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Archive for the ‘Shops’ Category

In 1957 the Bletchley Gazette reported that two-thirds of Bletchley’s hospital patients went to the Aylesbury  group of hospitals and two third go to the Northampton group.

I remember having to go to Aylesbury by train, changing at Cheddington, or to Northampton by train. This meant very often a  wait in the cold on a railway station whether an outpatient, patient or visitor.

We are very fortunate to have a new hospital, served by a regular bus service.

A similar situation applies with shopping trips, which in 1957 involved a rail journey to either Bedford or Northampton but now a simple bus or car journey to CMK.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Butcher Boy.

When I was in my teens, in the 1950’s I was  delivery boy for Benford’s in Simpson Road Bletchley. My round took in Fenny Stratford, and part of Bletchley. I would start work at half past eight on Saturday morning helping make the orders up, then start delivering them at about nine.

In a building behind the shop I sometimes used to make minced beef in the mincer.

Another of my jobs was to go on my bike  down to Rowlands’ wood yard and fill a sack with sawdust  for the shop floor. I was paid the princely sum of 10 shillings (50pence)  per week which wasn’t bad  in those days.

 

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We’ve been posting a number of old photos of Bletchley shops but we were given permission recently to photograph the interior of Fabric world, on Queensway. This shop has been the ‘go to’ place for home-makers and dressmakers from all around the area for many years.

Originally based near the Working Men’s Club, at the entrance to the old market, they were then one of the first retailers to move into the Brunel Centre, situated just beside the entrance to the underpass. A further move to their present site has provided Bletchley with its own ‘Aladdin’s Cave’ for material, curtains, cushions and an amazing array of accessories. It seems like a small shop from the front but when you enter, it just goes on and on and on!

It’s the type of old fashioned, service-based shop that has unfortunately been disappearing from our High Streets for some years and we were delighted to have the opportunity to record the details of a shop like this, in all its glory.

Do you have memories of shopping at Fabric World? We’d love to hear about your experiences.

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Buttons and bows as far as the eye can see

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It’s a material world

A photo of the original shop hangs behind the counter

A photo of the original shop hangs behind the counter

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Albert Street Bletchley

This is an unusual view of Albert Street. Does anyone know what the shops were in the old Co-operative building just right of centre? We know the Bletchley and District Co-operative Society built them in 1885 but it looks like some small shops were in there when this was taken.

View over Albert Street from Stephenson House 1977

View over Albert Street from Stephenson House 1977

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Hatters Furniture Store

In answer to a comment on a previous post, concerning Hatters Furniture Store.It was on the premises which is now the Agora Centre. It was quite a large shop, the sales area occupying two floors.

My wife and I bought a bedroom suite there (wardrobe, chest of drawers and dressing table) in the 1970s.

The building was originally built to house the Post Office sorting office, which subsequently moved to Dawson Road.

Hatters advert in the Bletchley Gazette

Hatters advert in the Bletchley Gazette

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Bletchley Fly-over

Tin shops on Bletchley Road in the 1960s

Tin shops on Bletchley Road in the 1960s

 

This photograph was taken during the period between the building of the fly-over, and the construction of the new railway bridge,

The old railway bridge was filled in and became part of the embankment. The tin shops were demolished, and the road re-routed under the right hand span of the fly-over and through the new bridge.

 

 

 

 

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Bletchley Community Heritage is taking part in the annual Heritage Open Days later this month.  We have photos, documents, artefacts and memories related to industries and retailers in the town over the years.  From a retailer’s scrapbook to an apprentice’s contract and tools, from a pharmacy’s labels for ‘special’ potions to products made in one of our three brush factories.

Bletchley’s traders have produced and sold an enormous range of goods and services.  Do you have any memorabilia from your time (or your parents’) with a locally based employer?  If so, and you’re happy to lend them to us, we will find room to place more items in our exhibition.

Neal's shop before they specialised in prams and toys

Neal’s shop before they specialised in prams and toys

Beacon Brushes recruitment advert 1970

Beacon Brushes recruitment advert 1970

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