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Whipps Cross, View From Hollow Pond 1906, Leytonstone

Whipps Cross, View From Hollow Pond 1906, Leytonstone

Whipps Cross, View From Hollow Pond 1906, Leytonstone Ref: 55237

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Memories of Whipps Cross, View From Hollow Pond 1906, Leytonstone

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Leytonstone in The 1950s

Whipps Cross c1955, Leytonstone
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I was born in Walthamstow in 1952 and moved to Drayton Road in Leytonstone in 1953. We lived there for 10 years and my brother and sisters were born there. I went to Goerge Tomlinson School from 1957 to 1963, my teachers as I remember were: Miss Maslin, Mrs Isaacs, Mrs Hawkes, (infants), Miss Martin, Miss Howells and Miss Lynes (juniors). As schools go it wasn't too bad although I do recall several times having to stay in at playtime to write out times tables as punishment for being naughty. Out of school we spent a lot of time on Wanstead Flats and Hollow Ponds, just like most other Leytonstone kids. I doubt today's younsters would be allowed the freedom we had. Totally unsupervised we stayed out from after breakfast till tea time and if we got into a scrape we got ouselves out of it. During the days leading up to Guy Fawkes night our Dad would take my brother... Read more

Picnics With Sandwiches And A Bottle of Pop With Mum, Paddling in The Pond

Hollow Pond c1955, Leytonstone
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We used to have lovely picnics, mum took sandwiches and some pop in a bottle, a towel and a flannel to wipe dirty hands and faces. We spend all day paddling and catching minnows with our net. My brother Tom always used to send a model boat out and they usually got stuck or sunk by a wave !

Bear Mans

My mum worked in Bearmans department store in the late 50s early 60s to fund a trip for to go to Switzerland from St Georges RC school Walthamstow. She worked in luxury leather goods ( selling suitcases) it was our equivalent of Harrods, what a wonderful shop, it made Leytonstone high street, we would go early my dad and I and meet my mum on a Saturday afternoon and have a cup of tea and I thought it was very posh. Mum worked very hard and I went on my school trip it cost £100 for a week and we were allowed £10 spending money, we had a wonderful time, thanks to my mum and Bearmans! Chris Clake nee Fox

Didn't Know I Was Supposed to Use The Microphone..

I was asked to read a lesson by my teacher at St Johns Church, Leytonstone for one of our school services. To my horror, she had me practice reading loudly in the school corridors and left me standing there, reading aloud, when all the other kids came back in from playtime. However, when it came to the event, no one mentioned I was to step up to the microphone (never saw one before) so I don't know if anyone heard me at all in the end.

Leyton in The 1950s

My family lived 7 Newport Road, my sister was even born there. As a kid in the 1950s I would go to Saturday morning pictures at the Essoldo, on Leyton High Road, it cost 7 pence. That's also where the library was. I had to get up earlier to visit the Rialto cinema but could get in for sixpence, afterwards it was into Bearmans to listen to the latest pop singles from America. Newport Road seemed to be quite long and the kids from both ends had wonderful snowball fights every winter. My Nana and Grandad lived on Albert Road. A fishmonger pushed a cart with prawns for sale. Milk was delivered with a horse-drawn wagon. The rag and bone man had a carousel attachment which was fun, and kids drove mums crazy for something to donate for a ride. Epping Forest was a favourite Sunday picnic area, there was a huge dead, hollow tree that every child wanted to climb, when I finally succeeded on getting inside my father had to... Read more

The Flats, Bearmans, Lyons Cafe And Pie & Mash

I often think how lucky we post-war Leytonstone kids were to be born in the East End of London, yet have the whole of Wanstead park, the flats and what we called the forest at the end of our street, Browning Road, to get lost in. The mysterious Quakers Meeting house that was surrounded by the massive and famous 'Red Wall' where we all scratched our names in the soft red bricks and collected prized conkers nearby.  In those days Bearmans, the local department store, seemed to us to be the biggest and best store in the world, perhaps comparable only to Harrods! Looking back though it was not that big at all by today's standards. Lyons corner house was a treat as you lined up with your tray after shopping with your Mum and had pie and chips with gravy, I'll never forget  those lovely trifles in little cups. However as far as real authentic East End gourmet food is concerned what could compare with Pie & Mash from... Read more


