Bruce Squires Souvenirs and Fishing Tackle
Anyone in pre war Ambleside will remember Bruce Squires who had a shop on Central Buildings selling souvenirs and fishing tackle. He was a larger than life caricature of a country gentleman always dressed in tweed plus fours and bow ties his trousers supporting a very corpulent stomach. His real interest was fishing and he only gave his full attention to fishing client to whom he loved to chat. Once when my husband was buying fishing tackle a visitor came to him with a fancy pot, he drew himself up to his full height and in his best put down voice said "Not for sale" and took it off her continuing his conversation.
Mr Hickling (Hickey) The Pottery Shop
Mr Hickling succeeded his father into the business in the Market Place, at that time it was a pottery and souvenir shop with a ticket booking facility but this Mr Hickling's passion was with railway timetables and to sort out the best routes for anyone's journey anywhere nothing was too much trouble. He always wore a brown Holland coat overall and in cold weather a pair of fingerless khaki mittens. He will long be remembered by locals and visitors alike.
Johnnie (One Cut) Williamson
Johnnie (one cut) Williamson was so christened because whatever type of cut a client requested you can be sure they were all turned out like clones with Johnnie's short back and sides. Johnny's was the centre for village gossip and would stand at his shop door in his white coat and could relay all births marriages and deaths plus juicy scandal quicker than the Westmorland Gazette. He is now remembered with a seat on Lake Rd where he used to sit and eat his lunch. Johnnie is a more recent shopkeeper to be remembered in the Hall of Fame but from the 20's to the 40's Billy Hall owned this shop and he too was a larger than life character — we certainly have had our fair share in the village.