Archive for June, 2010

Eddies Garage and the Blacksmith

June 28, 2010

Eddies garage and the Blacksmith

My grandfather was my sole companion until I started school.  He took me with him on farm errands and introduced me to the world of a bygone age.  Firstly there was the not insignificant matter of visiting the Foresters Arms.  This happened fairly regularly when we had collected enough empty cider bottles to fill a large cardboard box in which the foil caps for milk bottles had been delivered.  We would make our way, always at 10miles per hour, up the road to collect 5 shillings for the box of empties.  Granddad added to the box of empties each time he went out in the evening purportedly to close the church gates.  This was code for going to the hatch at our local and having a drink and bringing home another bottle.

Eddies garage was another port of call.  We went there for bits for the car and farm machinery, for oil and petrol and of course to have a natter to Eddie. He wore an old oil spattered beige overall and horn-rimmed spectacles.  And a cap like Granddad. You new they were kindred spirits.  There was a lot tucked away in the garage for spares and repairs. I dare say you could mend pretty much anything and there were old advertisements for Essoblue and Shell on the walls and a calendar whose theme eludes me. Most impressive to me was a tin advert for the Beverly Sisters in the side window…. obviously Eddie was a fan.

The blacksmith was further up church St. and was similarly a gloryhole. I don’t know if we went for horse’s shoes for Bob. Probably because Bob was the last surviving work horse on the farm and by the time I came along he had been put out to pasture.  When bob passed away Grandad told me reassuringly that he had retired to Church Stretton and every time we went there he would point out a Grey and say ‘there’s bob look!’

Grandad would proceed at 10 miles per hour to the Butchers for the family meat. He had sawdust on the floor and I used to swirl my sandal round and make patterns in it while gandad exchanged gossip and ordered faggots and beef.  Mrs fellows grocery shop had everything. Golden churn butter, peaches in syrup, bacon she cut with a dangerous looking machine and of course sweets in jars which Grandad replenished his pockets with. He favoured the toffee from Quality Street and these we chomped through when we did important jobs in his cottage/shed, which always had a fire burning.

Last on our list, made by granny were the Bakers where he ordered a tin loaf and sometimes a cottage loaf or batches.  This shop was basic and must have looked empty at the end of the day when everything was sold.

On the return journey we would acknowledge old men on bicycles or foot who were granddads age. The greeting from the car was a ‘thumbs up’ gesture, which I tried to copy; it seemed so jovial and successful and always got a reaction. He had a lot of friends.


June 28, 2010

the funfayre came once a year to the buchers field and set up for  a week.  In 1966 I was taken by my father to sample its delights. There was candyfloss,goldfish to win, coconut shies, and a heavily inacurate airgun stall where you could win a lovely cuddly toy. There were swingleboats and other rides but I was treated to a go on the dodgems…little cars with no gears that crashed into eachother on purpose..Dad naturaly being the Milkman gave chase to two girls from the Button factory and I was overthemoon and so impressed by this feat of daring. He caught up with them and we crashed into their side. They giggled alot and said hello Mr Roberts…We won a gold fish called George who perished quite soon after from a goldfish ailment..fungus which we tried to remove with a paintbrush..nevermind…all the fun of the fayre was repeated til I grew up but nothing beat that first time