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Author Topic: Treacher's Book Shop and Library - Brighton  (Read 198 times)
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Craggs
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« on: January 06, 2018, 08:59:17 AM »

Mr Harry Treacher was a very well known and respected businessman in Haywards Heath and Brighton in the 1800's.  In Haywards Heath he was a prominent member of the local community and took a lead in public affairs, community and church matters.  In Brighton he was well known as a businessman and the joint proprietor of a large and well known bookshop and library.

The bookshop that he owned in the 1800's was at No.1 East Street.  The building as he knew it can be seen on an old photograph which can be viewed using the link - My Brighton and Hove history notes and photographs East Street - this is shown as copyright and although I have tried to get permission to copy it I haven't yet managed to do so - so click on the link to see it.

This bookshop existed and continued to trade as such after Harry Treacher's death in 1891.   The business moved premises several times and likewise changed hands several times over the last 120 years or so. There are references to it in West Street, Duke Street and North Street. The final closure of the business which played a large part in Harry Treacher's life is described and shown in photographs on the internet site - Occasional Notes Brighton Book Shops Holleyman and Treacher/Colin Page - this is a modern day site with modern day people.  Reading through the account of the last days I like the description of the business as "a major antiquarian bookshop".  The internet is brilliant for a lot of things but does bring about the closure of small business such as this.

The following three newspaper articles are about Harry Treacher and were published at the time of his illness / stroke, his death and an obituary.  The third article shows how he started his bookshop business in Brighton.

Harry Treacher.
Born 27th January 1832
Died 29th September 1891 aged 59 years


Mid Sussex Times - Tuesday 22 September 1891

WE REGRET TO HEAR, and a large number of friends will, we are sure, join with us in the same expression of regret, that Mr. Harry Treacher, of Oaklands, Haywards Heath, and Brighton, is prostrated by illness at his residence here.  Mr. Treacher was taken, on Friday, with a stroke which has affected his left side, but he is receiving the best of medical attention.


Mid Sussex Times - Tuesday 29 September 1891

DEATH OF MR. HARRY TREACHER - We regret to have to announce that our old and highly respected resident, Mr. H. Treacher, of Oaklands, Haywards Heath, and of The Royal Library, North Street, Brighton, died at 12.20 to-day (Tuesday).  Deceased health failed since the recent death of his nephew and partner, Mr. H.P. Moreton, and on the 18th inst. Mr. Treacher was afflicted with a stroke which affected his left side.  He was an ex-Chairman of the Local Board, and was in his 60th year.



Mid Sussex Times - Tuesday 06 October 1891

THE DEATH OF MR H. TREACHER.

HIS CAREER AND FUNERAL.

Our last issue contained a brief notification of the death of another of the most highly respected residents of Haywards Heath in the person of Mr. Treacher, of, Oaklands, Haywards Heath, and North-street, Brighton, the sad event taking place wo were going to press.

Immediately after the recent death of his nephew and partner, Mr. H. P. Moreton, Mr. Treacher Was taken seriously ill—he had previously been ailing- and about fortnight ago was stricken with paralysis.  The patient was placed under the care of Mr. Jowers and Dr. Wells, but the highest medical aid was unavailing, and Mr. Treacher died peacefully shortly after mid-day last Tuesday, in his 60th year, leaving a widow, four sons, and two daughters to lament his death.

Mr. Treacher waa native of High Wycombe, Bucks, and after leaving sschool obtained a clerkship in the Bank England.  His elder brother, the late Mr. Charles Treacher, who was apprenticed as a bookseller to the late Mr. Lovejoy, of Reading, came to Brighton 40 years ago as a manager to Messrs. H. S. King and Co., booksellers.  A few years later Mr. H. Treacher came to Brighton, and with his brother Charles took over the business from Messrs. King, and under their able management, especially the business-like aptitude of the late Mr. C. Treacher,  the connection of the firm speedily developed, and throughout the South of England the well-known firm of "Treachers, Brighton,” was recognised.

