Warm buns on Saturday
I was born in Prinsep Road, and went to Ellen Street School and have lots of memories of Shirley Street and the shops there. I remember the chemist shop very well, it was owned by a Mr Foulkes; I was in the same class as his son Geoff. I recall very well sitting right behind him when we did our 11+. On the other corner, was a grocery store operated by Mrs Sinkfield where my Nan would go to buy warm buns on a Saturday morning. She also bought what I seem to recall was called Breakfast Sausage, pale pink sliced meat with big chunks of fat in it, a big treat.
Buying rationed sweets
I was more familiar with the stores closer to St Barnabas Church, especially the sweet shop next to the hall, where a lovely old couple, Mr and Mrs Bullen, used to sell half-penny and penny drinks, and cut up the sweets, then rationed, to make it seem as if there were more. At the end of the same block, on the corner of Ellen Street, was a bakery where we’d buy small Lardy cakes on the way to school. Oh the wonderful smell coming from that basement bakery early in the morning.
What shops do you remember from when you were a kid? Please post in comments below
Nan offered pigs ears!
Next along the street was Mr Ball the butcher, he managed to offend Nan by offering her pigs ears one day when she had no meat coupons left. He also used to sell the most disgusting stuff, whale meat, ugh. Outside was a horse trough, inscribed ‘A merciful man is merciful to his beast’, I never forgot that. There was also a lower trough for dogs, but neither contained water unless it rained.
A safe neighbourhood
We used to have the rag and bone man come round, also a knife grinder. Every spring it would be the Gypsies selling paper flowers and clothes pegs. Does anyone recall the Breton onion men with their onion braids festooning their bikes? I haven’t met anyone else that does. but it’s good to look back and remember the old haunts, and a time when we had so much more liberty to wander safely in the neighbourhood, unlike today.