Top Picture: The Sunshine Inn. Maxi’s Café was where the brick building is on the left.
Bottom PictureChristophers shoe shop, Cosham High Street
Last weeks page about small business really sparked off your interest, so much so that the whole of this weeks page is comprised of two emails I have had, one from Jonathan and one from John. I hope you enjoy them. Also I have added a few comments of my own now and again.
Memories from Jonathan
You mentioned working for a small store and being paid in records and it reminded me of some of the jobs I did as a young teenager growing up with requirements that outstripped the pocket money my parents could afford.
I used to work at an off licence in Cosham stacking bottles on shelves and remember the delightful smells of beer that adhered to the place; but I cannot remember the name of the store. ( could it have been Smeeds ? Peter)
I delivered meat for the Farlington butcher Frank Vine, on a bicycle with a big wicker basket on the front to some of the large houses along the Havant Road. (sounds a bit like Granville to me, Peter)
I delivered Newspapers on my Lambretta scooter for the Newsagents opposite the Sunshine Inn in Farlington now a Tesco's I think. ( was that Bevis ? Peter)
For three years running in my long vacations from college I slaved as a nightworker at the Coop Bakery in Drayton near the railway triangle....I think it is a housing development now. I worked as an oven hand. I know that I used to work in atrocious conditions probably not allowed by Health and Safety these days. The heat and humidity were tremendous and l would lose 2 stone in weight each long vac. My job was to take tins of baked bread out of an open oven, knock out the bread onto a belt and load the empty oven shelf with tins of proven dough. The trays were always moving past the operating opening and if you got it wrong you got burns on the back of your forearms. (I think the head baker at that time was Mr Osborne, Peter.)
I worked at Drings stripping stacks of box blanks so that the boxes could be assembled.
I worked as a guillotine operator at Power Brakes in Paulsgrove. My job was to use a magnetic clamp to lift a sheet of metal from a stack by trapping air under it and sliding it smoothly from the stack onto the guillotine bed then cut pieces to size.....that job used to earn me nasty cuts all over my hands and arms. One poor lad I worked with accepted my output to roll the cut sheets in a set of rollers to form cylinders that would be welded into air reservoirs for lorry braking systems. One day he caught his fingers in the rollers. The protection for the operator was non existent. By the time we heard his screams and the foreman switched off the rollers his arms were up to his wrists in the damned thing and I believe he lost his hands that day.....................my God how things have changed.
I worked as a parcel sorter on nights at the Post Office at Christmas ( so did I, Peter) while I was at college. We used to wait for the train to come in with huge bags of parcels to be sorted into frames filled with sacks for onward delivery to other areas. I persuaded my colleagues to work really hard for half an hour after delivery so that we could play bridge for half an hour before the next train came in.
I worked as a navvy for Charlie Wager on his Caravan Site on Hayling Island called the Odd Spot digging out excavations for septic tanks for his individual caravan sites. I used to dig them so deep that his son Tony used to have to pull me out on completion. 5 shillings an hour.
My very last part time job that I recall was working for the Admiralty as an Assistant Experimental Officer at Gosport Admiralty Experiment Works (AEW) for 6 months between being expelled by the Headmaster of the Southern Grammar School for smoking and refusing to be caned and going up to Emmanuel College. I think I was the only boy in the history of the school who had a place at Oxbridge and got fired!!!!!!!!!
I remember Chapman's very well indeed since my Mums best friend lived in their staff accommodation which was a dark and gloomy block of flats next door to the works in Kingston Crescent so we were frequent visitors. I actually knew the area around Kingston Crescent very well since my Great Aunt lived in Malins Road and my Nan in North End. Looking back there were some very lovely houses in the crescent which had been allowed to go to rack and ruin I recall - one reputedly had a ballroom! On the corner of course was Burtons the tailors, I well remember hanging around while the long drawn out process of choosing the material and being measured for a suit was ceremoniously carried out - the Burton chain was started by Montague Burton but did you know that in 1945 they produced the demob suits for men leaving the services which were known as the 'Full Monty' since they consisted of a three piece suit shirt and tie!
