High Street 72
Road: High Street, Teddington
This building has recently been occupied in part by a Teddington Society Corporate member, Richard Steer and company, solicitors. In 1978 it was noted that it appeared to be a private dwelling. Since mid 2013 it has been unoccupied but is due to be refurbished and used by stonerowebrewerllp (solicitors) incorporating Richard Steer & Co.
The premises form part of a terrace of shops and upper parts for which planning consent was given in November 1898. During World War I the property was, however, owned by Parr's Bank who, in 1918, amalgamated with the London County & Westminster Bank. This arrangement continued until 1923 when the name of the company was contracted to Westminster Bank Ltd. and the business transferred to premises at no. 6 High Street where the Westminster Bank was already trading.
The new occupants of the premises, Lloyds Bank, occupied the property until 1931 when they transferred their business to a newly built establishment at no. 23 High Street. From this date until 1934 there are no listings in street directories for no. 72 and this property was probably empty. In 1934, however, a Hosiery Repair Company called Rysta Ltd. registered its office there. By 1937, while Rysta occupied the upper parts, Gordon Bowe, a stationer and bookseller, was trading from the ground floor. This arrangement continued until the outbreak of World War II. Records for the wartime period are sparse, but Rysta briefly appears as the occupants of the upper floors in the 1945/46 Rate Book and were probably there throughout the wartime period. This company had a brief claim to fame when it tried to register its repair system as a trade mark and was challenged by Aristoc Ltd. The case eventually went to the House of Lords where Rysta lost and the case has since often been cited as a precendent.
Rumour has it that the ground floor of the property was used during World War II for light industrial purposes as a satellite for the Hawker's factory in Ham. The whimsical truth, however, is that Rysta's business was the repair of ladies' silk stockings!
In 1953 the premises are shown to be occupied by Scott Simmonds, accountants, who continued in occupation until at least 1968. No further information on occupancy is available locally until 1981 when Tear Fund purchased the building largely for its own occupation. This remained the position until Richard Steer purchased the freehold in 1986 to house his expanding general legal practice.
This page is part of the Directory of Buildings of Townscape Merit (BTMs) and Listed Buildings in Teddington assembled by the Planning and History Groups of The Teddington Society. Click on any photo for a higher resolution version. Copyright for the material on this page rests with the contributor.