Do you recognise this inscription carved in stone above a Bridport doorway? Do you know where it is?
The answer is it is at 9 West Street, above the door of the TSB bank branch.
So who were R & H Williams?
I have often wondered what is the story behind the name carved into the stone above the door? Who were R. & H. Williams? Obviously they were previous occupants, but what business did they carry out there?
It seems the OPC Project has the answer. The Bridport Page has the following entry.
Dorsetshire Bank (Branch of) R. and H. Williams and Co. Draw on Williams, Deacon, & Co., Birchin Lane, London, E.C., Frederick Good, Esq., manager.
A bit more digging around reveals R & H Williams were taken over by the Wilts and Dorset bank. I have seen an old photograph of West Street in Bridport with
Wilts and Dorset clearly emblazoned over that building.
In 1914 Lloyds Bank took over Wilts and Dorset. The branch remained a Lloyds for years until they acquired TSB when the joint Lloyds TSB name went up. More recently following the demerger and spin off TSB the building at 9 West Street has become a TSB.
R & H Williams at Dorchester.
I read an article on Dorchester’s past. It revealed that part of what is now the Dorchester Lloyds Bank branch had been a branch of R & H Williams. The old branch was on High West Street. When Wilts & Dorset took over they bought next door and extended the building. This created what now forms the street corner on Cornhill.