Part Four - Slough the 'Market Town'

The 19th century was one of unprecedented population growth and the population in Slough, in particular, rose steeply. In 1835 work began on the Great Western Railway from London to Bristol, and within a decade Slough had been transformed from a village into a small market town. The 1851 census records 357 houses, 103 shops and small businesses and a population of just over 1,500. The rest of the parish contained 289 houses with a total population of 3,575. There was a post office in the High Street, the letters now arriving by train, and Colnbrook had been demoted to a sub-office. The railway had killed most of the long distance coaching and carrying trade, but not the inns at Slough which adapted to the changing conditions. In 1853 cabs were advertised for hire from five inns and public houses, and an omnibus connected Slough with Windsor. Slough had now become one of the largest towns in the county and its rate of growth continued unchecked during the second half of the 19th century.

One of the most famous businesses in Slough at that time was that of James Elliman, whose embrocation for the treatment of sprained muscles was manufactured in the Elliman factory on Chandos Street. The embrocation was exported to countries all over the world. It can still be bought now, but is no longer produced in Slough. Today the Queensmere shopping centre stands where the factory was once sited.

Slough's fame in the world of horticulture also began in the 19th century. It was Charles Turner's Royal Nursery that commercially produced the apple which was bred by Richard Cox of Colnbrook - the Cox's Orange Pippin. Turner's nursery is also famous for Mrs Simpkin's Pink, which was named after the matron of the Union Workhouse in the 1880's, and the Crimson Rambler Rose .....