Friday, July 06, 2012

I remember, I remember...

You know how you get to thinking about the old days when it's raining and there's nothing on the telly.. OK, here goes. I reckon the population of my natal village in the 40s-50s was no more than 1600, and probably less. Now, think about this: with a population that small, we had (as far as I can recall) the following shops:

Barney Heenan's bakery and breadshop
A hardware store opposite (name escapes me)
Bateman's the Chemist
Gallier's the Butcher
The Post Office
Corfields grocery shop
Kearton's haberdashery
Another hardware and electrical store (name escapes me)
Mrs Gittens (a private initiative from her front room, selling toys)
Billy Potter the butcher
Quinn's haberdashery, specialising in wool
Jack Evans the greengrocer
The Coop, the nearest we had to a supermarket
Woodfin's shoeshop
Benbow's farm shop (milk and eggs)
Gilbert the barber
Walkers sweet shop and general store
Bert Rummins ladies' dress shop
Harris's bakery (marvellous cream cakes)
Another Harris' selling second hand bikes and other bric a brac
Ernie Austin newsagent and tobacconist
A shop next to Austin's selling children's clothes et sim
Bircher's garage
A radio shop also selling "accumulator" batteries.
Grately's, another butcher's shop
Cases' fish and chip shop
There were at least two other shops, but I can't remember the details. That's upward of thirty shops. How on earth did they all make a living? Of course there was no supermarket competition, and the nearest shopping centre was Wellington, some three miles away, which involved either a bus ride or a long walk there and back.
I think what is more amazing than the number of shops in Hadley is the fact that I can remember the names of most of them. Clearly nothing quite so important has happened in my life since then. Sad, really.

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