Third Issue Of My " Barking Ramblings". - a Memory of Barking.
Living in the prefabs in Ilford Lane I could walk into town up Fanshawe Avenue, or go via Tanner Street and then Glenny Road or, and my memory may be playing tricks on me but I think it was Harpur Road and then up by the side of the railway to come out at the Spotted Dog pub.
I found the shops fascinating and perhaps this was why I lead a life as a successful retailer that enabled me to retire at 53.
By our prefabs was "The Triangle", first shop was a little tea shop or bakers where my mum worked when she was not in The Village Stores a few hundred yards away, both were owned by the same lady Doris. Next to the former was our local newsagents, owned by the Goodes. Around from this Birtwhistles the fish and chip shop where the machine to make chips always interested me.Next to Oakly's the butchers was Charlie English the greengrocers, I can still see him boiling beetroot in the metal pot. You then came to a what we called "a wool shop", next door was the "oil shop" where we bought our paraffin to heat the prefab and bundles of wood for the coal fire. Before the tyre depot, Kennings, a ladies hairdressers and then it became Tanner Street which at the bend had a footbridge over the railway that lead to my first school Northbury.
At the top of Fanshawe I remember a great bakers called Fancies, was it spelt that way? Probably not. One of my memories of this part of London, I still think of it as the East End rather than Essex, were the many bakery shops which I loved and do miss. Further into town were Barton's and in the market opposite St Margaret's, Arthey's. To this day I can't walk past a bakers without getting a cake but none are as good a doughnut from Arthey's. More into the East End were the Percy Ingles chain of bakers
Along from Fancies was a small chemist where I used to stare in the window and look at the toiletries sets, soaps, bath cubes and talcum powder all in presentation packs for Christmas, and plan my purchase of my Mum's gift having saved up my half a crown a week money. On the same side was a second hand book and comic shop run by the son of the man who had a stall in Blake's Market selling toys and comics, I can't remember if they had them both at the same time or closed one first.
By now we are at the Spotted Dog which originally was rough but later got it's act together and served half decent food even becoming quite trendy. On the same side across Wakering Road was an office block called Astral House built as part of the station redevelopment, and underneath it a part of my life, an F.J.Wallis supermarket where in 1974 I returned to Barking as the store manager previously having run Wallis branches throughout Essex including one at the Chequers in Dagenham. This was my fifth managers position and it now bought me back whilst I meanwhile had moved to Rainham in 1970 after marrying, the service at St. Margarets' of course.
I could write a book about my time at the supermarket where you experienced and served some of the not so nice Barking residents.
A memory shared byon Aug 14th, 2015.
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