This photograph is of the Chemist shop on the square during the time it was run by Mr Thomas Lewis, chemist from around 1883 until his death in 1916. It had been a chemist shop at least since 1829 when a Mr Thomas Evans ran it as a chemist and druggist’s shop.
Amazingly it is still a chemist’s shop today almost 200 years later as the original shop forms part of the branch of Boots the Chemist on Fishguard Square.
The first occupier was Thomas Evans of Llanrhian who apparently came to Fishguard and started his business around 1829 when just 19 years old. He ran it more as a personal family business and was a fixture on Fishguard Square for around 50 years – during that time he interested himself in the welfare of the town. He was a stalwart Methodist and very good to the cause at Tower Hill (Pentower). He died in 1879 and was buried in Llanrhian Church – on his tombstone was inscribed ” Kind to the poor and universally respected by all classes”. Having not married, Thomas Evans left his business to his widowed niece, Martha Harries Owen. Mrs Owen had been widowed with a year old child when her husband, Alfred, a master mariner, died at sea in 1874.
The next occupier was Thomas Lewis who took over the shop in 1883. He was born in Fishguard but studied to be a chemist in Duke Street, Cardiff. He then went to London to work for a period before returning to Fishguard where he had a chemist’s shop at Cambridge House, Main Street. In 1883 he married Martha Harries Owen and moved his business to the shop on Fishguard Square. Martha had inherited the premises from her late uncle.
When Thomas Lewis died the shop was then run by Thomas G Jones. He had undertaken his apprenticeship with another chemist in town and following passing of his final exams in London, he became a travelling inspector for the well-known firm of Boots’ Cash Chemists. He returned to Fishguard to take over the shop in 1916. He then joined up following the outbreak of war and during his absence the shop was closed. When he returned, he resumed his chemist’s business but sadly as a result of failing health he died in 1922 aged just 30 years (see Death of Thomas G Jones ).
Upon the death of Thomas G Jones the business was acquired by Benjamin Raymond Lewis who continued as a chemist for the next thirty years before selling the business to the present occupier, Boots the Chemist. B R Lewis, as well as being a chemist was quite a local historian and in the 1950s had a regular column in the County Echo in which he described Fishguard over the previous 50 years.
Thanks to the reminiscences of B R Lewis for much of this information.