Osman's Of Huntingdon
A Memory of Huntingdon.
A truly old-fashioned type of ironmonger and household ware store seen here on the immediate right of the picture. My mother, Mrs. Ruby Chandler would have been working here in 1965, as she did for many years both before and after '65. If you couldn't get it at Osman's you couldn't get it anywhere else, either. The shop premises were very old, and when it rained, there was panic up in the storage rooms above to place buckets to catch the leaks.
I remember, too Stiles, the Bakers, further up along the High Street. My grandfather and I walked into Huntingdon from Alconbury (the only way to get there) on my 9th birthday in 1941 to collect my birthday cake, supplied during rationing times.
Almost opposite Osman's was Cox the County Clothiers, who supplied my uniform for Huntingdon Grammar School a couple of years later.
Huntingdon once boasted two cinemas, The Grand, accessed through an archway beside Murkett's Garage, opposite the Market Place, and The Hippodrome further along the High Street, on the opposite side to Huntingdon Brewery.
With the High Street also being the main road from Cambridge to Peterborough there was considerable traffic at times, although these photographs show very little, and for two buses to pass one another, one often had to mount the pavement to squeeze past.
Now, with the main road outside the town, the High Street has a totally different character, but many of the old shops are gone, replaced by the ubiquitous chain stores, and the town is no longer the County Town of Huntingdonshire, more is the pity. Now on visiting Huntingdon as I do on trips to England, I feel a stranger in what were very familiar surroundings. Such is progress ! !