Headington history: Shops

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14 Windmill Road

14 Windmill Road

Whitchelo detail


This postcard shows the top end of Windmill Road in the 1930s. The double-fronted building on the right is the present 14 Windmill Road. The shop was built in 1910: this date is engraved in stone over the entrance.


The building has been a shop with accommodation upstairs ever since it was built.


The detail on the right shows a close-up of the shop. The sign over the front reads: “Newsagent & Stationer W. WHITCHELO & SON Wholesale & Retail”

Photograph of Whitchelo's in 1959



The first occupant of this shop was the boot dealer Alfred Powell. The 1911 shows him at the age of 31, living over the shop with his wife Elizabeth (25) and their son Cecil (2).

William Henry Whitchelo, who had been a newsagent in New High Street from 1909, moved into these premises in about 1914. The shop remained under his name for forty years until 1954: he is listed in directories first as a newsagent (1915–1918); then as a secondhand furniture dealer (1919–1921); and finally as tobacconist (1922–1954). (From 1922 the shop next door at No. 12 served as a newsagent, initially under Stephen Danbury.) Whitchelo produced a number of postcards of Headington: examples include Windmill Road itself, the new council houses on the London Road, and the Wingfield Hospital.

In 1955 English & Sons (newsagents at No. 12 next door) took over this shop, and initially kept it on as a separate tobacconist’s. By 1964 they had moved their whole business into No. 12, which again resumed its original function as a newsagent’s. English & Sons continued until the late 1970s.

By the late 1980s it was Balfour News, which was taken over by the Co-operative Wholesale Society in 2004.

Balfour News closed down in October 2005 and there were unsuccessful attempts to get planning permission to turn the building into a restaurant. It finally reopened on 27 January 2009 as a Helen & Douglas House charity shop.

Helen & Douglas House

Balfour News

© Stephanie Jenkins

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