Sharing a love of Dolls House Miniatures - and making time for other creative crafts and the garden.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Shopkeepers......

Way back....way, way back actually.... my Aunty Ethel had a little shop.  Offically it was a confectioner's (sweet shop to you and me) - but of course in the late 50s/60s it sold just about everything, stopping short at buckets and pans.
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
Robin

7 comments:

Susan said...

What a neat story about your aunts' shop and your early working life Robin! You are the original Ms. Arkwright :) I'm so glad you have the shop scales, they're part of your living history. Love Mr. Butcher and Mr. Baker!!!

jenann said...

What lovely, cheerful shopkeepers! Perhaps I'm a little over-nostalgic but I do seem to remember that the little specialist shop keepers were sweeter-natured and more helpful than the convenience store owners of today. Do you remember when you were actually served in a shop, rather than having to struggle to find stuff whilst weighted down by a wire basket biting your arm or a shopping trolley with wonky wheels deciding which direction you must go in? I can name nearly 20 people who owned or worked in little shops in my childhood but don't know any of the staff in our local supermarket by name.
When Grandpa and Grandma have their new home in order and their prospective lodgers housed, I think I'll open a little 1:12 shop of some kind. Be warned - I'll need more people....
Jenni x

Dorien Litjes said...

Dear Robin,
What a nice story and what a beautiful scale. That looks beautiful in a kitchen/ Also a small one 1:12 for the doll house.
Hugs Dorien

Robin said...

Thank you all... yes it's probably seen through rose-tinted glasses. My Grandad was a baker and I believe his day started at 4.00am, so not an easy life for those shopkeepers!! It's rather nice to revisit those times though and I have enjoyed it.
Rx

Jain Squires said...

Lovely character shopkeepers Robin and they look so good next to your newly polished scales. What a lovely thing to keep as a reminder of the shop. Jain xx

KT Miniatures said...

Hmm....now Bert the baker reminds me of someone Robin...I wonder who!lol Celia

Robin said...

Thanks Jain - keeping them shiny will be the trick!
Can't WHO Bert reminds you of Celia...
Rx