A “Virtual” Tour of The Back to Backs – part 3



A Virtual Tour of the Back to Backs – part 3

Whilst we are out on the street, we can’t but help noticing that there is a sweet shop on the corner. This house (55 Hurst Street) had been occupied by a member of the Mitchell family, (we will meet the Mitchells later on in our tour). However, by the start of the 20th century the ground floor was in use by Francis Dibble as a sweet shop. By 1931 the owner was James Hurley. Both Dibble and Hurley were no doubt taking advantage of trade bought by patrons of the Hippodrome Theatre which had opened in 1899.

Then in 1934 the business was taken over by Arthur Bingham, his wife Florence and daughter Rose. Arthur retired in 1966 and the shop was taken over by a Cypriot couple Maria & Dino Xenides. A relative of the Xenides was a manager at the Hippodrome at the time it is said that their children would play in the courtyard.

As the demand for cigarettes and sweets declined in the 1970s the shop became a kebab take-away called Oscars.

John Bingham (Arthur’s son) in the reconstructed sweet shop at the Back to Backs before it opened in 2004
The two ladies outside the shop are Florence Bingham and her daughter who was at the time expecting John
Arthur Bingham in the sweetshop in the 1940s
This photograph of Court 15 was taken around 1986
This photograph of the corner of Court 15 was taken in 1990s when the shop on the corner was a kebab shop called Oscars
Inside the restored sweetshop