Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: March 24, 2021
Webpage updated: March 24, 2021

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JOHN FUGE ALFORD (1877-1947)

It transpires that the Alford's Stores at number 29/31 Marlborough Street, Devonport, was not a Devonport business at all but a branch of a family business based at Whitchurch, near Tavistock.

John Fuge Alford was born at Tavistock, Devon, in 1877.  He was the son of Mr John Fuge Alford (1845-1899), and his wife, the former Miss Therza (Theresa) Metters.

According to the census on April 2nd 1871, Mr John Fuge Alford senior was in 1871 a miner living with his mother, Mrs Mary Alford, at 30 West Bridge Cottages, Tavistock.  Also living there were Mrs Theresa Alford, whom he must have married in the United States of America circa 1868, and their newly-born daughter, Theresa Alford.

Between that census and the next one, on April 3rd 1881, Mr John Fuge Alford senior (1845-1899) became a poultry and game dealer living at 14 West Street, Tavistock.  Their family hasd grown somewhat: along with the American-born Theresa E Alford, there was now Miss Maria L Alford, born 1874; Miss Edith F Alford, born 1876; John Fuge Alford junior, born 1877, all scholars, all born in Tavistock.  A nurse and a domestic servant completed the household.

By the census night of April 5th 1891 the family had moved to Boyton Farm, Whitchurch, just outside Tavistock, where John Fuge Alford senior was still a poulterer.  There had been one addition to the family, Miss Jennetta F Alford, born 1882, and all the other members of the family were still living at home.

Mr John Fuge Alford senior died in 1899 and was buried at Whitchurch on September 3rd 1899.  Mr John Fuge Alford junior married Miss Mary Arthur at Tavistock Parish Church on June 3rd 1900.  He was mow a dairyman and poulterer at Boyton Farm.

In 1902 Mr John Fuge Alford had only a game and poultry shop at 14 Market Buildings, East Street, Plymouth, but by 1914 the business was Messrs J F Alford and Company and in addition to the shop at Plymouth had a provision dealers shops at 31 Marlborough Street, Devonport and a fishmongers in Devonport Market.

The census on April 2nd 1911 shows that he and Mary had had two boys since their marriage: Arthur John Fuge Alford was born in 1901 and Frank Archibald Alford in 1904.  There were also three male servants and one female domestic servant.

At some unidentified point the business was turned into Messrs Alford's Stores Limited.

The senior partner, Mrs Thurza (sic) Alford, the widow of Mr John Fuge Alford senior (1845-1899), passed away in January 1922 and was buried at Whitchurch Parish Church on Sunday January 8th 1922.  Her son, Mr John Fuge Alford junior, attended the funeral service, which was led by the vicar of Whitchurch, the Reverend W N P Beebe.  Wreaths were sent by the directors of the Company and the staffs at both Devonport and Plymouth.

By 1939 the only Alford's Store left was the provision dealers at 29 and 31 Marlborough Street. 

Mr John Fuge Alford junior (1877-1947) died at The Elms, Tavistock, on Tuesday November 4th 1947 and was buried at Whitchurch Parish Church on Friday November 7th 1947.

The shop at number 31 Marlborough Street survived the Blitz but by 1953 had become a butchers only.