The History of The Royal Stores
In the 1950s and 60s, B.R Lewis wrote a series of articles in the County Echo called “Turning Back the Clock” In these he wrote of his reminisces of Fishguard & Goodwick many years before.
Situated next to the Commercial (Abergwaun) Hotel, the shop then named “The Royal Stores” was run as a grocery and ironmongery shop by Howell Howell and his wife Mary Ann Howell (Nee Lamb). In those days two steps led up to the front door of the shop!
It is not known how long Howell Howell occupied the premises but by 1901, the shop had changed hands and was managed by the son and daughter in law of John Davies a previous owner of the Commercial ( Abergwaun) Hotel, J. Henry Davies and his wife Eleanor Evans Davies. Henry Davies was keen to emigrate to America with their 4 children Harold E Davies, D. Percy Davies, Muriel E. Davies and J Norman Davies. They emigrated to Des Moines Iowa but as Eleanor did not like America, they returned to Fishguard to run the Royal Stores as a tea and grocery business only for Henry Davies to return to America at a later date, and secure a job at Westinghouse until he could send passage to Eleanor so that she and the children could re- join him at a later date. This they did and sailed over on 10th October 1901 on the Cunard liner Lucania leaving Liverpool for America. Surviving a bad storm on the journey, they settled in Wilkinsburg where they remained with their children for the rest of their lives. Harold Davies, their eldest son, became a child prodigy and was the youngest church organist in the city of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Sadly, he died at the age of 16 from a hole in the heart.
Thanks to Mrs N Crawford of North Carolina U.S.A for sending these photographs of her Grandparents J Henry Davies and Eleanor Evans Davies, who ran The Royal Stores for some time before the family emigrated to America in 1901. Included in the selection is a photograph of Mrs Crawford’s mother, Muriel Eleanor Davies the daughter of J. Henry and Eleanor Davies.
When the Davies family left for America, the shop was taken over by Mr Harry Williams as a boot & shoe shop and renamed the Royal Boot Stores. (Previously, his first shop was at the top of Lower Town hill, he had then moved to a premises in High Street). In due course, 1933, the Royal Boot Stores was passed on to Mr Norman Williams his son; when Mr Norman Williams retired from the Royal Boot Stores in 1965, his sons Malcolm and Ian Willams took over the running of the family business. They continued to do so until February 2007 when the shop finally closed.