Our daily shopping area
From 1949-1982 I lived in Dyke Road Drive just north of the viaduct, so London Road was one of our daily shopping areas; Western Rd was only for the ‘Big Shop’ on Saturday. Bradshaws was where you could look in the long side window at the rows of yellow boxed Dinky toys, as well as the bikes in the main shop. Next to Mitchell’s paint shop was a little garden in Rose Hill Terrace, where there was a model village.
The man with the toffee hammer
Ah! fantastic memories of the sweet shop near the Co-op, liquorice wood to shred with your teeth for days, honeycomb and hard toffee the man broke up with a metal silvery hammer. The pork butchers, Harrison’s was next door, and along the street Dawkins Forge at the Open Market.
My first Saturday job
My first job as a Saturday boy was at Sainsbury’s 55 London Rd near the Branch Tavern. I started as an egg boy, graduating to a cheese boy, but never making the dizzy heights of grocery boy which was the top dept, as I retrained as a butcher’s boy. Behind the branch on the corner of Providence Place and York Hill, was the Dolphin Cafe where the Sainsbury workers bought lovely crusty and floury cheese rolls. Further along on the west side was the army surplus stores where I used to buy camping equipment for Scout camp, and down that side was Rosling’s store.
A Christmas surprise
I saw a lovely toy fort in Rosling’s one Christmas. It was too dear to buy, but my mum asked a teenager called Paul, who lived in our road, to make one as a surprise. It was built like…a fort! You could stand on it. I had it for 20 years before giving it to the Royal Alexander Children’s Hospital. At the back of London Road there was someone with Rhodesian Ridgeback hounds which, as a butcher’s boy, I used to feed scraps to from the backdoor. Public Health Officers where were you?