People, High Road c1950, Leytonstone
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Hi, can anyone remember a firm called Laystals in Ewer road  London WWII years? I believe they made engines but during the war they made guns. If anyone can help with any information please contact me .regards Beryl Clark née jamieson

Pat Pleham

Whipps Cross c1955, Leytonstone
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dont know exact year but some where beteewn 1953 onwards

Mr Acorn at Bearmans

Whipps Cross c1955, Leytonstone
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Does anyone remember Mr Acorn at Bearmans.

Born in Drapers Road Leyton E15, Ray Perry, 1948 to 1959

Whipps Cross c1955, Leytonstone
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Moved to Hall Road Leyton, Schools, CANHALL ROAD, LAKEHOUSE SECONDARY SCHOOL,. Mates included: David Connelly, Michael Crabb, John Peak, Raymond Ellis.Joined 7th of Leyton Boyscouts 1960. Remember playing Isle of Ponds, Eaton Mannor Tip,Ride Motor Bikes to Southend with David Connelly, John Peak.

Hollow Ponds.

Hollow Pond c1955, Leytonstone
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A great place for everybody from picnickers to people going fishing or just out for a walk. I used to go there quite often especially in the summer. The boats were good fun and even in winter, it was a good birdwatching area. Does anyone remember opposite the road from the Ponds, a forested area which was hidden until you entered it, known as The 'Dirt Track'. This was a track where we used to ride bikes and have races as kids, it was really fantastic, not sure how it was created but everyone respected it and took care of it, smooth surface to ride on and you could ride very fast.

Leytonstone From 1939 - 1958

St John's Church c1950, Leytonstone
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I grew up in Leytonstone. Lost our home in Dyson Road from the bombing, and then moved to Forest Glade. Played in the Forest (and climbed the 'King and Queen tree' often) and rode my bike around Hollow Ponds - they were fun times. Went to Canterbury Primary School and then on to Connaught School for Girls. Does anyone have any photos of us at Copnnaught around 1953 - 1954? Miss Threadgold was my Form teacher and Miss Smith was the Headmistress at that time. Watched several weddings at St. Johns Church. My mother worked at Bearmans for several years and I worked at Connelly's Hat Shop on Saturdays when I was 14! I have lived in the USA for many years, and get back to 'home' frequently. My sister, Pauline Daines, also went to Connaught 1954 - 1960 - she lives in Chigwell, Essex and comes often to the US to visit me, my children and grandchildren.

Christmas at Bearmans

High Road c1950, Leytonstone
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I was recalling just the other day about a Christmas many years ago when I was a very small child and as I was talking about it to my mum of 84 years, she exclaimed 'That was in Bearmans where you got the 'Pelham Puppet from'. For years and years I was in awe of a a childhood Christmas I once knew. I remember the fairy lights and just that smell of Christmas and how the wrapping paper used to smell. It was so epic for me to have that memory placed, as afterwards my family went through a break up and I'd thought all my childhood memories were set at a later time in my life maybe around 4 or 5 years old, but now I can recall I must have been much much younger, but I do definately remember the Christmas activity and now I am proud to say 'it was in Bearmans Store'. It has made my Christmas! From Zoe Layton, my maiden name then.... Read more


Whipps Cross c1955, Leytonstone
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We lived at 12 Brewster Road in Leyton E10 - my sister was born there, we had the upstairs flat and Nanny Mantle lived downstairs. My real nan lived at 6 Coopers Lane for about 50 years (Mrs Johnson from "old Gees" wool shop at Bakers Arms). We moved to Canvey Island in 1966 and back to Leytonstone in 1968 to 88 Forest Drive West. The best times were at the Lido, but we weren't allowed to go on our own because of the "rough boys". We used to walk in the forest around the Hollow Ponds on Sunday afternoons and sometimes in the evening. We played in Abbotts Park and went to Barclay Juniors, I also went to Connaught and Leyton Senior High School for girls. I still remember Terry's sweet shop near Connaught and what a huge deal a Cream Egg was - it was 5p. We used to go to Saturday morning pictures at the Odeon on Leyton High Road - my favorite films were the Dr... Read more


