You are here: Home » Places » Village Centre » Village Centre Bungalow and shop

Village Centre Bungalow and shop

by | Aug 6, 2015 | Places, Village Centre, Village Shops | 7 comments


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.

rabbit show cardIn 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.

Cane Martenholme Pond village shop

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.



  1. Sharon McGinty

    For many years from 1960s until it’s closure my Mother Joan Mumby, formally Rose nee Clarke, worked at the village shop. First for Glad And Doug Oliver then for Joan and Gill Palmer, relatives of the Olivers who bought the business when they retired to Duddenhoe End.
    Regarding the alsation, her name was Silver.
    Doug used to deliver the grocery orders around the village and to Builden End, on Thursdays if I remember correctly. Glad and Joan would have filled up the cardboard boxes with people’s orders the day before. I recall going with Doug on his rounds with Silver resting her head on my shoulder. At Christmas time, Glad would bring out a white painted wooden trolley on which she displayed wrapping paper, ribbon and gift tags. I recall also, the boxes of oranges around Christmas with some of the fruit wrapped in coloured foil.
    Although the shop didn’t sell fresh meat, bacon was on offer which would be sliced on the bacon slicer when required. My Mum still has the scar on her arm where she sliced more than she bargained for one day.
    The Doctors from Barley visited twice a week I think and held surgery in he kitchen. Patients had to queue up by the door whatever the weather. The Olivers had a cat call Phoebe who slept on top of the kitchen boiler.
    There was very little space behind the counter for the stuff to move back and forth so it was fortunate that both Glad and Joan were petite. On days when the stock was delivered by APT and later MACE, there was even less space until the delivery had been put on the shelves.
    In the summer an ice cream cornet was a welcome treat and I recall when Mini milk lollies first arrived on the scene that Doug was very partial. On the left hand side as you came into the shop there was a rack to hold a wide range of Corona fizzy drinks in their long necked bottles. These bottles could be returned and exchanged for cash which more often than not was then used to buy sweets.
    Doug was a very accomplished musician who played trumpet and piano. I believe he used to play in a band. He was a huge animal lover and vegetarian.
    Glad and Doug had a son, Graham who married Diana from Gt Chishall.

    • Rosemarie Gant

      Thank you so much for these memories. Yes I remember the Christmas trolley now too – how lovely!

  2. Bryan Rogers

    You have somehow missed out Mr. and Mrs. Leach who ran the shop in the late 1940’s. I’m not sure when they took over, or how long they stayed, but I know they were there in 1948 as I have personal memories of that time.

  3. Rosemarie Gant

    Ah excellent – we are beginning to build a timeline (I love timelines!). So the Weedon’s ran the shop before the Leach’s, do we think? Do we know who built the bungalow? Was it a Fred Cranwell construction?

    • Geoff Cranwell

      Fred Cranwell was my Grandfather I don’t remember if the bungalow/shop was built by F. W. Cranwell I never heard him mention it. Also I remember that Doug Oliver delivered the groceries in a green mini van.

      • John Negus

        I believe Sid Flack, my Grandmothers brother built the shop
        I remember my Mum talking about him and the way he used to freeze custard and serve it in a cornet.
        I don’t really know much else about him other than he was a lay preacher and very keen on the chapel

        • Rosemarie Gant

          Frozen custard – what a great idea! Do you have any photos of him?


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!