A high street name which has I think now disappeared for good, though like all such brands, the rights may well have been sold off and could reappear sometime. The FHW name dates back to 1875 and there were well over 500 shops by the 1990s when the owners decided to convert around half to another name and then sell the remaining FHW shops. These were bought by a dodgy Sheffield ‘business man’ (my partner worked in one of his garages briefly back in the 80s and it was clear even then that his methods were very iffy; she quit after being asked to account for cars which didn’t exist) with cash he didn’t actually have, and when he was finally collared, the business ended in 1996.
It’s interesting how quickly such long established shops vanish, leaving very little behind to show for over 130 years of trading. Yet seven years after it closed, the Rotherham branch on the original High Street still bore at least a few faded traces of signage from the interesting Sixties re-build when I took this photograph. The High Street, some of which still carries elements of the original timber framed buildings, has since been given a bit of a make-over, encouraged by a local authority desperate to throw off some of the negative publicity surrounding the town. Pop-up windows, a lick of paint, a couple of shabby chic dealers, etc. attempt to aid regeneration of a very attractive piece of townscape, so even this ghost image has now been covered over. Down the road the far-right obsessives were being herded along by dozen of Police vans on one of their now apparently regular Saturday forays into town. There is a long way to go.