2nd June 2012
Top Picture: A typical front room shop somewher in the north of England
Third Picture: The Wool counter in Woolworth's in Commercial Road 1956
Forth Picture: Drayton shops in 1965
When we were young there seemed to be a corner shop on almost every corner, then the supermarkets moved in and they all disappeared but now with the growth of the local Cooperative and Tesco stores they all sem to be coming back.
But what I remember are the shops which seemed to have bee opened in the front rooms of people in ordinary houses not in purpose built shops. For example at number 28 Station Road in drayton was a small shop run by Mrs. E Clark. On entering the shop, through the front door of the bungalow on turning to the left you were presented with what mst have been originally the front room of lounge of the house but it was now kitted out with shelves, a counter, a till and a miriad of grocery products all served to you by Mrs Clrk herself. I do not know when she closed to shop but it was still there in 1964. Next door in Central Road was Davies’ but this was a purpose built extension.
Two roads along from Mrs Clark was Lealand Road and opposite Keith Conlon’s house at number 17 was Mrs Bannisters shop which again, like Clarks, was the front room of a bungalow. The shop was registered in the name of Albert Bannister but when he died his wife carried on serving for several years and when sh did close I hear that she lived off the tinned stock for quite some time.
Another front room shop, this time at number 268 Havant Road was Hyman Levy the tailor who had been in business on these premises for many years. In fact it was to him my father took me to have my very first suit made. This tailors shop was a a real study in tayloring history. Mr Levy was of the Hebrew faith and on the door post when you entered was a mizuzah contain holy texts. The whole of the front room of the house was taken up with his workshop and the hallway was his cloth store. In the middle of the room was a very large woolen, fabric covered work table and in the bay window were a pair of very old treadle sewing machines. All around the room were the tools of his trade, boxes of triangular shaped chalk, taylors tongs, scissors in varying sizes and styles, flat irons heated on a gas ring which were installed in the hearth and were fed with gas by two red rubber hoses. The table, over which hung two light bulbs fed with maroon cotton covered cable from one central ceiling rose, from one of these light fixings hung an adaptor I nto which Mr Levy plugged in his one and only elctric iron !!!!!! The table was covered with boxes of needles, reels of cotton, stiff clothes bushes and piles and piles of cloth samples (the bolts of cloth were stored floor to ceiling in the hallway). Every surface was dusty from the cutting sewing and brushing in this workshop and that was not all the wall paper was ancient and very heavily patterned and the paint work was brow making the whole place dark and gloomy. As a traditional Jewish taylor Mr Levy worked in the traditional way and very often could be found sat cross legged on the large table when a customer walked in. Mr Levy must have given up by 1967 as when I came to hhave my wedding suit made he was no longer in business!
Three doors down from Mr Levy was another fascinating front room shop but this one not only took up the front room but the outside porch as well. This was next door to Mr Levy at number 270 Havant Road and this was the wool shop. Unfortunately I cannot remember the name of the lady who ran the shop but I know that the shop had gone by 1964 and had been converted to The Glen Coffee Lounge. The wool shop was a sight to behold because everywhere in the porch and front room were bags and skeens of wool from floor to ceiling. Just inside the door was a small counter which was stacked high with knitting patterns, knitting needle, croquet hooks, pins, cottons and colour charts. Both my mother and grandmother were regular customers in this shop and what always baffled me was that they (and many other ladies) had wool put by to pick up the odd ball at a time but somehow the lady who ran the shop always knew where it was and how many balls the customer had left. I wish I could rmember the name of the lady who ran the shop can anyone out there remember?
I will mention just one more shop and this is not a front room shop but a back room and conservatory shop. This was run by Mr Le Shaw from a house at 71 Solent Road with the entrance round the corner in Highlands Road. As I have said befor this was the pace to go and spend your pocket money on sweets, gob stoppers,home made ice lollies, home made pop, cap bombs and guns, goggles and flying helmets in fact everything a boy could want! The shop also sold groceries and friut and vegetables which our mothers found useful but when you are 10 years old these things did not bother you. As I sid earlier I have dealt with Shaws befor so I will leave it ther.
However, if you have any memories of shops in front rooms send them in so we can all share in them.
Ah well more memories from the past!
Stay in touch,
I recently came across your Manor Court blog and what wonderful memories it brought flooding back. Thank you. I attended Court Lane Infants until the 11+ then spent two years at the Technical High before I left for Malta in 1962. I remember many of the folks in the photographs, and although I have been living in America for the last 27 years I still keep in regular contact with Robert Webster and Christine Miles (nee Budd). We all lived in Kinross Crescent at the time.
Thank you for the trip down memory lane
News and Views:
The Internal Revenue Service quietly revoked its claim that Dionne Warwick owed $2.2 million in unpaid federal taxes on. The IRS says it made an accounting mistake and Dionne only owes less than one million
On this day 2nd June 1960-1965
On 02/06/1960 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. The big news story of the day was Filming of Spartacus was about to begin.
On 03/06/1961 the number one single was Surrender - Elvis Presley and the number one album was GI Blues - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Probation Officer (ATV) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25.
On 03/06/1962 the number one single was Good Luck Charm - Elvis Presley 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. The big news story of the week was Boeing crashes on take-off in Paris killing 130.
On 02/06/1963 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 Coronation Street (Granada) 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. The big news story of the week was Pope John XXIII dies the next day.
On 02/06/1964 the number one single was You're My World - Cilla Black and the number one album was Rolling Stones - The Rolling Stones. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) 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 03/06/1965 the number one single was Long Live Love - Sandie Shaw and the number one album was Bringing It All Back Home - Bob Dylan. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) 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.