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Drews Ironmongers, Reading Berkshire - December 2019

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callumcrom00

Regular Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2018
Messages
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Location
Reading
It had taken me a while to do all this research as there isn't much information online about this building.

Built in 1871-1877 this means this building would have been one of the first large industrial buildings in the Caversham Road area. It was formally a Malthouse before Drews occupied it from 1977 and was owned by Henry Pendalebury Dowson (Of Castle Street). Mr Dowson owned another 2 Malthouses in Reading, one being on Tudor Road the other Malthouse Lane. Dowson's supplied Simonds Malt (On Bridge Street) until 1903. Drews occupied the site from 1978 until 2018. Before Drews a company Percy Smallbone Motor Engineering Company used the building. The Ghost Sign of the former Motor Engineering Company can be seen from Northfield Road side painted on but slightly faded away over the years. Percy H. Smallbone, motor engineer, came onto the scene in 1925, and his firm was there until 1947. Then came Brown Brothers, described as motor accessories factors, and later as electrical wholesalers. They were there until 1976. Drew’s moved in the next year. Percy Drew started the firm in 1925. The move to Caversham Road, well away from the main shopping area, must have been a risk, but one that paid off. Drew’s reputation went before them, and they always seem to know what you want in the ironmongery, hardware and do-it-yourself line, and to stock it. This one was just something i may as well tick of my urbex list, after finding it very easy to access. Drews Ironmongers was once a tool shop where you use to be able to pop down and buy tools even one screw if needed. The building became abandoned in late 2018 due to the company closing down permanently and is now sitting there quietly to rot away while awaiting for demolition to start. In 2020 the building became Locally Listed as a historical value to Reading.

[/url]Front exterior by Callum Cromwell, on Flickr[/IMG]
[/url]Side view by Callum Cromwell, on Flickr[/IMG]
[/url]Back rear by Callum Cromwell, on Flickr[/IMG]
[/url]Downstairs shop area by Callum Cromwell, on Flickr[/IMG]
[/url]Checkout desk on the ground floor by Callum Cromwell, on Flickr[/IMG]
[/url]Downstairs by Callum Cromwell, on Flickr[/IMG]
[/url]Stairs by Callum Cromwell, on Flickr[/IMG]
[/url]Upstairs of the store by Callum Cromwell, on Flickr[/IMG]
[/url]Old racks by Callum Cromwell, on Flickr[/IMG]
[/url]Upstairs desk by Callum Cromwell, on Flickr[/IMG]
[/url]Upstairs desk by Callum Cromwell, on Flickr[/IMG]
[/url]old shelves by Callum Cromwell, on Flickr[/IMG]
[/url]Staff area by Callum Cromwell, on Flickr[/IMG]
[/url]Staff room by Callum Cromwell, on Flickr[/IMG]
[/url]DIY area by Callum Cromwell, on Flickr[/IMG]
[/url]Untitled by Callum Cromwell, on Flickr[/IMG]
[/url]Stairs by Callum Cromwell, on Flickr[/IMG]
 

DarkHorse

Regular Member
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Aug 3, 2017
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Location
Near Hook. North Hampshire
I remember when Drews were in the town centre on the corner of Friar St and Greyfriars Rd. As a tool shop they always played second fiddle to Sergeants in Broad St but always good for hardware. I think Drews made a better strategic desision when they moved to a still visible location on the Caversham Rd whereas Sergeants moved out onto the Battle trading estate and just faded away.
 
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