Mr. Harry Treacher’s interest in the progress of Brighton was particularly keen, though took no part in local public affairs, giving his services rather for the benefit of Haywards Heath.  It was here that be took up his residence, first at Scrase Bridge, on the Lindfield -road, and then at Oaklands, which has been his home for full 25 years.  He entered public life in 1872, being elected member of the first Local Board of Haywards Heath on the 1st day of July of that year, 121 votes placing him third on the poll.  Among his confreres ware the late Rev. R. E. Wyatt, the late Mr. C. Golding, Mr. E. J. Reeves, and Mr. T. Bannister, the last-named being now the only surviving member of the original Board on the existing Board. [ln connection with the first Board it is a sad coincidence that three of its members have passed away this year —Mr. C. Golding, Rev. R. E. Wyatt, and now Mr. Treacher]. Mr. Treacher remained on the Board some years, when there occurred one of the liveliest elections yet known in the local government history of Haywards Heath, Mr. Soper (the present Mayor of Brighton) being one of the aspirants for local honours.  After the election, Mr. Soper not being successful, several of the most influential members of the Board retired, the Rev. R. E. Wyatt, Mr. Treacher, and Mr. Beeves being among the number.  

A few years later there came the great gas controversy, the Local Board reverting to the mediaeval oil-lamp days, and laying themselves open to much criticism for their action.  Mr. Treacher and Mr. Soper afterwards returned to the Board with Mr. Marsh, and gas lighting was resumed. Mr, Treacher, during this period of service on the Local Board, was elected Chairman, and retained the post until he again resigned his seat in 1889.

Her Majesty’s Jubilee happened during Mr. Treacher’s tenure of office, and he took a leading part in the due celebration of that auspicious  event.  He acted as Chairman of the Jubilee Commemoration Committee, the chief and most successful work of which was the purchase of the remaining portion of the old Heath for the purpose of converting it into a Recreation Ground far Haywards Heath.  Tho ground was purchased, and on Jubilee Day was dedicated to the use and enjoyment of the people for ever, its control being placed in the hands the Local Board.  When the time came for his retirement by rotation Mr. Troacber did not seek re-election on the Board, although watching the affairs of the town with great interest.

Mr, Trencher was a devoted Churchman, and as such took the deepest interest in the Choral Society, Penny Readings, etc., in the early days of St. Wilfrid's Parish. The closest friendship existed between him and his family and the late Rev. R, E. Wyatt, Mr. Treacher acting Churchwarden of St. Wilfrid's Church for eighteen years.  The same friendly relations extended to the present Vicar, the Rev. T. G. Wyatt.  On the death of the Rev. R. E. Wyatt, Mr. Treacher took a leading part in the movement which secured the appointment of the Rev. T, G. Wyatt to the living of Haywards Heath, and was one of the principal subscribers to a fund to increase the endowment of St. Wilfrid’s Church as memorial to the late Vicar.  Mr. Treacher acted as Secretary to this fund, and this was about the last public movement in Haywards Heath in which he took an active part.

He was deeply beloved by his family, and he possessed many qualities which were highly appreciated and valued by those who were favoured by his personal friendship.  As business man his character was of the highest.  He was Managing-Director of the Haywards Heath Gas Company, and he took part in the management of other public Companies.  The commnnity at Haywards Heath have sustained great public loss by his death, while the family circle and the wider circle of friends has been broken by a loss that will be long and sincerely mourned.  His eldest son, Mr. Thomas Treacher, who has for several years past assisted his father at Brighton, was educated at Lancing College, and served his apprenticeship with one of the leading booksellers in the North of England, viz., Mr, Holden, of Liverpool.  His third son, Mr. A. V. Treacher, solicitor, was articled with Mr. J. K. Nye, of Brighton and Haywards Heath.

THE FUNERAL

The funeral took place on Saturday morning at St. Wilfrid's Churchyard, in the presence of a large and sympathetic gathering.  From Oaklands to the Church, which was reached shortly after eleven o'clock, the coffin was conveyed on a bier, followed on foot by the chief mourners, most of whom carried beautiful wreaths of flowers.  Near St. Wilfris's Schools the little procession was joined by a number of residents of Haywards Heath and Brighton, many being personal friends of the deceased gentleman.  At the door of the church the Rev. T.G. Wyatt (Vicar of Haywards Heath), the Rev. F.H. Talbot and the Rev. H.J.Rush met the coffin and headed the procession up the aisle of the sacred edifice.

The chief mourners were : Mr. T. Treacher,  Mr. W. Treacher,  Mr. A.V. Treacher,  Mr. M. Treacher,  Mr. and Mrs. Kirby,  Miss Ethel Treacher,  Mrs. C. Treacher,  Miss Nicholson,  Mr. Moreton,  the servants and employers of Messrs J. Clifford, J. Orbell, H. Pearce, W.J.C. Coates and J.W. Wainwright.   Following these was a large body of sympathising friends, among whom may be mentioned...........

