The Dale and Kerley’s department store (now TJ Hughes) sold top of the range products, being one of the four premier stores in the town in the 1920s and 1930s. Its restaurant was rather exclusive with tea dances taking place each afternoon.
The store was built in 1926 when a number of small shop units were rationalised. During WW2 it was used for making parachutes before being bombed. The store was rebuilt in much the same style and was acquired by Barkers in 1953. After that it became Army and Navy Stores, and then TJ Hughes.
Opposite to TJ Hughes is a fish and chip restaurant (Qualisea). This site was formerly known as Chapman’s Corner. Chapman ran a successful business in the latter part of the 19th century with horse-drawn hackney carriages, omnibuses and freight wagons. He was said to have had 400 horses in harness and such was the extent of his holdings, he became the town’s largest ratepayer. This all changed when the Council launched the world’s first municipal motor bus company in 1903, but Chapman adapted by buying charabancs. By 1910 he was running regular services to London and by the 1920s he was operating tours of the Italian Lakes. The business was sold to Southdown Buses in the 1930s.