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Alfreton Road

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The shop at the bottom of Bobbers Mill Rd was I believe Nix's Hardware Store. I don't recollect Towlsons ever being there Jill, but I could be mistaken. 

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Towlson's was always where the Bang & Olufsson shop was.

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#50 and 51

 

It would be before your time FLY2. My mother was born on Bobbers Mill Road in 1926 and she often told me that, as children, she and her sisters would look in Towlson's shop window, which was on the corner of Bobbers Mill and Alfreton Road but in those days it was run by the parents of Eric Towlson, the man who we remember.

 

As a child, I remember that shop being Nix's hardware shop and I welll remember Mrs Nix who had a little white Poodle. She was forever at our house wanting to borrow the telephone so presumably they didn't have one in the shop. She could talk for England and became a bit of a nuisance with it. After she left, the shop was taken over by a Mr Ryder who always wore a brown overall. We bought our paraffin from that shop and I remember buying my mother one of those traditional mixing bowls from there as a Mother's Day present when I was a child. She must have been over the moon about that!

 

Thinking about it,  Eric Towlson's mother was still alive when I was a child and she lived with them above the shop on the corner of Alfreton Road and Newquay Avenue. She suffered from some kind of dementia and when she came into the shop, she would often behave in a very strange manner which I found quite frightening when I was a young child. If I remember correctly, Eric Towlson also sometimes behaved in a rather strange way and my mother told me he had received some kind of a head injury during his RAF days. Perhaps it left him with some kind of recurring problem but most of the time he was fine.

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Thanks for the pic of the Spread Eagle CT. The Spread had a yard at the back entered from Peveril St.

 

Ian - my grandparents and several aunties and uncles lived in the house on the left of the Spread until the late 50's. I used to fetch beer with an enamel jug for Granddad. It was served from a hatch in the back yard of the Spread. Spent a lot of my childhood there. The houses had stone staircases and big cellars.

 

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Don't know whether you remember the North family, FLY2. They lived next door to the hardware shop. Mr North was a long distance lorry driver. He and his wife had 2 daughters, Katherine and Maureen. My older sister was friendly with both and I also knew them. Maureen had suffered rheumatic fever as a child which left her with a weak heart and she died when she was only 13 years old which was a shock to the whole neighbourhood.

 

You may also remember the Beardsall family. Violet Beardsall cleaned at Le Grand and one or two other local businesses. She had two children, Peter who also died young and Margaret who, I believe, went to FFGS. She was slightly older than I am. I believe Violet is still alive.

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I don't remember the North's, but the name Margaret Beardsall rings a distant bell. I lived on Truro Crescent off Newquay Ave from about 58 - 65. I remember the Donlans and Holts from Churchfield Lane, but not much else. 

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there was a nix family that ran the chippys opposite st stephens on bobbers mill and Erica beardsmore who had the newsagent at the tram stop on Radford road was also a nix

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#57

 

Margaret Beardsall was born in October 1955, so 2 years and one month older than me but we were great pals during the Berridge years. She would have left for FFGS in July 1967.

 

I was at Berridge with a Susan Freestone who lived in Truro Crescent but that was in the late 60s.

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I was thinking today about where we did our shopping when I was a child. Norman Hurstfield's shop on Alfreton Road, just across from FLY2's fish and chip shop.

 

Norman ran the shop and his widowed mother ran The Sunshine Cafe on the first floor. Players' staff often went there for lunch.

 

Norman would have been in his late 30s, early 40s when I was a child. In the window, were green trays, inclined at an angle, displaying bread and pastries. Mum would often take her blue order book down there with a list of requirements and later in the day Norman would bring them up to the house, just round the corner on Bobbers Mill Road, in a cardboard box, at no extra charge. When the blue order book wasn't down at Norman's shop, it lived on the bottom shelf of our pantry.

 

I can recall being taken into Norman's shop as a child in my pushchair and being fascinated by Norman, in his grocer's overall, cutting slabs of cheese on a marble slab with a cheese wire and wrapping it in greaseproof paper. He also had a bacon slicer and everything was returned afterwards to the glass fronted fridge.Butter was scooped out of a tub with a butter pat and, again, wrapped in greaseproof paper and the same went for potted meat or salmon paste which was scooped out of large glazed earthenware dishes kept in the fridge. He did sell Prince's salmon paste in white opaque glass jars with a screw top lid but we usually bought the loose sort because it tasted better.

 

Norman was a bachelor with an inclination towards sarcasm. He was also very much under the thumb of his mother who would come down and direct operations in the shop when she hadn't got enough to do upstairs in the cafe. She'd do so especially if she heard him chatting to anybody female!

 

When I was very young, the business was a little gold mine but the arrival of the supermarkets eventually put Norman out of business and the shop closed down. Norman moved to Long Eaton and I can't see from looking at Ancestry any record of a death for him so it's possible that he is still alive, although he would now be extremely elderly.

 

The shop is still there but had been extended into the two adjoining shops and was for many years a tile centre. What it is now I don't know as I haven't been that way for some years.

