Sims, about 1850, started his business of wine and spirit merchant, grocer and provision dealer at 65 High Street and in 1876 to meet the demands of a rapidly widening circle of customers, he was obliged to erect new stores in Russell Street. A local trade review 25 years later showed a large bottling trade was done and ales, porter and stout could be obtained in nine gallon casks, “a convenient form for a family trade”. Before the turn of the century he disposed of the business to Sir Thomas Lipton.
Sims was equally well known in the public life of Stroud and Painswick – living in Uplands he was a member of the later parish until Uplands was absorbed by Stroud some 70 years ago. He presided at many Painswick vestry meetings, which could be extremely heated on occassions and was chairman of the old Painswick School Board. He played no small part in the building of Uplands School.From 1872 to 1894 Sims was a member of the Stroud Local Board of Health and then until 1902 a member of the Stroud Urban District Council. In this span of 30 years service to the town he was for some years chairman. A Nonconformist and Gladstonian Liberal, he was a stickler for his own particular views and in the late Mr. Edward Hulbert, a former propietor and editor of the “Stroud News” he had a powerful opponent. It was said at the time of his death “They were well matched and in any controversy it was a question of a tussle between the two giants.” Theser passages of arms, explained Mr Charles Lambert in a tribute at a meeting of Stroud Urban Council after Sims' death in 1917 (on his retirement he had moved to the Forest of Dean), were always good humoured and entertaining. Neither of them was very thin skinned, there were robust and plain spoken Englishmen”
Census Information - www.ancestry.com
1Census 1901 shows him living in Springfield Road, aged 63 as a retired grocer with his wife Eliza, aged 61. The 1881 Census records him as living with Eliza and a daughter Annie Julia Sims, aged 14 at Prestbury Villa, Slad Road. The 1861 census records him living in the High Street, as a grocer and wine merchant employing 3 men, with his widowed mother, Dorcus (aged 54) who was described as a propiertor of houses and his brother Richard (aged 19) who is described as a grocer. Eliza is shown as having been born in Eastington. A marriage is recorded in the Wheatenhurst (Whitminster) Registration District in 1862 between Eliza Critchley and William Thomas Sims. The 1861 census shows Eliza Critchley (aged 21) living at Chipmans Platt, Eastington with her parents Samual and Hannah. Her father is recorded as a coal merchant. The preceding entry ing the census has an occupation as a surveyor of canal and the following entry is shown as toll gate keeper
Chas Townley December 2006