(there then follows a very long list of mourners and then an equally long list of floral tributes which I will politely skip)
__________________________________________________

This topic started with another post about one of Mr Harry Treacher's sons who died of typhoid as a result of eating oysters in Brighton in 1903.  Mr. Arthur Treacher was a Brighton solicitor and to see a newspaper account of the incident and how this topic came about please see - Oysters and typhoid
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pomme homme
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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2018, 16:04:46 PM »

I read Noel's post with interest but found myself wondering how (if it did) Harry Treacher's bookshop evolved into the Holleyman & Treacher bookshop that I knew and frequented much.

I've failed to find anything concerning the bookshop after Harry Treacher's death in 1891. I note that he had been in partnership with his nephew but that this nephew had predeceased him. However he left a widow, four sons and two daughters. So did one or more of them continue the bookselling business after Harry Treacher's death?

I have to confess that initially I'd assumed that, after his death, Treacher's bookshop was acquired by George Holleyman, who had retained the name of Treacher in the title of the business by virtue of the goodwill attaching to it. But very quickly I disabused myself of this notion - not least because George Holleyman was not born until 1910 and not until 1937 did he 'set up his own secondhand bookshop ... at 23 Duke Street, Brighton' (q.v. http://www.sussexrecordsociety.org/in-memory-of/george-holleyman-1910-2004/).

So assuming (which, I accept, may not be the case) that Holleyman & Treacher's bookshop was the lineal descendant of Treacher's bookshop, can anyone provide any information regarding the period between 1891 and 1937? Did one or more member of Harry Treacher's family continue to run the bookshop between 1891 and 1937? If so, who was it and for how long did they do so? If this was the case, it would not seem that, within this period, George Holleyman came into that business and eventually succeeded to it (certainly if the Sussex Record Society obituary of the man is strictly correct). Could it have been the case that when in 1937 George Holleyman established his secondhand bookshop, he acquired the stock and/or goodwill of Treacher's Bookshop? Or maybe the simple fact is that my assumption is erroneous. Maybe there is no direct connection between Treacher's bookselling business and that of George Holleyman. But if so, can anyone explain why George Holleyman, who at all times appears to have traded on his own account, decided to add the name of Treacher to his own to arrive at the name of his bookselling business in Duke Street, Brighton?

Footnote: I've just noted, belatedly, that George Holleyman's obituary states that 'he resumed bookselling at 21a and 22 Duke Street, Brighton, in 1946 under the name Holleyman & Treacher Ltd.'. Assuming that Treacher's bookshop had continue to trade after Harry Treacher's death and upto (and possibly through) the war, could this have been when the two businesses merged?
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pomme homme
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« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2018, 16:20:08 PM »

In two other obituaries of George Holleyman (q.v. https://www.sal.org.uk/salon/archive/issue?no=103&f=2&fs=undefined&cs=undefined and http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=2146411915) the following statement is made: 'After the war Holleyman set up an antiquarian bookshop, Holleyman and Treacher, in Brighton (Treacher withdrew after the first year)'. If that's correct, who was the Treacher mentioned?

It occurs to me that if anyone has access to the Brighton trade directories for the period 1891 to 1946, and looks therein under the heading 'booksellers', it may be to ascertain more about, respectively, Treacher's Bookshop and Holleyman & Treacher's Bookshop.

Footnote: I've now read Holleyman's obituary in the Times of 10 November 2004 (q.v. http://www.aniodhlann.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2004.208.1.jpg) and it is evident that both of the two obituaries mentioned above lift their text, including the passage quoted, from that.
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Craggs
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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2018, 08:48:36 AM »

'After the war Holleyman set up an antiquarian bookshop, Holleyman and Treacher, in Brighton (Treacher withdrew after the first year)'. If that's correct, who was the Treacher mentioned?

I've been digging through the newspapers regarding Holleyman and Treacher to try to find out "who was the Treacher mentioned ?."   I can't give an answer based on what was published at the time.  

The only Treacher "of Haywards Heath and Brighton" who often makes the newspapers "after the war" was Harry Treacher's grandson, Mr. A.V. Treacher, son of Mr A.V. Treacher who died from typhoid when he ate the oysters in 1903.  Mr. A.V Treacher (senior) was Harry Treacher's third son. His other three sons don't make the newspapers at all.  

Mr. A.V. Treacher (senior) dealt with the probate for his father's will and estate.  Mr. A.V. Treacher (junior) starts to make the papers as a sportsman and amateur dramatic performer in the pre-war years after his father's death.  In WWI he is a Lieutenant then Captain with the Royal Garrison Artillery.  After the war in the early 20's he is shown in the newspapers as taking up an acting career in London with the comment "Prior to taking theatrical life Mr. Treacher was bent on a legal career".  One newspaper article does show that he was actually a "member of the legal profession" before the war.

