Web Page 1198
9th November 2013
Top Picture: A Typical Corner Shop
Bottom Picture: That famous Hovis advert.
The Corner Shop
One of the essentials of our childhood was the corner shop. Where I lived on the boarders of Drayton and Farlington we were particularly well off for these as we seemed to have these in all directions around us. Our nearest shop was over the Havant Road and down Lealand Road, right opposite to Keith Conlon’s house, Mrs Barrister’s shop was at number 17. Actually it was registered as Albert Bannister, grocer, but I never remember seeing him but says he Keith does. We were all sent either across the road or down the road for various things that our parents wanted ranging from three pieces of sliced bacon to Dad’s fags and a box of matches. Mr Bannister died in the 1960’s but his wife carried on the business for several years afterwards with the shop stop ever depleting until she gave up completely. This store, like the others in this article were sited in one room of a normal house usually the front room and were run for many years providing and essential cottage style service.
Also within striking distance of home and south of the Havant Road was Mrs Clark’s shop in 28 Station Road. Now this really was a front room which had been converted into a shop with things piled high around the wall and in the hallway and very often when you went in the shop was empty and Mrs Clark would shuffle through from her sitting room in the back to serve you. Unlike Mrs Banisters, which I remember as being a fairly light and airy shop Mrs Clark’s was the opposite, it was dark and somewhat foreboding.
Round the corner in Central Road but listed as 30 Station Road was a shop that was a purpose built extension to the main house to which it was attached. The Davies family, whose daughter, Anne we were at school with, ran this particular shop that also was on the light and airy side and always seemed to stock a reasonable amount of items.
Further down Station Road towards the bottom were the two stores on either side of the road run and separated by Old Manor Way. These shops were run by the Taylor family; the grocers being at number 83 on the eastern corner of Station Road and north of Grove Road whilst the Wine Merchants was over the road at number 86 on the south west corner of the Grove Road junction.
Looking north of the Havant Road in my area I remember Mr Kent’s shop on the corner of Solent Road and Portsdown Avenue. This had a strange step arrangement leading up to the door which was on the corner of the building giving it two shop windows. Not a shop I frequented often and it always appeared to be devoid of customers.
Further along Solent Road with an entrance in Highlands Road was Mr Shaw’s shop. As kids we always referred to him as Old Man Shaw, he must have been at least 40 then. This store was different as it was in the back room of the house and spilled over into a lean to on the back. Being right opposite Solent Road School this was the local tuck shop and was always full of junior school children before and after lessons. He did a great line in home made ice poles and cola. He also stocked toys and sweets for pocket money prices everything from chewing gum, black jacks and fruit salads to cap bombs and caps and cowboy outfits.
You must all have had local shops near where you lived, I know there were several on the Highbury Estate and Pam reminds me of the Chusan Stores which was on the corner of Roseberry and Lonsdale Avenues.
Why these shops sprung up as they did, I do not know most were house conversions of extensions but unfortunately none of the above-mentioned shops survive today. Such is the power of the supermarket and the end of the daily shopping routine but for a very long period of time especially all through our formative years these little shops were essential to our parents ways of life, and often a lifeline and the gossip centre for the whole community.
Keep in touch
Great pic of Uncle Tom's Cabin, strangely I didn't remember the cottages between it and the Baptist Church. Interestingly when I was doing my work on Cosham I discovered that the Widley Poor Houses were situated directly behind UTC arranged in a horsehoe shape. I guess they would have been very roughly built, probably chalk blocks, and soon disappeared when they fell into disuse. It would be really great if at some point we could discover a picture of this area. I am struggling to remember the geography of it now, but I should think that it was incorporated into the market (lately the car park of the cinema). I do remember jumping over the wall at the back of the Baptist Church which brought you to roughly the same place! anything to escape Miss Crocker's sewing class - "Anida Folland I can see your stitches from the top of Portsdown Hill!!" still 10 years later she was happy to buy our flat from us!
The thing that struck me about the roadworks was the smallness of them just a wooden barrier a bit of a hole and a couple of roughly made notices all taking up no more than about 20 feet, not like today when we have to have miles coned off for days with nobody to be seen! What a load of piffle health and safety is!
Somewhere in the dark recesses of our loft I have a picture of the two cottages that sat back in between the East Cosham Tavern and the Esso station, they were made of flint and were rather pretty - all gone the same way as everything else. Martyrs to the temples of consummerism, Iceland, Tesco and the like. I will dig it out one day and send on if I can find it.
"Note the signal flags on the road works".
News and Views:
On this day 9th November 1960-1965
On 9/11/1960 the number one single was Tell Laura I Love Her - Ricky Valance and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was No Hiding Place (AR) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was US places embargo on goods to Cuba.
On 11/11/1961 the number one single was Walkin' Back to Happiness - Helen Shapiro and the number one album was The Shadows - Shadows. The top rated TV show was Sunday Night at the London Palladium (ATV) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 11/11/1962 the number one single was Telstar - The Tornadoes and the number one album was Best of Ball Barber & Bilk. 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 Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 11/11/1963 the number one single was Do You Love Me? - Brian Poole & the Tremoloes 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 Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 11/11/1964 the number one single was Oh Pretty Woman - Roy Orbison and the number one album was A Hard Day's Night - Beatles. 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 Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 11/11/1965 the number one single was Tears - Ken Dodd and the number one album was The Sound of Music Soundtrack. 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 Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.