As a child a treat was to go and have tea in the cafe above Smith and Vosper in North End, it was all silver service and very posh or so it seemed! Another of my favourite North End shops was McIlroys and I can remember spending many a Saturday afternoon there, possibly before going to the Odeon to see one of the block buster films that you had to buy a ticket for beforehand. I also remember that next door to the Odeon was I think a dry cleaners but they used to have a lady who mended stockings sitting in the window. How far removed are we in this throw away society from having somebody mend the hole in your stockings, no such things as tights then of course!
Verrechias in North End was by the bus stop and as a child I was also fascinated by the enormous ice cream cone advertising piece that stood in the doorway, and of course the Chocolate King was the place for a treat after going to the pork butchers next door but one, another unimaginable shopping experience - a butchers shop that sold the pig, the whole pig and nothing but the pig!
Oh well back to ordering my groceries on line for home delivery - a nod to the past there of course but instead of a boy on a bike its a man in a high tech refrigeratored van, but at least it means I don't have to slog to the shop with all the packing and unpacking that involves!
As for Cadena Cafe, there was one in Southampton, Above Bar, and a Cadena Cake Shop in Waterlooville.
Another of the food outlets that also spring to mind before McDonald's, KFC & The Pizza Hut was Bert's Cafe on the Southampton Road just west of the Harbour, I was a Paulsgrove boy before moving to Highbury and can vividly remember my Nan who worked for a while at the old Smith Crisp factory opposite Bert's cafe take myself my sister and brother for fish & chips.
Oh well another institution gone.
(Hey how about Maxi’s next to the Sunshine Inn at Farlington, that was another transport café like Berts. Peter)
Thanks for those memories, stay in touch,
Observations on Growing Older
Your kids are becoming you...and you don't like them...but your grandchildren are perfect!
Going out is good. Coming home is better!
When people say you look "Great"... they add "for your age!"
When you needed the discount, you paid full price. Now you get discounts on everything but you're too tired to use them.
You forget names .... but other people forgot they even knew you!!!
The 5 pounds you wanted to lose is now 15 and you have a better chance of losing your keys than the 15 pounds.
The things you used to care to do, you no longer care to do, but you really do care that you don't care to do them anymore.
You sleep better on a lounge chair with the TV on than in bed. It's called his "pre-sleep".
Remember when your mother said, "Wear clean underwear in case you GET in an accident"? Now you bring clean underwear in case you HAVE an accident!
You miss the days when everything worked with just an "ON" and "OFF" switch..
You used to use more 4 letter words ... "what?"..."when?"... ???
You have a night out but are home by 9:00 P.M. Next week it will be 8:30 P.M.
You read 100 pages into a book before you realize you've read it.
But old is good in some things: old songs, old movies, And best of all, OLD FRIENDS
News and Views:
People magazine that Paul McCartney and his girlfriend for the last four years, Nancy Shevell, are engaged to be married. It would be 68 year-old Paul’s third marriage, 51 year-old Nancy’s second.
On this day 14th May 1960-1965.
On 14/05/1960 the number one single was Cathy's Clown - Everly Brothers and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Wagon Train (ITV) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions
On 14/05/1961 the number one single was Blue Moon - The Marcels and the number one album was GI Blues - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Bootsie & Snudge (Granada) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 14/05/1962 the number one single was Wonderful Land - The Shadows and the number one album was Blue Hawaii - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 14/05/1963 the number one single was From Me To You - The Beatles and the number one album was Please Please Me - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Liberal Party Political Broadcast (all channels) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 14/05/1964 the number one single was Don't Throw Your Love Away - Searchers and the number one album was Rolling Stones - The Rolling Stones. The top rated TV show was Conservative Party Political Broadcast (all channels) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 14/05/1965 the number one single was King of the Road - Roger Miller and the number one album was Beatles For Sale - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.