Whipps Cross c1955, Leytonstone
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I was born in a road which was a turning of Whipps Cross Road in 1957. Most of my childhood was playing on the hollow ponds and swimming at the open air Lido in the summer months. My parents took me to see the Batman film at the Odeon which was situated in the High Road in 1966. I can still remember the old Leytonstone of yesteryear, playing among the trees where we were free not to think about dirty old men in raincoats. It was an inocent time compared to today's young children. I went to Barclay School in Leyton and then on to Connaught School and Leyton senior High School in Colworth Road. I now live in Woodford which is three miles away from Leytonstone. And it had changed for the worst.


St John's Church c1950, Leytonstone
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I was born in Forest Road, Walthamstow, in 1927. My father was a councillor in the thirties, on the entertainments committee organising film star visits and concerts by the London Symphony Orchestra. He owned the ironmongers, Cole and Deakin, in the High Street. I went to a private primary school called Linda Lodge, and later Clarks College, Churchill, in Upper Walthamstow Road. I was married in St Peters Church, in the forest in 1950 and went to live in Edinburgh.
We were extraordinarily lucky in the war, surviving land mines but my most vivid memory was seeing the whole sky , bright red, from the edge of Epping Forest, when the city around St Pauls was burning. My father was in the ARP and as a Ranger, I helped to man stirrup pumps for incendaries! If anyone remembers any of this I would love to hear, through Francis Frith. I still consider myself a Walthamstowninian though have lived in Scotland... Read more

My Childhood in Leytonstone..

St John's Church c1950, Leytonstone
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I was christened in St John's church in 1935. I was born in Harvey Road, and have been back so many times visiting my old school Davis Lane, the old Red LIon was at the end of our street and on the other side was Walls Ice cream, I remember the three wheeled trike and the box in front and them selling the ice creams and the lovely orange ice lollies. My mum worked at Whips Cross Hospital, also the Green Man pub before the war. I remember Bermans and Woolworths, the Rialto picture house, sadly we were like a lot of others, bombed out. When I have been back my gran had chickens and we had sun flowers growing on the land, the chickens ran about in and to this day they still grow where now there are flats on the land that our house stood on, also the old cobbles and garages where we had taxis that my uncle had. He also had his own decorating buisiness.... Read more


People, High Road c1950, Leytonstone
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Bearmans was the big department store, the site which is now occupied by the Coop or Leo's. I remember the toy department at Christmas was fantastic with an enormous model train layout in the centre of the floor which would take you ages to walk right round, everything painstakingly assembled in miniature for the kiddies. I remember visiting Santa at Christmas. To get to Santa's grotto, you went on a sleigh ride with plywood cut out reindeers on either side of the seats. The ride had some machinery to make it feel like a real sleigh ride. Bearmans sold Ladybird clothes and Clarkes' shoes for children and had child mannequins in the front windows. We would wait for the bus in a nice wooded area near the Green Man with a police box which disappeared when the motorway was built. A man sold Percy Dalton's roasted peanuts from a brazier near the bus stop and we would eat them on the bus on... Read more


St John's Church c1950, Leytonstone
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I have lived the past 43 years in Arizona, USA. Seeing the photo of St John's Church brings back many memories of my childhood in the Leytonstone area. During the blitz on London, going down the unfinished underground tube to sleep every night, going to the Rialto every Saturday morning to see Flash Gordon, Gene Autry, The Lone Ranger etc. I also recall going with our class from Newport Road school to the Library above Woolworth's to see this huge machine that made lots of noise and spat out these punch cards, we were told this was one of the first computers, we were all amazed. I always like to walk along the high street, stop in Lyons Teashop just past Lloyd's bank. I would like to thank Francis Frith for the wonderful photos that take me back to my younger days.  

