Bromley Strong’s Directory (1887) lists an F. Lawrence, stationer, in the district, which was then called “West Chislehurst”. Mr Lawrence went on to be named agent for Pullar’s Dye Works, Perth, and by 1891 had gone into partnership and diversified as Lawrence & Winborn, stationers and photographers.
This business was trading opposite William Cooling’s fishmonger’s at 41 High Street until, in 1893 or 1894, it was acquired by William’s brother George.
The stationery business stayed in the Cooling family from then on, through both World Wars, and was in the hands of George’s son Frank when it was sold in 1988 to become “Paper Lane.”
Thanks to the studio behind the stationer’s, many 19th and 20th century Chislehurst photographs bear the Cooling name. Some also show how the market garden – established after World War I by George’s son Arthur, in land behind the stationer’s – grew into the major Kent business Coolings Nurseries. That company left Chislehurst (where it had established premises at Willow Grove, off the High Street) in 1990, and is now based at Knockholt.