04/05/2008 14:04

Shops

 

There are not so many shops in Downham now as there were when I was young. the village was almost self-sufficient. We had three bakers for a start. There was Mrs EM Saberton in Townsend who baked bread and made wonderful cakes. Next to Chamber's Yard was the bakery owned by the Taylors, a family affair where we used to go on Saturday mornings armed with a tanner (2 1/2p) and buy a bun ring and eat it straight from the oven. If we were hard up we bought a small loaf of bread which was cheaper. The other baker was Alfred Saberton whose business was situated where Churchill Court now stands. His green van with the registration JE 1 ran for many years.

 

We had four grocery shops; Lewis Hull kept the one which is now Proctor's. Joseph Garner plied his trade where the Post Office now stands and what is now the "Humble Spud" was the Thompsons' shop which sold groceries, sweets and also a thriving butcher's shop. Ben Lofts opposite the church sold just about everything. You could buy a packet of fags there from about 5am til abou 8 pm. There were seats in this shop where customers woud tarry a while to hear the local news.

 

Freddie Gibson had a similar shop, alas burnt out on a windy March morning. This also had seats where the customers argued the evening away. They were like non-alcoholic pubs , these shops, unique but never the less gone.

 

The post-office was run by Arthur Sennitt and the phone box stood outside. I remember the postmen, Jack Yardy, Wally Hull and Jack Gibson. Between them they served a huge area, biking and walking many miles each day, often in Arctic conditions. You had to be tough to keep a postoffice.

 

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Parish magazine 1897

04/05/2008 12:54

January 1897

  January 1897   ANOTHER year is gone...

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04/05/2008 12:56

February 1897

  February 1897 ONE great white sheet of...

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04/05/2008 12:59

March 1897

  March FLOODS owing to the sudden thaw, and...

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04/05/2008 13:00

April 1897

  April THE CEMETERY.—-On Monday evening,...

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04/05/2008 13:02

May 1897

  May OUR first words must be those of...

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04/05/2008 13:03

June 1897

  June THE sixtieth year of Her Majesty the...

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04/05/2008 13:05

July 1897

  July THE past month has been one of varied...

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04/05/2008 13:06

August 1897

  August   RARELY have the crops looked...

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04/05/2008 13:07

September 1897

  September THE past has been a month almost...

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04/05/2008 13:08

October 1897

  October Two more Harvest Festivals have...

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Littledownham


Parish Magazine 1898

04/05/2008 13:16

January 1898

  January DURING the last month we have been...

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04/05/2008 13:20

February 1898

  February FORTUNATELY the great dark war...

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04/05/2008 13:21

March 1898

  March OUR first words in this month's...

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04/05/2008 13:22

April 1898

  April WAR at all times is a very terrible...

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04/05/2008 13:22

May 1898

  May FLOWER SHow.-A meeting of the...

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04/05/2008 13:23

June 1898

  June THE Jumble Sale in behalf of the...

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04/05/2008 13:25

July 1898

  July THE last month has been an eventful...

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04/05/2008 13:26

August 1898

  August ALL over England men are now busy...

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04/05/2008 13:27

September 1898

  September THE Harvest Thanksgiving at...

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04/05/2008 13:28

October 1898

  OCTOBER BITS ABOUT TEMPERANCE.-Some very...

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04/05/2008 13:29

November 1898

  November THE Annual Tea at Downham, was...

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