High Road, Leytonstone

I lived at 536 High Road, Leytonstone. It was a shirt factory where my father worked as a ban saw cutter; the shirts he made were for Beverley Hills and above the factory were the offices, and the floor above those was our flat. I used to play with the corrugated paper rolls and find lots of photos in the basement of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. I went to Godwin Road School, Davies Lane, then finally Whitehall School, now Forest Gate Hugh School. I wish I had photos of those times, mine went up in flames when my mother died, by my step dad, sadly. Name was Mitchell then.

Vicarage Road Visits

I was born in Pimlico in 1946, but always have the fondest memories of my many visits to Leytonstone to, whom I knew at the time as, my Auntie Joyce and Yugoslavian Uncle Michael who lived in Vicarage Road during the 1950’s. I would travel with them on the bus from Victoria via Piccadilly changing at Hackney at weekends and during the school holidays. Leytonstone was a lovely place to go with their newer home and lovely garden on their corner sited semi-detached house. We had many wonderful days out in Epping Forest and my uncle Michael took me to the football to watch Leyton Orient. The funfair had come to the area one time and I won the prize of ‘anything from the display’ of the stall and was being prompted to pick a toy, but I insisted on picking a brownie box camera instead not knowing what on earth I was going to do with it! However, it was used to take lots of great photos. I... Read more

Bearman's Department Store

I have very fond memories of Bearman's and the Christmas Wonderland ride is still very vivid in my mind 50 odd years later. My grandmother took me there to buy bridesmaid headdresses for my ballet classes and I was fascinated by the cartons containing money from the tills, whizzing overhead to a small kiosk where it was collected. I always felt sorry for the people in the kiosks as they were stuck in a small space on their own, missing out on the hustle and bustle of the store. ... Read more

Green Grocers And Grocers in Leytonstone High Road

My dad, George Cotter, had some connection with the green grocers in Leytonstone High Road sometime in the 1930's. Also my mum Constance Lomax's parents had a grocers along there too......does anyone have any memories relating to these two shops or remember this? Trying to piece my parents timeline together. Any help would be much appreciated.

Living in Leytonstone

My father was born in this area and I am trying to find any history of my family. He was born to Frank and May Shelton during the thirtys and probably lived in the area throught the war. They were a big family in the area - he was in the Grenadier guards and she was a nurse. If you can help, drop a line on here.


Hi everyone, I need some help here!

I'm looking for a Barry Lovell who used to live in Ashville Road, Leytonstone & who's mother was called Dolly? Or Dorris? I think he had an elder brother too! Its quite urgent so if you know of anyone with this name then please get in touch & if not then I'm really sorry to have bothered you. Thanks.

High Road

I have fond memories of the High Street. Platts sweet shop, with the 1 penny, 2 penny and 3 penny trays of sweets. The motor bike shop, Rivetts, the florist Poachins, the jewellers Stillwells, the bakers on the corner at the Thatched House, The Halfway House pub (where I met my husband) and the small Sainsbury's. I went to Cann Hall School from1963-1969. The local church Cann Hall Baptist where I attended Sunday School and Girls Brigade. Tom Hood School from 1972-1975. Neighbours were very friendly and would help each other out when necessary. Not many cars around then so fond memories of playing in the street, roller skating and riding my bike. Saturday morning pictures at the Cinema in Church Lane (free if it was your birthday). Bearmans department store was massive (well to a little child anyway). Seeing Father Christmas there was special too. The No 10 and 262 bus's were our locals. Those were the days, if only life was so simple now.

Leyton/Leytonstone in The Early60s

Lived in Leyton in the 60s - Beaconsfield Rd. Went to Newport Junior School, until 1968, then onto Norlington. Fond memories of long summer holidays, playing out till dark, biking over to the hollow ponds, swimming at Cathall Rd baths - the major and minor pools, the huge fair at Easter at Wanstead Flats, the pie and mash shop in West St, just around the corner from my nan's in Mayville Rd. Have not been back for years but will always have fond childhood memories.


