Raselle's

One of the streets longest serving shops was Raselle’s the pawnbroker. The three Gold balls over the frontage were unmistakable. For Britain’s poor it was not uncommon to pawn their Sunday best on Monday in the hope of buying them back by Sunday.56 Based in Old Market, for three generations Raselle’s was one of Bristol’s most notable pawnbrokers.

Amos Raselle

Amos Raselle lived in Lancashire Road, Bishopston and attended St Michael of All Angels Church on Pigstye Hill – now demolished. Amos Raselle died 15 April 1935. The shop continued to be run under his name until the mid 1980's.

Forming of the Wurzels

Legend has it that Adge Cutler kitted out the Wurzels with corduroy trousers bought from Raselles. The story goes that Adge purchased the trousers first and then looked out for band members to fit them.

Amos Raselle - 'A friend to the poor'

Amos Raselle had a pawnbroker’s shop in Old Market opposite the Almshouses and Jacob Street. Amos always wore a black astrakhan coat and a small round astrakhan hat. He was about five feet tall with a little goatee beard and looked very much like King Edward VII and was known as a friend to the poor. As his business was founded amongst the poor and needy in St. Philips and places like that, he was well known. For instance in the School Emanuel, (a Church of England School which I attended) every year at the annual prize giving a considerable amount of prizes, which were usually books, were purchased with a donation from Amos. He often visited our school, everyone knew him. We kids thought he was marvellous because he always tried in our hearing to get the Headmaster to let us off early that day. Though Mr. Raselle had ceased trading there for some time, the shop that bore his name still existed in the 1980s. Post World War One, things were really rough. A young cousin of mine was really hard up. They had a large family and his father had not worked since the war. Now, Amos presented the school with a gold watch for the best boy in the school, academically the best boy. My cousin won it. A gold watch in a family with about seven kids and an unemployed father would not have a long life but this one did. It went into Amos’ pawnbroker’s shop and out again every week until 1935 when conditions began to improve.

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