Bexhill-on-Sea Observer - Saturday 13 July 1918

COUNTY NOTES

Last week-end there came home on leave Captain A. V. Treacher, R.G.A., son of Mrs. Treacher, of Muster Green, Haywards Heath, and Brighton. The gallant officer, who had had dysentery in France, was looking very fit, and he says Army life is "top-hole.”  In pre-war days Captain Treacher was a member of the legal profession.


Sussex Agricultural Express - Friday 20 May 1921

COUNTY NOTES

Mr. Arthur Treacher, of Haywards Heath, who is on the boards the London Pavilion, has won the Oscar Ashe golf championship.  Prior to taking theatrical life Mr. Treacher was bent on a legal career.
__________________________________________

There are a number of newspaper advertisements which show that "H and C Treacher" continued to trade under that name after Harry Treacher's death.  I am trying to plan a trip to "The Keep" to look up some files in the County Archives.  They should have a copy of the 'Brighton trade directories for the period 1891 to 1946' - I'll see what I can find out.

My own uneducated guess - and it is a guess - Captain A.V. Treacher returned from the war, where he had found the Army life to be "top-hole".  He couldn't face the prospect of resuming his legal career and going back to working hard as a solicitor.  He flits about a bit, and for a short while enters business with Holleyman and tries to work in the book trade, that created by his grandfather.  Finding that this also entails working hard he decides to chuck it all in and become an actor and live a theatrical life - only a guess  Smiley but I bet I'm not far off  Wink

A little additional footnote - the Treacher family home of Oaklands in Haywards Heath is now the main offices of The Mid-Sussex District Council, Oklands Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 1SS
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pomme homme
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« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2018, 10:25:29 AM »

I've been digging through the newspapers regarding Holleyman and Treacher to try to find out "who was the Treacher mentioned ?."   I can't give an answer based on what was published at the time.  

My own uneducated guess - and it is a guess - Captain A.V. Treacher returned from the war, where he had found the Army life to be "top-hole".  He couldn't face the prospect of resuming his legal career and going back to working hard as a solicitor.  He flits about a bit, and for a short while enters business with Holleyman and tries to work in the book trade, that created by his grandfather.  Finding that this also entails working hard he decides to chuck it all in and become an actor and live a theatrical life - only a guess  Smiley but I bet I'm not far off  Wink

'The war', to which I referred in my earlier post, was the Second World War, whereas Noel's theory about Capt. A.V.Treacher appears refer to the First World War. Unless Capt. Treacher had withdrawn from the limelight (literally!) and turned his hand to bookselling in the inter-war years, it would seem improbable that he would have been the Treacher who went into partnership with George Holleyman in 1946. And even if it should have been he, who then had been 'minding the shop' whilst Capt. Treacher was away treading the boards?
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Craggs
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« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2018, 11:28:23 AM »

Oh dear !

That will explain why I didn't find any 'Holleyman' in the years following WWI.

I'll have another look
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Craggs
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« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2018, 22:31:27 PM »

My own uneducated guess - and it is a guess - Captain A.V. Treacher returned from the war, where he had found the Army life to be "top-hole".  He couldn't face the prospect of resuming his legal career and going back to working hard as a solicitor.  He flits about a bit, and for a short while enters business with Holleyman and tries to work in the book trade, that created by his grandfather.  Finding that this also entails working hard he decides to chuck it all in and become an actor and live a theatrical life - only a guess  Smiley but I bet I'm not far off  Wink

I'm afraid I was a long way off and Captain A.V. Treacher can't be the one referred to by Pomme Homme

Arthur Veary Treacher went to Hollywood in 1926 and became quite a well known actor - and also started his own chain of fish and chip restaurants.  Having read a bit about his film and radio career it is clear that he wouldn't have had the time or inclination to return to Brighton to help run a bookshop.  To read about him please use the link -  Arthur Veary Treacher

I'll continue to look .......
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pomme homme
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« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2018, 11:28:30 AM »

Arthur Veary Treacher went to Hollywood in 1926 and became quite a well known actor - and also started his own chain of fish and chip restaurants.

Time for a new 'personalities' thread, methinks?
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Craggs
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« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2018, 07:54:54 AM »

Time for a new 'personalities' thread, methinks?

It's taken a while but I managed to get one started today.  Please see the topic  Arthur Veary Treacher, Actor
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