Has anyone memory of the above - I need people who used the shop between 1948 - 1988 or was connected with the shop - I need memoories of foundation wear and the relationship with it so - wearers - shop assistants (including department stores ) no matter how wacky or off the wall your memory is important - we need to get this down before it is lost - example we had a lot of single sex schools in the 1950's and 60's so any mums bring their son who was playing a girls part to you for foundation wear? Also we had shows, provincial and in the West End such as Forces in Petticoats, did you serve them? Please reply to Geoffrey at

Good Not so Good

My name is Helena née Rich I used to love living in Leytonstone until my brother Harry died a tragic death when he was only 13. He went to Norlington School. I went to Newport Junior. We lived in Hainault Road. I can still remember the United Dairy - we lived opposite. Up the road was where the the 236 buses used to park. We had family living in Bulwer Road but after Harry died we moved around a bit. I now live in Perth, West Australia but there are times I wish I could go back in time to see places I remember, and people too.

Avenue Road Near The Thatched House

In 1950 I was 12 years old and I remember going to Westy's sweet shop in Crownfield Road with our ration book to get sweets, and hopefully cigs for my mum. My dad was killed in 1942 near Mayville Road School. He was in the ARP and was killed when a Lancaster bomber crashed on his headquarters. I remember Walklins the bakers in Eytonstone High Road and Elstermacs the toy shop. For Christmas our presents were an orange and a packet of plastacine and a drawing book. I wonder what the kids would think of that today. We were very poor but my mum said before she died in 1968 that she would not have changed anything, apart from dad getting killed, everyone was kind and friendly. The Lido, The Rialto where my mum worked and The Academy, and the State and the Rex, all fantastic memories. My grandad had his own chickens and rabbits so during the war although we had no father we did have grandad to supply... Read more

Mr&mrs Robbins Fish&Chips Shop

I remember my childhood at Browning Road where we lived opposite the Robbins family who owned the fish and chips shop. I used to help cutting the chips and skinning the skate. They had two daughters, Audrey and Muriel. Murial was my age and I had a crush on her up until I left school. I was part of what we called "Browning Road Gang". The Taylors. The Newlands, The Woolards, Gerald Ward, The Hollways and many others.

Happy Days!

I lived in Cobden Road behind the fire station and went to school first at Mayville Road and my first teacher's name was Mrs Frith? Then I was transfered to Davies Lane because I lived on the wrong side of the high street. Finally going to Lakehouse Secondary Modern (no longer there). I agree with the sentiments already expressed about Bush Wood and Wansted Park, we sure were lucky to have all that on our doorstep. I remember the 4 cinemas we had, one was not for popular viewing as I recall! I went to the boys brigade at the Methodist Church and had many happy memories recalling standing outside BHS or St John's Church at Christmas singing carols to raise money for Dr Banardo's. Happy Days...

:Leytonstone 1946-1961

I lived in Granleigh Road in Leytonstone. I was born in Forest Gate Maternity in Forest Lane. I can remember going to Leytonstone football ground situated at the bottom of Granleigh Road as a child with my dad on many a Saturday afternoon, they were in their day a very good amateur football side. I also started train spotting from Leytonstone Midland station as this also was at the bottom of the road and you could stand in the road and watch the passenger trains puff there way towards Barking. I can remember being in Whipps Cross Hospital in 1951 for a hernia operation, in those days you where kept in bed until you had your stitches out. I also played cricket on the flats during the summer and football in the street also trips to Bearmans and Lyons tea house on the High Road I can remember lemon and orange icing cup cakes. Also had many a trip to Lukeovers for fish & chips and also for wet fish.... Read more

The 1960s

Schools - Davis Lane and Tom Hood (remember Gladys's music academy?). Memories of the wonderful library opposite the church; working in Woolworths on Saturdays for £1 a day; meeting Mum for lunch at Lyons and enjoying a steak & kidney pudding; spending time at the bowling alley (remembering when it was a cinema and going there on Saturday mornings). Those were the days, you could walk home from Leyton at night, through the subway, without having to have an armed escort. Now living in France, life is very similar to those days. Wonderful.

