Please shed light on Wray’s business

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RE: WRAYS photographic and toy dealer

IN the article headed “Empty shop to be redeveloped” on page 7 in your April 30 edition, you mentioned that the business in North Marine Road was launched by Mr Wray’s grandfather George Wray, ‘in the 1930s’.

If that date is correct it could indicate that the business merely changed direction at that time, as I feel sure a “G Wray” business stood in North Marine Road from at least 1904.

Around the turn of that century my grandfather, Tom H Fowler, lived at 21 St Mary’s Walk.

He was a journalist and author and frequently contributed to a weekly magazine called “Chums”.

Early each year he would have all the previous year’s weekly copies beautifully bound into a massive volume, each with around 850 pages and in A4 format. This had “Chums” embossed on the cover in gold leaf.

On the flyleaf of the 1904 edition appears the embossed legend, “G Wray, Bookseller, Scarborough”.

The price 8/- (40p!) is pencilled on the page.

Family folklore has it that the branch of Wray’s that my grandfather used was that in North Marine Road and that would certainly be the nearest branch to his home address.

It seems too much of a coincidence that there was a G Wray, Bookseller in 1904 – and possibly earlier although previous editions of “Chums” are not embossed with the bookseller’s stamp – then a gap of 30 years or so before another George Wray set up business in the same street and location.

Can anyone shed more light on the missing 30 or so years? I would be very grateful.

David Fowler

Avenue Victoria

Scarborough