Mrs Mackereth and Margaret Ladies Outfitter

Mrs Mackereth (Thirza) had a ladies shop on Central Buildings next to the present Post Office and was joined by her lovely daughter Margaret when she left school before the war, and her husband did as he was told. The shop had a badly hung curtain in a corner of the shop and here one could try on dresses accompanied by a conversation through the curtain. The treat came if we wanted to buy buttons, no neatly plastic packaged half dozens, a huge deep drawer was pulled out and popped on the counter, it was full of fascinating loose buttons literally hundreds of them and she told you to root amongst them to find the ones that took your fancy you would always find something you needed - it was amazing.

"Tinny" Martin Ironmonger

Martin's the ironmongers always referred to as “Tinny’s” for obvious has remained in the Martin family since the turn of the 20th century. It now belongs to Nick who is the third generation to have carried on the business. The shop was originally at the top of Church St on the site now Gregg's and moved to Compston Rd in 1922. Nick has heard that the Compston Rd shops were first built in the 1898's but were intended to be houses, I think this may be correct as I have always been surprised that the property which is now the Sportsman’s pub was always a private house with small front garden used as a boarding house until the war possibly later, so if they were a row of houses it would explain the anomaly of one house with a different frontage in the middle of a row of shops. In these days of huge DYY stores “Tinny’s” stands firm and there must be few things a customer to the shop asks for that they would be unable to supply.

Joan Newby