Pearcroft Road

I left school in 1962, I went to Norlington Boys. I remember the snow that year when the roads were blocked, the only way the milkman got in was by sledge, I have got a photo somewhere. I started working for my dad, Albert Brennan, the local plumber, we had a lock up in Elm Road, next to the Kellys' house on the corner, great days.

St. John`s Church

We married at St. John`s Church, 1st September 1956. I went to Connaught girls school from 1949-1953. I lived in Pearcroft Road until I married and then in Rhodesia Road until we moved to just outside Chelmsford, Essex. We now live in North Wales, I don`t think Leytonstone belongs to Londoners now does it?

Bearmens Department Store

Born 1951, I too remember those wonderful Christmas times, it was simply fantastic, to a young child magic. I can still see those Christmas displays and remember waiting to see Father Christmas. I thank my father for giving me such memories.

My Great -Grandad's Shop

My nan's dad had a shop just under Leabridge Road Bridge in the 1930s and 1940s, she said they sold toys and furniture, does anyone remember this shop?

My Journey Back to Leytonstone

My name was Mary Fanning and I lived in Leytonstone as a child from 1962 to 1973 - when my family moved back to live in Ireland. I have fantastic memories of Leytonstone and have only recently started to relive my memories by searching for all the familiar places and photographic memories I can find. I have not returned for many years - late 1970's. But hope to return in the New Year 2010.
My everlasting memories of Bearmans was the visit to Santa and standing in a queue that seemed to last for hours at that age. My mother and I often stood in front of St. John's church looking at the bridal parties coming out - I wonder how many of them are still alive and well ? My father loved the cinema beside Bearmans and my aunt worked in the British Home Stores across the road. I have seen the tube station and in my mind - it hasn't changed accept... Read more

Bearmans Department Store Leytonstone

I am living in New Zealand now but well remember Mum taking my sister and I to see Father Christmas at the Bearmans Dept. store during the 1950's. In fact I came across a photo of my sister and I with Father Christmas which I am sure was taken there. I was about 7 years old my sister about 5. This was our main Christmas treat and every year Bearmans had a different "grotto" theme. Sometimes we had to queue for ages to get into the grotto. Anyone else remember this - or have any photos. It was a great store.

High Road, Leytonsone

These are the places I remember in Leytonsone High Road: -
The chocolate shop opposite the police station, they had a wonderful display of sweets, many of which you can't get these days. Then there was Harlingtons  butchers where they sold home-made sausages, which were delicious! I remember when Beldoms opened, it was a mini supermarket, I think it was the first of its kind in this area. There was Stolls the bakers, which sold real crusty rolls, then you could get a box of mixed cakes for half a crown. On the other side of the road was Taylors the record shop, oh, not forgetting Kippings the pet shop and the pawn shop on the corner. I have some great memories of Leytonstone. I was born in Whipps Cross in 1947 and we moved to a brand new council house in Lansdowne Road. I have photos of  my dad digging in the garden to grow vegetables. Wanstead Flats was just seconds away past the prefabs. I have good memories... Read more

Saturday Morning Pictures, Ludlows And Williams Grocery Shop

Leytonstone was a great place to live back in the 50s and 60s. People used to come from far and wide for the wonderful shops. Bearmans was a lovely dapartment store, which also boasted a seperate furniture store, at the top end of the High Road. The Co-op sold an array of goods, from fashion-household goods-cosmetics. We had several shoe shops..Bata....Freeman, Hardy and Willis.... True Form.... Dolcis.... Lilly and Skinner and Russell and Bromley.
Leytonstone also boasted 4 cinemas, within 1 mile - The Rialto, The Rex, The State and The Century, which all showed different feature films.
In Church Lane there was Ludlows the bakers who baked wonderful jam doughnuts, cottage loaves...crusty rolls....farmhouse loaves... and superb Eccles and Banbury cakes. All baked on the premises.
Opposite St John's Church, we had a Home and Colonial Food Store and Liptons Grocers too and in Church Lane there was J Sainsbury, where you could choose your butter and they would pat it for you and then wrap it in greaseproof... Read more

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