The discovery of the complete panel – still partly obscured by wooden boarding and electric plugs – is a reminder of the ever-changing nature of shops in the High Street.
The tiles probably date from the days 89 High Street was a dairy selling milk and eggs.
In 1914 the shop was listed as Manor Farm Dairy, but by 1922 it was known as the A 1 Dairy.
89 High Street is currently being converted into a new takeaway, Ozzi’s Burrito Shack, and the discovery of the tiles has prompted considerable comment on the Barnet Society’s Facebook page.
The shop premises have been in the ownership of the Eleanor Palmer Trust since 1999, and it acquired the property from the previous owners, the Samuel and Rebecca Byford Charity, when the two trusts merged.
Samuel Byford, who died in 1898, had a butcher’s shop at 89 High Street.
He left the income from the property, then known as Essex House, to the Byford charity to be used for the expenses of six almshouses in Bells Hill.
A survey of the changing use of shops in the High Street was carried out last year by the Barnet University of the Third Age.
Jenny Kobish, one of the volunteers, said their research showed that 89 had changed hands regularly over the years:
- 1902 William Dawson Wallis, Veterinary Surgeon
- 1908 William Alexander Peake, Chemist
- 1914 Manor Farm Dairy
- 1922 A 1 Dairy
- 1933 A. Jenkins, Baker
- 1962 T. Pritchard, Baker
Until the middle of last year 89 was a branch of the bakery chain Greggs, and was then converted into the craft and homeware pop-up shop 89 High Street, which has now relocated to 10 Union Street.
Various suggestions over the possible ownership of the shop were given on Facebook, but the consensus among those who posted a comment was that the tiled picture was a marvellous reminder of the shop’s interior early in the last century.