35 Streatham Hill - Rydal Mount. Later Streatham Hill College on the site of what is today Corner Fielde (Opposite Telford Avenue Streatham)
At census date in 1881 the house was occupied by John Alfred Whittard a Leather Factor and his wife Catherine, 6 children including Walter a Tea Buyer, a visitor Thomas Underhill a Tea buyer and three servants.
At the age of 17 Walter quit the family leather business out of frustration with his father’s way of running things, and took a job with a tea trader in London’s bustling city centre. Eight years later – aged just 25 – he opened his own shop in bustling Fleet Street, with a simple philosophy: to “buy the best”.
The walls would have been lined with huge tea caddies, and filled with the scent of roasting coffee. Walter insisted on blending his tea and roasting his coffee on site; he also had a keen eye for a marketing opportunity, and targeted the nearby law courts by describing his tea as “The Barrister’s Refresher”.
Wartime shortages and a bomb that destroyed stock and blending equipment restricted operations for several years.
Walter and his two brothers who joined the business relocated to Chelsea.
(extracts from Whittards - history