High Street Property Details

 No.21 – Dildar - Indian Restaurant

No. 21 was originally part of a grocery outlet which had existed since the 1840s.  The building was inhabited continuously by a local family, the Nashes, until 1910. The 1841 census (i) records George Nash (father) and John Nash (his son) working as grocer/drapers.  In the 1871 census (i), John was living there with his wife Sarah, their five children, a boarder who was a draper's assistant and two servants.  The 1871 census records two of John's sons (Thomas and George) working in the shop as grocer's assistants.  By 1901, John was a widower, aged 76, and still working in the business; he died in 1908.

By 1910 Ernest William Horner, a single man from Moreton-in-the-Marsh, Gloucestershire, had taken over the grocer and draper business. He  married Mabel in 1916 and they remained here at No 21 until the early 1920s when a Mr Cook (and Sons), also grocers and drapers, moved into the property. John Tingey continued a grocer and draper business here for approximately six years and  Alfred Stapleton stayed for over 15 years, continuing the grocery business during the 1930s and 1940s.

In 1948, No 21 became known as "The Wheathampstead Store", having become part of the Welwyn Stores Company.  In the next couple of decades several families lived in the  property.  Frank and Enid Philips resided there for six years, and another family, Cyril and Valerie Diwell, worked at No 21 for five years until 1969.

At the start of the 1970s, the 19th century building, with its sash windows, slate roof, and Victorian facade concealing a much older structure, was knocked down, together with its neighbour, to make way for the Fine Fare store.  In an article from the Herts Advertiser of 2nd April 1971 there is a quote from the store's parent company, saying "The new supermarket at Wheathampstead will blend in with its surroundings in the High Street and should be a pleasing addition to the village", and continuing, "the new store is a well-proportioned building and a great deal of thought has been given to it architecturally.  The shop front consists of a series of box windows and the building line is broken in two places to eliminate the wide flat appearance usually associated with supermarket frontages." (ii)

The building, constructed in 1971, has since been used by a succession of grocery outlets, maintaining the grocery element of the site; initially, 'Fine Fare', then 'Dillons', 'One Stop', and today, 'Tesco'.  When Fine Fare left, the building was subdivided and in 1990 the Premier Indian restaurant opened, which then changed its name to the Dildar II in 1992 but stayed under the same management.


Researcher:  Jacky Edwards


Sources consulted:

·      Census 1841, 1871, 1901, 1911 (i)

·      Herts Advertiser – 2nd April 1971 (ii)

·      Ancestry.co.uk

·      Electoral Registers

·      Kelly's Directories 

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