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Barling & Wakering Villages Plus
Great Wakering Shops in the 1930s by Phylis Alp

Article by Phylis Alp

On entering the village from Southend via Oldbury Road the first shop you would see would be Burgess the Baker on the right hand side, just before the Exhibition Inn.  The property is now a private house and the bakery is still standing.  Two doors beyond the Exhibition Inn (the Bishon to the locals) was Bushes a small sweet shop and general store.  A few doors further along was Griggs greengrocers.  On the opposite side of the road was Ticketts Garage (part of The Mallards are now on this site).  Going back to the right hand side there was Frank Webb’s Butcher’s shop.  The shop has now been demolished.  The next shop was Tom Garnham’s general store and he used to deliver provisions including paraffin in a motor van.  A little way along on the other side of the road was Brown’s Forge (next to the Peculiar People’s Chapel).  Continuing on this side there was River’s shop which I think sold greengrocery.

Opposite was The Post Office.  A little further along was Rene Baker’s Hairdressing Salon – originally part of her Father’s Paint Shed, now part of 141 High Street.  A few doors away Mr and Mrs Bishop sold garden produce.  Alec Norris had a Gentleman’s Hairdressers shop on the corner of Twyford Avenue.  During the 1930s he had a shop built opposite and Edie Stow had the old shop as newsagents for many years.  Both properties are now private residences.  Moving a few yards on the right hand side was Wilf Alp’s cycle shop adjoined to the Forge.  Next door but one was Cripps Bakery.  Still on this side of the road there was Roskams sweet shop and I believe Harold Chandler had a hay and straw business next door.  The Forge still stands but the bakery and other buildings were demolished to make way for Crouchmans Avenue and Bell House.

Gladstone Buildings was in the 1930s a tea room but up until 2011 it was a greengrocers.  The next shop was Olivers the Butchers; it was a long white weather board building three storeys high.  They had a slaughter house there and when we were in school (now the Community Centre) we could hear the animals squealing.  The White Hart pub was on the opposite side of the road and next door but one was Miss Finch’s drapery shop and then Sargents’s Radio shop.  These shops have been made into flats.  Next door but one was Mrs Oliver’s sweet shop right opposite the School Gate!  On to the left hand side there was Barclay’s Bank (later a chemist), Wiggins Undertakers next door and on the other corner of North Street Mr Reynolds Gentlemen’s outfitter.

Opposite next to the Red Lion was Chandler’s hardware shop then Joe Miles shoe repairs.  Over the road was Ernie French’s double fronted shop; one side sold sweets, mineral waters etc, the other was a Gentleman’s Hairdresser/Barber.  Back to the right hand side Sayers Butchers, James Church Coal Yard, Salvation Army Hall, a couple of houses then the Mission Hall.  On the left three doors from Mr French was Mrs Grigg greengrocer, next to her was Billy Belton Shoe repairer (he was also a postman).  The shop on the corner of Chapel Lane was T.W. Widdle Grocery and Provision Merchant.  The Shanty Café was the next shop.  Amy Bennewith kept a small sweet shop (about where Whitehall Road is now) it had small mesh wire netting round the counter so that children could not take the sweets.  There was always a cat asleep among the sweets.  No Health and Safety then!  A little further on was Mr Cooper Watchmaker repairer.  The London Co-op was next, then Mr Fulcher – not sure what he sold but I think he was an Insurance Agent. W Galley was a hay and straw merchant and supplied animal feed.  Miss Nancy Gray had a newsagents and sweet shop, the last building on the North side of the High Street.  Going back to the South side next to the Mission Hall was Mr French’s Cycle Showroom and then there was George Goodman’s Saddle makers, which had a model of a white horse in full harness in the window to advertise his trade.  He also sold seeds and gardening tools.  Goodman’s sheltered housing is now on this site.

The next building was The Village Hall then the Doctors Surgery, (a large double fronted red brick house) then the Anchor Hotel and a few doors along was Self’s the Butcher.  Farther on at No 1 High Street was George Miller’s Fish shop where you could buy wet fish, or buy a ‘tuppeny’ cod and a ‘pennoth’ of chips.  Those were the days!  On the corner of St John’s Road was Meads another General Store.  Going on into Tinker’s Lane (now called New Road) there were two shops on the left hand side Collins Greengrocers and a small Grocery store where Mrs Harland was the proprietress.  At the end of the road Wally Manning had his coal yard.

Coming back to New Road Shoebury Road junction stood Segust shop general store; next door was H Owen’s Radio shop.  Both of these are private dwellings now.  Opposite was Bob Cooper’s another Bakery (now Bakery Court).  The last shop in the village was Mrs Smith’s another General store which has been extended and is now a large private residence at 129 Shoebury Road.