In May we were contacted by a friend-of-a-friend in the South of France, about a rather stylish antique table. When they bought it, and got it home, they found a note inside:
“History of this Table
The father of H.G.Wells, author, kept a shop in the High Street, Bromley, Kent. Here, H.G.Wells was born.
The lease of this shop, together with several neighbouring shops, was purchased by my Great Uncle, Frederick Medhurst. He proceded to open the available buidlings as a Departmental Store.
Unfortunately, the father of H.G. prefered playing and watching cricket to keeping his shop and was unable to pay my uncle the rent. In lieu of this rent, my great uncle took this table and a range of china tea services. When finally the elder Wells became bankrupt, his shop was taken into the Fred Medhurst store.
The store was rebuilt in the early 1930’s, and a blue plaque was placed on the wall where the Wells shop had been, commemorating the birth place of H.G.Wells.
Years later, my father (who had inherited the store) gave me the table when my first book was published.
We already knew that H.G.Well’s father supplemented the income from the shop by working as a professional cricketer, (see more about it on our page here) . Unfortunately, after breaking his leg he couldn’t play any longer and the family had to break up with H.G.Wells being initially apprenticed to a draper in Winsor. This is an interesting detail to the sad story.