Those Were The Days 3

A Memory of Barking

There was a flower shop a fruit and veg shop furniture and household shops. It all smelled so rainy in there all the time.

Next to Wallis's was the long alley entrance to Barking Football Club (Vicarage Field) and Barking library was on the right. Barking Library was an amazing gothic building all dark and scary and musty smelling but what a place to go and read and escape in the dimly lit central hall huddled on the floor all cold and shivery reading the Famous Five books but always looking out for the librarian.

Next to that was Barking Post Office very drab inside and out, all the people seemed so angry banging letters with big rubber stamps making you wait for ever to get served. It's still the same and it's the same at post offices all over the world why do they do that? A power trip I think. Either that or they are all related.

Then there was Barking Clinic where we all lined up for what seemed like days to get shots for the various nasty and sundry diseases du Jour that kept cropping up. The smell of ether filled the clinic halls and wafted out into the street filled with hundreds of families waiting their turn for the jab along with the terrified screams of us little ones who had just been killed with the business end of a huge nasty needle. So depending on where your name fell in the alphabet, the needle was either; very sharp, sharp, dull, blunt, very blunt and use the 6" nail and a hammer. But the fish in the large tank in the foyer seemed none the worse for wear. The inside of the building was all shades of pale blue on the walls and black and white tiles on the floor quite nice really, even through the tears.

Next was a small parade of shops one being a large sweet shop where the bus stop was and then a children's apparel shop, school uniforms mostly and then an Army and Navy work clothes shop and I believe a fabric shop. Down from that I remember Wade's classical music shop. He had all kinds of brass and orchestra instruments there for schools and such. Then there was a Health shop that sold vitamins and the like There was a ladies dress shop and on the corner of Sunningdale Ave was Prentiss Fruit and veg shop.

Then opposite was a Bicycle shop and I think a hobby shop. But lets cross over Ripple Road here cos there was a shop here that I loved; it was a delicatessen with the most incredible foods and smells. Me and John used to go there some Saturdays to get a good helping of Pease pudding a savaloy and a faggot for a tanner. God that stuff was so good. But, sadly it closed in the mid 60s. Next up was another funeral directors and another Wades Music Shop, this one for us loud music fans. John and I would help out there some Saturdays. I remember meeting Brian Poole and Hank Marvin. The Small Faces. Pete and John from the Who. Brian Jones along with numerous others! Happy days mate. There was also a third Wades Music shop on North Street.

A memory shared by Chrs , on Mar 15th, 2010.

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