Shopping in Appleby in the Early 1950's
By Walter S Ellis
Walter lived in Appleby during the 1950s and remembers the shops mentioned in Allan Condie's article 'Shopping in Appleby'. Allan starts in the mid to end of the 1950s so Walter has written the following article to put down his memories for the first half of the 1950s.
"We will start with the Coalville and District Co-operative Society. It was in Church Street but not in the former Bates shop, it was lower down the street. In In Focus Chapter 25 there is a photo of Church Street showing the General Baptist Chapel on the opposite side of the road is a bay window that was the co-op. In a big house, which was knocked down to make way for Wrens Close. In the shop at this time was Margaret Jordan and a girl from Snarestone. For people that couldn’t get to the shop they would call round to your house for your grocery order and deliver it when the shop closed for half day.
Going back to Bates old shop in the early 1950s Wilson’s ran the bakery baking bread sold in the shop a long with other grocery goods. Allan said three bakers went around the village delivering bread. I can think of two more, Burbidge’s from Measham and Spencer from Coalville.
In Church street where Allan had Lenny Betteridge butchers shop was a newsagent run by Mr and Mr Smith selling what newsagent did and a bit more. Going round the corner into Mawby’s Lane to Rock House at this time it was still a Butchers ran by Les Starbuck with help from Bill Taylor. It changed to Starbuck and Taylor after Les had a bad illness. In those days a lot of households would have kept pigs and Bill would come round to your home and kill them for you. Having left it hanging over night the following day he would cut it up into joints, chops and salt down some to become bacon and ham.
Edgar Wilemen kept the Post-Office at the top of Black Horse Hill on corner with Mawby’s Lane and Mrs Johnson her small shop.
A few other people traded in the village at this time. On Top Street going towards the Grammar School a few doors down from Mrs Johnson’s shop there was a shoe repairer by the name of Mr Black. In Duck Lake villagers would go long to Gordon Parkers farm for fresh milk. Stony Lane on the right hand side three houses stood on a bank with steps going up to each of them. In the first one lived Pinkie Wilkins. He was a bookies runner. The last one was a barber, Mr Snead which I never found a very pleasant place to go as he used hand clippers that pulled you hair. I think I only went two or three times before going to the barbers in Measham which had three barbers at the time.
Onto Measham Road turn right up the road, on the right-hand side was Charlie Jones Carpenter/ Undertaker. The buildings are still there but are that over grown you can only just see them. A few yards up the road on the opposite side stands two houses end on to the road. In the one nearest to the road lived Harry Birkenhead who became bookies runner after Pinkie.
On Tamworth Road turn to Measham on right hand side was a bungalow, which had petrol pumps by the side of the road run by Mr Bowie. The last but one in this group of houses lived Charlie Starbuck. He was a Plumber /Decorator.
If you wanted a Taxi there was Aubrey Fowkes in Hallyard Farm Top Street and Horace Fowkes at Jubilee Farm Snarestone Lane.
I would like to add some Professional people; the Rev A K Meakin was the Rector for Appleby and Dr Salmond was the local Doctor both lived at Appleby Parva (Overtown as we knew it). Talking about what thing was known by, in the 1950’s streets and roads didn’t have signs up with their names on. From the Black Horse down the hill to Duck Lake Post Office end we knew as Black Horse Hill and what is now Black Horse Hill we called Post Office Hill as the Post Office was at the top of the hill on the corner with Mawby’s Lane, and it wasn’t a one-way street.
Dr Salmond’s house and surgery was the last big house on the left-hand side of the A444 heading towards Burton. The surgery was in some outbuilding a way from the house. The waiting room was heated in cold weather by a small smelly paraffin heater.
Just one more thing; Allan has an article about transport. I can think of one more bus running in 1950s, but I don’t know the dates when it started or finished running. This was a work service bus operated by Browns Blue Buses of Ibstock for the workforce of Clutsom and Kemp of Coalville, the manufacturers of woven elastic webbing, the factory is no longer there, it was on Central Road Hugglecote on the opposite side of the road to Coalville Tyre and Exhaust the factory site now has houses built on it.
Where I fit into Appleby, my parents came to live in Appleby October 1950 into Mill House on Snaretone Lane; I was 13 years old at the time. I finished my schooling off at Tamworth, on leaving school March 1952 I started working in the village for Charlie Jones Carpenter/ Undertaker that lasted a year. In March1953 started work at Red Banks in Measham. In August 1955 left Appleby to join the army (Coldstream Guards) and in December 1957 married local girl Shirley Phillips in Appleby church. August 1958 out of the army, August 1958 start back to work at Red Banks working there until I retired in March 2002.
After leaving the army Shirley and I go to live with my parents at the Mill House. March 1960 go to live in Measham Ashby Road. May 1963 move back into Appleby Parish just into NIP-A-KOFF row as it was known as it had a cough sweet ad on the row of houses; it was at bottom of Birds Hill on right hand side as you go down the hill. October 1966 move back to Measham off Atherstone Road still there. My parents after retiring moved to the Almshouse in Mawby’s Lane. Shirley’s parents lived in a few different houses around the village, ended up at bottom of Bird’s Hill.
My parents; Shirley’s parents and my Wife Shirley are all buried at Appleby.
Walter S Ellis, April 2011