Barclays Bank - a Memory of Sunningdale.
My parents had what they called their 'shopping account' with Barclays in Sunningdale - the main account was in Weybridge. About once a week my mother would go into Barclays to withdraw cash, and I would love to go with her. Inside was a magnificent wooden counter which ran the length of the banking hall. It was topped with a metal grill which divided the clients from the clerks (and of course the cash). My mother would lift me up so that I could sit on the counter, observing the chief clerk, suitably named Mr Penney, and his crew as they counted at lightning speed the notes they were dispensing by thumbing through them.
We saved threepenny bits at home in a milk bottle, and about once every 18 months we would take a filled bottle to Mr Penney, and gave him and his staff the dubious pleasure of weighing the threepenny pieces to calculate the value. Nowadays the bank would undoubtedly charge a fortune for the work, but in those days it came free with the account.
I don't ever remember the village being as empty of traffic and parked cars as in the photo. I suspect the photo must have been taken on a Sunday. Still, most of the time my mother could park her car in front of the parade of shops there without trouble. We would use the International Stores (manager: Mr Greeno) for groceries, Charlie White the greengrocer for fruit and veg, Nellie for my parents' fags and our sweets, Gillings (prop.: Mr & Mrs Jones) the chemists, Neville's the bakers and Tylers the wine merchants.
In the distance, just to the right of the bus (Aldershot & District No.1, Egham to Camberley) stands Clifford's the dairy. Behind that was an ironmonger and a car showroom (Morris of Weybridge perhaps, or something similar). At a later date came Mr Mewes, a men's outfitter. Sleet and Sterne's the coal merchant had a little office roughly where the solitary man is walking to the right of the A30. I recall it being rather dingy.
Certain goods were still rationed at the time. At Nellie's and the two sisters who ran another sweet shop on the corner of Chobham Road we had to present ration cards, from which they had to cut out the correct number of tokens.
One of the few shops we did not frequent was the fishmonger next to the level crossing, with the name of Marment (I think). It later became MacFish. We were customers of Mr Glassbrook in Chobham Road. Glassbrook always wore immaculate clothes and a Guards tie, and despite his white coat he always looked slightly out of place in a fish shop. Mind you, that was the one thing Glassbrook never was - out of plaice.
A memory shared byon Apr 13th, 2013.
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