No 26-30 Queen Street

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Historic Jersey buildings

26-30 Queen Street, St Helier


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In its heyday as a 'department store' occupied by a single business, J H Harper's General Engineering and Scientific Stores

Property name

26-30 Queen Street


Queen Street, St Helier

Type of property

Purpose-built Edwardian department store now divided into separate retail units. Probably one of the town's most important, but unappreciated, retail buildings. C E B Brett, who wrote the entirely superficial Buildings in the Town and Parish of Saint Helier for the National Trust for Jersey in 1977, must have wandered the central shopping area of St Helier with his eyes shut. What else could explain his failure to mention this imposing building, nor any other between it and his singular mention on the south side of the street, the corner building with Halkett Place?


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Families and businesses associated with the properties

No 26

Several photographic studios were established in Queen Street over the years, mostly on the opposite side. From 1869 to 1873 C Seeney was at no 26, followed by Guernseyman Adolphus La Sance in 1881.

Grocer W Adams was here in 1834, as well as Joshua Picot, who ran a school. An 1833 commercial directory also shows a public house, Nelson and Jarvis, run by a Mr Hocquard, but we have not been able to find any confirmation of this establishment.

Tin worker Samuel Landick, born in England in 1812 with his wife Mary (1811- ) and five children is shown at 26 in 1851, togehter with haircutter John Luce (1826- ) and his wife Eliza (1827- ), a greengrocer. They were followed in 1861 by tobacconist Richard Worton (1800- ), born in Norfolk, and his English wife Mary (1806- ) and daughter Caroline (1827- ). Also at the premises then was haircutter Jean Amidee Le Maistre (1838- ) the illegitimate son of Elizabeth (1807- ), who was living with his wife Harriet Eliza, born in England in 1832, her three children by a previous marriage, and their son Frederick Amidee (1860- ).

Almanacs for 1874 and 1880 show watchmaker J Baker at 26½. Hairdresser Prosper Dennis (1838- ) was at No 26 in 1891 and 1896, living with his wife Marie (1843- ). A succession of almanac entries fail to identify the types of business being undertaken at 26 or 26½, until the United Services Club became established at 26-30 by 1930, through to 1970. It is now in Halkett Place.

Electrician F A Juhel was at 26 Queen Street in 1896, a year before the States decided to use electric lights in the street, and some time before there was a public supply. But individual businesses had their own electricity generators in the 1880s

No 28

This is another property which was divided into two during the late 19th century. In 1851 it was occupied by fruiterer William Taylor and his wife Rebecca, both born in 1831, and con fectioner Richard Cayzer (1802- ), and his wife Mary (1795- ). In 1871 widow Mary Mallet (1812- ) was living there with her son Philip (1843- ) a tobacconist, and in a second household were watchmaker John Payn (1847- ) and his wife Jane (1848- ). Mr Mallet is shown a tobacconist at No 26 in 1874 and 1880, with Mr Payn at 28½.

Tallow chandler Sarah Burch (1849- ) nee Brand, a widow, is shown at No 28 in the 1881 census, living with her sister Martha (1858- ) a dressmaker, her father William (1823- ) a master mariner, and her sons William and Charles. George Long (1852- ), son of James and Catherine Lally, married Martha and continued the soap tallow business before becoming a grocer by 1891. He and Martha had daughter Mary (1883- ), Nellie (1888- ) and Florrie (1889- ). Martha was running the chandlery business in 1901, having been widowed.

Milliner Jane Rankilor, nee Gallie, born in St Saviour in 1836, and widowed, was at 28½ in 1891, together with her won William (1861- ) and her brother George (1849- ) and two sisters Louisa (1845- ) and Ann (1853- ).

No 30

In 1851 No 30 was occupied by William Orviss (1814- ), shown as a master mariner. Ten years later, married to Mary Gosset (1811- ) he was running the first family grocery there, and this continued through to almost 1880, when E Bouillon, bootmaker, was shown as the premises. He was Eugene Bouillon (1834-1905), a leather merchant, from Manche in Normandy, the son of Eugene and Sophie La Pie. He was married to Marie Euphrosnie Leontine (1856-1920) and they had children Eugenie Sophie (1868-1933), who emigrated to New Zealand in 1887, Blanche (1874-1945), Auguste Ernest (1878-1931) and Eugene (1870- ).

The 1901 census and a street listing from the previous year shows James Henry (1822- ) as head of household at No 30, with his wife Caroline (1827- ) and mother-in-law Ellen Darlington (1856- ), a widowed tobacconist.

Chemists Piquet's were here in 1946.


Nos 26-30

We have not established exactly when the three properties were demolished and a single building erected to replace them. Although the building is described in HER (see below) as an 'Edwardian department store' it would appear to have been built later than the Edwardian Period (1901-1910). The first record we have found of a single business occupying the new building was the 1925 census, which identifies J H Harper as the occupant. The business was still there in 1930, but by 1935 it had gone. The photograph at the top of the page shows that this was not a department store in the usual sense of the word (certainly not like draper Frederick Baker on the opposite side of Queen Street) but an engineering, electrical contracting and scientific business.

The business was run by John Henry Harper (1878-1943), the son of engineer John Underwood Harper and Maria Justine, nee Hunt. John Henry married Ethel Pain in St Helier in 1903

We have not been able to find the exact date but the business was dissolved some time between 1930 and 1935.

Piquets were here in 1940 and for 30 years afterwards

Occupants as shown in 20th century almanacs

  • 1900: 26, F A Juhel; 28, Mrs G Long; 30, J Henry
  • 1905: 26, G Lewis; 28, Mrs A Hunt, E Single; 28½ J W Orviss; 30, Mrs Henry
  • 1910: 26, L Klein, Mrs Shiner; 30, Mrs Darlington
  • 1915: 26, L Klein; 28, Miss Le Moine; 20, Mrs Darlington
  • 1920: Vacant
  • 1925-1930: 26-30, J H Harper, United Services Club
  • 1935: 26-28, W Guerin, United Services Club
  • 1940-1965: 26-28, Halkett Library; 30, Piquet
  • 1970: 30, Piquet, Patricia Marlese
  • 1975-1980: 30, Patricia Marlese
  • 2018: 28, Hot Chocolat; 30, Costa Coffee

Historic Environment Record entry

Listed building

A rare example of a substantial and imposing Edwardian department store retaining original detailing; makes a significant contribution to the streetscape.

Now three separate retail premises. Four storeys, five bays. Twelve windows defined vertically by wide, full height granite pilasters, rising through four floors.

Shopfronts with deep fascias and moulded curving cornices. Wide panelled/glazed double doors to shops. Large single pane shop windows with small paned lights above. Main entrance on right has wide segmental headed granite doorway with double doors, cartouche and shield above. Two large imposing dormers sit above the vertical pilasters. Four further gabled dormers.

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