Early shopping memories (oral history)

Tea cakes and memories

[Where did you move from ?]
Shepherds Bush.   Well, coming out of Notting Hill – Portobello Road – that was our shopping centre. 

I came out in 1950, 7th January.   I remember it all, my baby was 5 months old and she’s 62 now. 
(Oh no !!). 
In April she’ll be 62 so I’ve been out here for 60 odd years.
[Were there shops here when you moved in ?]
No, nothing.  Mr. Barker came with his big van .. it was a big van and it was green and it was Barkers and he used to come Wednesday and Friday.  We used to queue up and get our bit of shopping.   I used to go over the Carpenders Park .. go under the tunnels and get my shopping there because there was nothing.

But I registered … because you were still on rations … I registered over at Perks then … over at Carpenders  Park .  I used to get my shopping  then .. a few bits that you could get.
[You still had your ration book ?]
Oh yes.  You had to have ration books then.
[How long did the ration books go on for ?]
About 1954 I think.  Every week we all 4 of us walked with our babies to Watford with the buggy .. the pram, you know…
[What, you walked all the way to Watford ?]
Walked all the way and back.
[Oh my goodness ?  That must have taken a very long …]
Well we sat in Bushey Park and had a drop of lemonade … we was all young and silly you know as we was.  We were happy and ..   I loved it.
[So you liked it .. after you moved here you liked it here.]
Oh yes, I loved it.    

[What do you think is the best thing about living here then ?]
The friendliness and our little clubs .. I love it here .. I don’t want to live anywhere else.
[How long have you been coming to the Clitheroe Club .. here .. how long have you been coming to this club.]
Oooh  God (!)… when it first opened .. years now .. 40 odd.
[Yes … and you come for the bingo ?]
We used to come to different (things) but I don’t bother now.  There used to be all different things.  
[Yes .. now you just come to the bingo now?]
Yes.   And I was always in Oxhey Drive .. 60 odd years in Oxhey Drive … supposed to have had my knee done but I’ve cancelled it.  [Oh dear!]  
Silly fool .. but never mind … 86 next week.
[You’re wearing well]
Thankyou !
[So, how has it changed here then since you first moved in ?]
It’s got friendlier … but no difference to me.
[Is there a lot of new building ..  a lot of new houses.]
Well there was no shops or nothing when I came here .. nothing.

This page was added on 30/07/2012.

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  • I remember Mr Barker’s van, as a kid. He used to come to Farm Way in Bushey. It was a long removal van, as you walked in there was green grocery and tins down the end, and sweets. It smelt of vegetables. It seemed huge as a kid, massive, like an Aladin’s cave. He was there before they built the shops in Bournehall Avenue.

    By Phil (20/10/2012)