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Who remembers the Broadway in 'olden days'?  The days of Mence Smith and Maisie Modes, the Lincoln Pie Shop at the top of Church Hill with those delicious succulent pork pies and hot meat pasties.

Martin Sands the hairdresser was next door. very exclusive. And what about Cramphorns, the long thin shop that sold everything to do with hardware? There was always that distinctive smell of paraffin, Sunlight soap and birdseed which was kept in big sacks on the floor.

Those were the days when Saunders, the grocers, sold loose biscuits from big tins with glass lids ranged in front of the counter and sugar was scooped from a sack and transferred to a paper cone twisted at the bottom and neatly folded at the top.

There was always a bentwood chair with a round seat and a pattern of little holes where ladies sat and chatted, seemingly for hours, while they got their breath back enough to go on their way.

The more I think, the more names coming flooding back. Liptons, The Maypole,  Schofield and Martin, the Home and Colonial. Beaudec, the builders' merchants, the little yellow shops. In those days wallpaper had p[lain white stripes down the sides. For a small fee they would trim it for you in a kind of roller, they turned the handle and the white border would be cut away in long curly strips.

Then there was Hawken , high class men's and boys' outfitters , and the Lonsdale Stationers. Caulkett the optician and Papperills and Creeds the ironmongers. I remember the young Mr Creed dashing around in his wheelchair - whatever was his Christian name?

The Co-op had a chemist, grocer, butcher and greengrocer. I still remember my mum's Co-op number, 797908.

Grindleys (so recently lost) was there and Boots and Wade Pollard. At the corner where Belle Fabrics is now was a shop that sold toys. If I was lucky I'd get a farm animal there.  Led turkeys, sheep, little milk carts, fences trees and fat farmers.

The Ideal sweetshop was another favourite with its great jars full of sherbert lemons and gobstoppers.  We always called it the high pavement shop because the pavement was on two levels there.

Broadway West had the exclusive ladies' shop, Joan Tinner, Garons, the Homemade Bakery and  Broadway Grill, and best of all, Lasts, the in and out shop.

One shop sold genteel ladies' clothes and the other side sold opened onto the road and had two alleyways  with rough wooden floor where everything hung higgledy piggledy along the walls. here you could buy shirts, jackets and boots and socks and all things masculine.

Holmes the furnishers, recently departed, and the Popular Restaurant (now La Cucina) were there then and the long gone Irish Linen shop.

Further along in Rectory Grove was Janot House with the expensive but exquisite ladies' undies and stylish suits and dresses and further along Leslie Arnold, the photographer.

Gradually most of the old favourites disappeared, but the Broadway is still one of the nicest places to shop.

Mavis Sipple

The Broadway, a while before Mavis' time

The Garon's emblem can still be seen over 'Pot of Herbs.

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