Nostalgia by Michael Eagleton

The oldest pictures are on the top line, dating from the early years of the last Century – Fred Todd’s Tailors, with the two windows of Mr East’s China Shop next door; Clark & Sons Butchers, plenty of stock outside, but not to be confused with the other Clark Butchers down the High Street, and then the long established Battings Ironmongers, which after over 150 years trading closed in the early 1970s.

Middle line, from the 1930s: Miss Morris’ Fruit Shop; Compton’s Cycles and Motorcycles complete with petrol pumps, with A.Brown, Confectioners and Tobacconist alongside, and next J.North’s Corn Merchants.

Coming a bit more up to date at the bottom and into the 1970s: Bodwells Radio & Television, at a time when many of us rented TVs rather than buying them; Ron Bailey’s Clock, Watch & Jewellery Shop, and G.E.Stevens, who were corn merchants along with garden and pet supplies.

As you went through their door you encountered an overpowering smell of various fertilizers. There was never anyone called Bodwell: it was a partnership between Mr Boddy and Mr Wells, and they had originally started out in a small shop that existed in Spittal Street next to the old cinema building, about where Subway is today.

I was going to include the names of the current occupiers of all these premises, but you might like to have a guess: most are quite easy to locate.

Contact Michael on or 01628 486571