In my previous contribution I said I lived on the Harebreaks Estate, in Middle Way. I remember well Ron the Milkman with his horse. Mum would give him a cuppa and I would always rush out as a child to chat to the horse, who never replied!! I remember our next door neighbour Mrs. Needle who would rush out when the horse did its business. She would scurry behind the horse, in her white tennis outfit, scooping up the droppings with her shovel and place them in a bucket for her roses, just like to say. I remember her son was called Noel Needle. Every Saturday when Mum paid the bill she’d give Ron a cuppa and a 6d tip. Her divvy number was 32119, I’ll never forget it.
Phil the Laundryman would call weekly to deliver our newly laundered sheets and collect the dirty ones. We didn’t have a washing machine and my mum was virtually blind. We weren’t well off, but needs must in such circumstances. He too received 6d tip.
I think the baker was called Mr. Ellis, but can’t recall his first name. He’d bring a large wicker basket round the back on a Saturday with the selection of loaves and cakes. Mr. Alban who had a green grocers shop in Leavesden Road would deliver our greengrocery on the Saturday which Mum would have ordered when we called in on Friday.
Gazing longingly at the boxes
On our way back from visiting my Nan in Parker Street Mum would also stop at Mrs Finches, the grocers to pick up some shopping and I would gaze longingly at the square boxes with glass lids containing biscuits. I loved it when we had some of the broken biscuits which were cheaper. She also bought one ounce of butter with her post war food coupon allowance. Such luxuries.
She had an assistant called Ina. Her shop was just past Girlings the bakers where my Uncle Charlie was one of the bakers there. The freshly made bread and cakes were all so appealing and I loved the savoury rolls. I so remember the real Hovis loaves and the delicious nutty flavour which has gone forever. That was real bread. We were spoilt for choice. I used to collect one of there bloomer loves on my bike. Having just come out of the oven, the smell of the loaf was intoxicating. I would strap this across the pannier on the back of my bike, but by the time I got home with the heat of the loaf it bent into an upside down ‘V’ shape, but it still tasted the same.