As far as I can ascertain the shop was originally started by
Dad’s older brother, Charlie. This would be in the late 1930’s.
Charlie died in his mid - 30’s. Dad then ran the shop until he was sent to Bristol during the war. There he met Audrey Eady.
After they married Stan and Audrey came to St Dennis and took over the shop once more, which had been left in the care of Dad's parents.
The shop stocked everything from fruit and veg, Lyons cakes, various home remedies, flowers and fireworks.
Not quite the range of ‘Open all Hours ‘ but close!
Their opening hours were more rigidly controlled than Arkwrights
Monday closed all morning (Washing day), opening at 2p.m
Tuesday open 9a.m until 9p.m
Wednesday 9a.m until 1p.m (half day)
Thursday-Saturday 9a.m until 9p.m.
I believe hours were regulated by the Shops and Factory Act, but I’m not certain. This didn’t stop them from opening up out of hours though to anyone in dire need of essential supplies!
Any spare time was spent visiting various wholesalers, caretaking duties at St Denys church, not to mention the fact that Dad was 1 of 2 village postmen, the other being Ray Stribley.
He also sold produce from his van mainly to Trerice (aka Egypt) and Retew.
As might be imagined Christmas was a very busy time. Apart from the usual fruit and veg they sold numerous Christmas trees and holly wreaths, the wreaths being stored in the bath, so bathing wasn’t an option!
Visitors to the shop were puzzled as to how potatoes were sold in measures of a gallon or 1/2 gallon. Then it was explained that a pint of water weighed a pound and a quarter, so a gallon of spuds would be - you do the maths.
(for the benefit of younger readers who may not be familiar with Imperial measurements 1 gallon = 8 pints).
Dad suffered a stroke about 1984 after which time the shop ceased trading.
Adrian Pope - October 2020