I ALWAYS wondered why there were such odd street names around the street where I grew up.
Later in life it became apparent all names were from the Crimea War.
Plevna Street is where I was born, in number 38 to be precise, a two-bedroom house with outside toilet, running cold water from the tap in the yard, doors with a key on a string through the letterbox but mostly left unlocked.
Everyone in the street helped each other.
This included seeing new borns into the world and those who had departed out of it.
No supermarkets in those days either.
The corner shop was the mainstay of staying healthy and alive. It gave value for money as well because you didn’t need any.
I used to go with a list. Everything handed over the counter but money.
Asking my mother how this was done she replied: ‘It’s on tick’, me thinking it was to do with a clock.
Everything was written down in a book and then on pay day mum would go around and settle up, wiping the slate clean.
There was a shop on the corner I’m almost certain was Measor’s.
I know there was some confusion over this before in past letters, but it was a grocer’s and not Martha Carter’s second hand shop.
This was on the corner of Alma and Grosvenor Streets.
Plevna Street and the people who lived there still bring back fond memories.
Granny Gretton lived in number 26.
When married we rented number 23.
Growing up in the street along with other familiar names such as Spindloe, Carberry, Durrant, Kelly, Fowler, Hind, Nichols, Robinson, Macklam, Swift, Lodge, Gretton, Pearce, Sansom, Gascoigne, Ferguson, Pollard and Winspear, to name a few.
The fish and chip shop around the corner in Alma Street was bought out and became possibly the first Chinese takeaway, the Chow Kee, in the town.
Shop fronts have now been made part of the house. Binks in Sheriff Street opposite Plevna Street and Bousfield the Butchers.
It’s nice to go past these former shops and remember how they used to be and what they sold.
Supermarkets provide the needs of those shoppers today. But the corner shop saw to the needs of the person, which was far more important to my way of thinking.
Happy days never to return but the memories will always be there, as will be the shops.
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