way to Sasso recently, specialising in various forms of tiles..


At the left is Cardella, selling cards, gifts and chocolates, but this was one of the two units occupied twenty five years ago by Percivall's, electrical appliances.   The little shop next in the parade sells smart ladies's fashions, previously under the name Lisa La Moda, which we will meet again further along the road, but now operated by Zugi.  It is not clear what went on in the premises back in 1975.  Next to that used to be Bott's the fishmonger - a much-loved shop but not loved enough for the response to the poster "use us or lose us!" to have enough effect to save the business.  It then became a men's outfitters but is now a charity shop run by Shaw Trust..  The last shop before Marsham Way is now the office of Brampton, Estate Agents.  Twenty five years ago, it housed Halls, men's outfitters.


The Post Office looks much the same on the outside, but the amount of space inside has been reduced.  It is now operated by a private business which includes sales of stationery and cards, together with a photo laboratory and Thornton's fancy chocolates..


Pilgrim House, with St. Andrew's United Reformed Church upstairs, was built on the site of the previous URC, its large car park and the hall behind the car park.  These shops are therefore all fairly recent, having been first occupied in the early 1980's.  Some of the seven units are still in the original trade although not under the original owners.  The two units on the left were a kitchen design and fitting shop, then the carpet and furniture shop also occupied both until it contracted to one unit and Fego Caffe opened its doors.  On the right, Lisa La Moda moved from where Zugi is now, so ladies's fashions have been here all through this period, and so on the right has a ladies's hairdresser. 
Major changes in these two views.  Lisa la Mode has taken over the space used by St. Giles Furniture and the equivalent man's shop has replaced Lisa la Mode.  Pictures will be added soon.


Where St Giles Furniture has traded since 2009,.early businesses were a bicycle shop and a shoe shop specialising in children's shoes.  Later a clothing hire business used both units.  Books have been sold in the next shop from the opening of this building, although under a number of titles.
Lastly, the entrance to St. Andrew's leads to a light and airy church upstairs, with useful additional rooms, including a good kitchen.  Gerrards Cross Congregational Church was established on this ground in the early 1920s and Christians have worshipped here continuously since then except for the two years it took to create this building in 1980 and 1981.


This building was used by the motor trade from the 1930s until 2006, when M & S adapted it to the format of a Simply Food branch.  It is hard to remember petrol pumps here!


The next building, Madeley House, was used by Hetherington solicitors for many years, but the present occupants keep quiet about their identity.  The Oaks office building is now (right-hand picture) used by a holiday company, but in the previous building on this site, the Ministry of Pensions and Social Security had an office, and next to it, Woodward and Stalder sold sports goods.


Finally, Packhorse Road presents a rather fine view of what were at one time alms houses.  The frontage is on East Common, so the buildings are not strictly on Packhorse Road but do provide a nice finale.

I do hope you found the tour informative.  Would you like to look at the west side now?

You just might want to go back to the introductory page!

Photos Guy Gorton

Updated May 2011
Updated December 2014