Oxford Ghost Signs: Ward's Furniture & Prams at 11 & 12 Park End Street

The letter W for Ward's survives in a cartouche dating from 1926 in the middle of the top-floor windows:

Ward's, Park End Street

Thomas Henry Ward (born at Wrexham on 7 July 1885) had moved to east Oxford with his parents by the time of the 1891 census, when he was living with his family at 42 Marston Street.

On 12 August 1912 at St Thomas’s Church he married Alice Jane Franklin, and both he and his father were then butchers, and both bride and groom were both then living at 14 Park End Street.

Ward had this building at 11 Park End Street built for his furniture business in 1926: a painting of his shop made in that year can be seen here. The earliest directory entries describe the firm as “Thomas Henry Ward, baby carriage specialist, house furniture &c.” There was another entrance in the back from Hythe Bridge Street.

At the time of the 1939 register, Ward described himself as the retired director of a furniture company, and was living here at 11 Park End Street with his wife Alice. A 17-year-old female sales assistant was lodging with them, and they had two domestic servants.

Ward's Furniture remained in this building until the 1970s. Thomas Henry Ward died in 1967 at the age of 83 and was buried in Botley Cemetery.


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Stephanie Jenkins