 

Shops like Norman's are now extremely thin on the ground. I'm pretty sure that Ben never worked there though! :rolleyes:

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Being a nosey little beggar, I've just had a look at Ancestry and discovered that Norman who ran the shop wasn't a bachelor but had been married as a teenager to a lady much older than he. No one was aware of that in our neighbourhood.No Ancestry in those days!

 

Seems the poor chap's marriage wasn't a success. I suspect that may have had something to do with his over possessive mother!

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On 28/09/2016 at 7:18 PM, Jill Sparrow said:

I was thinking today about where we did our shopping when I was a child. Norman Hurstfield's shop on Alfreton Road, just across from FLY2's fish and chip shop.

Norman ran the shop and his widowed mother ran The Sunshine Cafe on the first floor. Players' staff often went there for lunch.

The shop is still there but had been extended into the two adjoining shops and was for many years a tile centre. What it is now I don't know as I haven't been that way for some years.

 

In amongst this lot ?

8VwIy2P.jpg

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#62

 

Indeed it was CT!

 

When I was a child, the beginning of what is now this huge shop, on the left, was actually a house. The first shop next to it, with the bay window on the first floor, was a hairdresser's and later became the Streamline School of Motoring.

 

The shop next to that, beneath the bay window on the first floor, was Norman's grocery shop and the first floor area was the Sunshine Cafe. The last shop, on the right, was a barber's shop. 

 

I am sure that FLY2 must remember Norman's shop or even Norman himself as he was there for years and most local people did their shopping there.

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Norman and his shop don't ring any bells Jill. My parents did their grocery shopping at Wealthalls, or was it Weatheralls? 

It was situated midway on our side of the road. 

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Ah, it obviously wasn't them I was thinking of then Cliff. Thanks for clearing that up. 

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Harold Wealthall. Remember him well. Ruddy, weatherbeaten face, brown bowler hat and copious sarcasm! They were greengrocers though, didn't sell much else and Norman didn't sell veggies or fruit. 

 

I can see Mrs Wealthall now, weighing king Edward potatoes on the old scales and tipping them straight out of the pan into mum's basket! No polystyrene, shrink wrap packaging in those days! Beetroot with the greenery still attached, carrots likewise. All good stuff albeit with a few bugs in tow to show it hadn't been showered with insecticide and other dubious treatments!

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#64

 

FLY, I think you're referring to the shop that my mother knew as England's and I remember as being run by Mrs Dale. It had leaded lights above the main shop windows. More or less next door to Searcey's.

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It was as I say, midway in the row of shops where my parents shops were, and there was a driveway to the left hand side. 

I remember them giving me straw out of their orange boxes for my pet rabbit and tortoises bedding when I lived on Bridlington St. 

Just up the road from Wealthalls, was the chiropodist, Mrs Ling. I had to frequent her practice when I picked up an irritating verruca from Noel St Baths! 

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Fly2, #69, crikey what a memory jogger, Mrs Ling, now Mr Ling was a partner with a Mr Wallace, they owned the shoe repair shop called Capitol Shoe Repairs, bit further along from the Greengrocers, opposite The Grande pub, i worked there when i was about 17, remember him very well, his daughter used to come into the shop, lovely girl, Mr Wallace drove a big green Jag. i used to have to clean it every saturday, Never saw Mrs Ling, but do remember MR.  There was Walter, heel man upstairs, Arthur, foreman, Ali, he got his own shop eventually on Aspley Lane, David, he was a Deaf Mute, lovely man, met him not so long ago in Eastwood, and me, had some good times at Capitol Shoe Repairs,  Happy memories, thanks again Fly2

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#61

 

I can't help it, I've always been inquisitive, so I did a bit more digging into Norman's over possessive mother. A sad story. She was born, Bessie Clegg in 1894 in Lancashire, married Harry Hurstfield in 1917. In 1918, she gave birth to a daughter, Vera L Hurstfield, who died soon afterwards. In 1923, she gave birth to Norman. In 1926, Harry died leaving her with a 3 year old son. He was all she had. No wonder she was so protective of him. There's always a reason for people's behaviour.

 

How the two of them came to be in Nottingham, I have no idea but Bessie apparently returned to the Cheshire area where she died in 1981.

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Yes Dave, I remember Jean too. Very prim and proper. 

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Terrance, I well remember Capitol Shoe Repairs. The lovely smell in there was invigorating. 

 

Cliff, is there any chance of finding a picture of the complete row of shops from the newsagents on the left hand side opposite Le Grande, to dads chippy on the right ? 

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Mr Hobson the chemist had a shop in the middle of that row. The frontage was painted maroon and he displayed those wonderful glass bottles in the window, filled with coloured water! There were also scales for weighing babies.

 

Mr Hobson made his own concoctions, which was permitted in those days and if I've had two bottles of his special brown linctus for every one of the first ten years of my life, I shouldn't be surprised!

 

Hobson was a bachelor who had a small white dog which he took for a walk when the shop closed at lunchtime. A lady kept house for him. He was a real gentleman. On his retirement, the shop changed hands and the old fashioned frontage was ripped out. No more fancy bottles of coloured water in the window.

 

It would be great to see a photo of shops as they were then. Had a look on Google earlier at what's there now. What a bl99dy mess!

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Hobsons the chemist. God, what names keep cropping up. Great memories. 

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