A History of Shops in Woodley

The 1847 Kelly’s Directory of Berkshire described Woodley as “a scattered village and consists principally of farm houses”. It gave the names of all the local farms, pubs and their owners, but did not list any shops.

By 1854 there were 3 shopkeepers listed in the directory: David Chandler, Joseph Eaton and Thomas Mundy. In the 1851 Census, Joseph Eaton and his son Gilbert were grocers living in a cottage in Bulmershe. The shop was probably the front room of his cottage. He also worked as a farm labourer.

In the second half of the 19th century, Kelly’s Directories listed a William Penn: bootmaker, Charles Clarke: hurdle maker, George Adey: dairyman, George Aldridge: baker and post office at Cobblers City and Elijah Brown: grocer.

The Post Office above was at Cobblers City, on the corner of Headley Road East and Tippings Lane. Cobblers City was an area of tradesmen like carpenters, furniture makers and shoemakers. George Aldridge had a bakery as well as the Post Office. The bakery was famous for its Zilvo flour.