2 October 2023

George Carter & Sons of Maida Hill – glovers, hosiers and shirtmakers

 A few months ago, within a post about bygone company names that display '& Sons' I included a business by the name of Carter, based in Old Kent Road, with many more shops across London.

Well, this afternoon I had one of those 'ping' moments when I recalled that earlier this year after a wander in the Kensal Green area, I was ambling eastwards along Harrow Road when I stumbled across a shop that still sports some of its original Victorian shop fittings including a beautiful threshold mosaic, here at number 371.

Not only does it have the marvellous mosaic, but it also retains the fine wooden spindle window frames above granite and metal on which the words GLOVERS, HOSIERS & SHIRTMAKERS are still perfectly visible. It's an absolute treat and an amazing example of the Art Nouveau shopping era that also included curved windows, polished brass and aproned staff.  

There is a mirrored wall to the left side as you enter from the street, designed to make the shop look bigger and bounce more light into the the shop (this being north-facing), and there are additional mirrors in the ceiling above this area. This next pair of pics shows the effect looking down and looking up: 

I have my fingers crossed that this old Carter & Sons shop is a listed/protected property. It's unusual, to say the least, especially with so many elements intact at one location. Retrospective Google streetview shows that it was hidden behind boards in the period 2008-2012 before it reappeared as we see it today. I am interested to find out from anyone who lives in the area if they have any info about the shop pre-2008.

I have found other similar examples across London, but mostly on shops that originally sold jewellery or funeral services. And not all of those shops have survived; sadly modernised with plate glass within UPVC frames. 

The description of 'Shirtmaker' can also be found on some outlets in the covered arcades either side of Piccadilly, as well as on the low curved corner of 67 Moorgate in the City of London, here

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Thanks, Jane