24-25

24 High Street

Surgeon J Otley operated out of this building in the 1860s, followed by chemists Adam U Allen and GH Gare. Boots took over occupancy in 1946 before moving to its current location at No 90. It is now Holland & Barrett.

No 24b, now Lemana café, was once named the ‘Old School House’. This could imply another school once stood here or perhaps that the building was associated with the girls’ school behind No 21.

25 High Street

Also known as Navarino House, this building was probably built in the 1720s and occupied by Mr Bowerman, a tallow-chandler and soap boiler from the Isle of Wight. Various grocers then operated from here, including Robert Perkins, Charles Gearing and South Hants Stores, founded in 1829 by Robert Bentley Purchase as a high-class family grocery business. James Willis acquired the business in 1919, from which time it traded as Willis & Son, South Hants Stores. The loss of Willis & Son is still thought of with melancholy by some older residents. One remembers: “It was a lovely old fashioned grocers where the customer was treated with courtesy. It had an ambience no other shop had. My recollections are of going downstairs into an old timbered building which had the smell of sides of bacon hanging from hooks and the large tins and containers of tea and coffee. We hadn’t been in Lymington long and before we knew it, it was gone and a modern supermarket was built in its place.”  That was Tesco, which took over the building in the 1970s. It is now WH Smith.

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