She sold sweets, bread, butter, tobacco, cakes, shoe laces, biscuits, polish, flour, rice..... and wonderful flowers in season from her brother's garden, that sat in a bucket on the old stone step....
From the age of ten I helped at weekends and from the age of about fourteen ran it for a week each year on my own while she went on holiday. I'm just staggered when I think about it now - but at the time it seemed quite a normal thing to do..... I promise, there is a point to this tarradiddle...
A few weeks ago a relative retrieved Aunty Ethel's shop scales from his loft and gave them to me. Talk about memories!
The heavy cast iron base was originally painted a dull gold with the 'Salter' logo on the front - but that got badly tarnished and repainted decades ago. It took me several days, a can of Brasso and a lot of elbow grease to bring back the shine to the brass and I'm thrilled to have them on show again.
It seemed only fitting that as I was finishing a pair of 1/12th shopkeepers, to picture them with the scales. Meet Bert the baker and Mr Boffin the butcher. Mr Boffin has several chaps working for him - Bert just has a son, he's a small baker!
Rather like the Vicar and Monk in the previous Blog, the working clothes of these gents wouldn't have changed very much between Victorian times and 1970s, which if my memory is right, is when overalls and began to arrive. Anyway - these are old boys....and are about to leave me to open their shops elsewhere.
I've just read today that BBC is revisiting 'Open All Hours' for a Christmas Special - with Granville now in charge years later after inheriting his uncle's shop. Should be fun and good to see Arkwright's again!
Thank you for looking