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Author Topic: Gillingham High Street, 1930's/40's.  (Read 1172 times)

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Offline Dave Smith

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Gillingham High Street, 1930's/40's.
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2017, 13:15:44 »
As DavetheTrain showed interest, & there can't be many of us left who can comment. I was born in 1930 so regularly went shopping - Tuesdays & Fridays - with my Mum on the no.19 bus from Gillingham cemetery - cost 1p. As I remember, we got off just past the railway station, outside Maypole, there was a butchers next door but further along, on the corner of Gardner Street, was Lefevres, curtain & other material, as wives did a lot of sewing then. It always seemed funny to me that material was always one and eleven three or two and eleven three, etc. (1s &113/4d; why not 2s.? ),- a bit like today's 2.99. Can't remember further on that side. Across the road was the Co-op store, between Gardner St. & King St. (where there were underground L's & G's toilets and in the Winter, on Saturdays, a chap with a hand cart sold hot roasted chestnuts - about 8 in a little paper bag). Food on the ground floor of Co-op; bacon, cheese & butter (here the man, usually, cut a piece of butter from a big block & patted it between two paddles to make a half pound block). Counters, tea counter and general groceries. Overhead wires to convey the cash in a small cylinder to the central kiosk - done by pulling down a handle which, I think, probably wound up a spring before "twang",  to give momentum. Upstairs was "soft furnishings", material, carpets & clothing. Further along, towards Canterbury St., was the Co-op barber shop & possibly their shoe shop? Then David Greig; bacon, cheese, eggs, butter, etc. I'm sure there was also a Woolworths on that side plus a Maypole (similar to Liptons). Past Canterbury Street, a lot of small shops &, at the end, Hubble & Ames, a small sports shop jointly owned by the Kent wicket keeper, Leslie Ames. Back on the other side, well past the Library - always a stop for my Mum, an avid reader, was a fishmonger on the corner of Britton St. toward Saxton St. During the war, they sold snoek (whalemeat). Off ration but we never had any because it was supposed to smell awful when cooking! Going " up" Canterbury Street, on the left was the Co op laundry (possibly dry cleaners as well?) just before the dance hall. Further up was Elliots Cycles - this in the mid/late 40's - where they made cycle frames, etc. Across the road was a cold meat shop (deli today)where Mum bought brawn - ugh! There must have been greengrocers, chemists, etc. but I can't place them. So that's it, unless someone can jog my memory?

 

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