This bungalow still stands in front of Barleymans and opposite the village sign, albeit it is much changed. The photograph probably dates from the 1950s.
The village shop moved from Martinholme, to Stanmore Place and then to this bungalow in the centre of the village.
On the left of this photograph can be seen the stripey blind that was covering the shop window as for many years during the 1950s, 60s and 70s this building was the village shop and post office. In fact for some considerable time it was also the doctor’s surgery which you would enter by going to the left of the building and into the back door!
In the 1940s this shop was run by Weedon’s who also ran the bus company next door. They sold groceries and sweets.
In the late 1940s the shop was run by the Leech family. You can see the two daughters in the school photo of 1949. Mr Leech also ran the local rabbit shows and at the back of the shop there were rows of rabbit hutches known as ‘Rhylestone Rabbitries’.
During the 1960s and 1970s, the shop was run by Mr and Mrs Oliver, Mr Oliver very tall and Mrs Oliver very short. When you entered the shop the post office was on the left hand side behind a grill. In front of you was the shop counter with a huge rack of sweets on the left hand side. I can’t remember much more detail of what was in the shop but I do know it always seemed packed to the roof with everything you needed. They did orders too and I remember my mother going in each week with her order in a little book. I don’t know whether they delivered the orders or whether they just prepared and you collected them.
I do remember the alsation dog who protected the premises and whose claws you could hear clicking around as she paraded about behind the counter.
A visit to the shop on Friday afternoon for 10 pence worth of sweets was a much looked forward to treat.
The photograph to the left was probably taken around the same time although it looks to me like the fence at the front of the building has by then been replaced with the breeze block wall that was there for many years. So it maybe the photograph above is early on in the 1950s or even late 1940.
This photo will enlarge if you click on it and it is well worth looking at the larger version for a lovely evocative picture of the centre of the village on what was obviously a quiet and misty morning.
Do you have any memories of “Oliver’s” or any of the other village shops? Do share in the comments below.