Spiders or Sweets

As Christmas shopping takes place all about him, Bill remembers a few shops gone by.


While you’m all thinking about your Christmas shopping or no as may be the case, I’m thinking about shops past. In Liskeard some folks like Mr Miners the fish seller, had barrows and some folks they had shops. The best of they I am thinking, was Mr Botterell’s toy shop on Fore street. Funny thing about ‘e was; ‘e never got any new stock. ‘e had a good collection of toy spiders, fireworks, lots of toys from the first world war; which I wouldn’t mind rummaging through this afternoon if it was still there but it isn’t. And course all the toys in Mr Botterell’s toy shop were covered in a lovely mysterious sheen, created by masses of spiders’ webs. Wouldn’t allow nothing like that these days. If you’m givin’ presents purchased from Mr Botterell’s toy shop. Best remember this; you won’t be needin’ wrapping paper. They come pre wrapped in spiders’ webs.

Some days I’m needin’ something sweet and in they days we had two sweet shops. They’m run by Mrs Moon and Mrs Stanley. Were quiet different they two: Mrs Moon was small and thin and had the sweet shop where the tattoo shop is now. She had ten children tucked upstairs. Best she doesn’t live there now. With all that ink who knows what they children would be looking like. Inside Mrs Moon’s sweet shop there was a loud bell. When you’m ringing it, she came running downstairs to serve you.

Mrs Stanley, the other sweet shop proprietor, was a little fat, showed her stock was tempting at least, her sweet shop was up Church Street. Best thing about Mrs Stanley was she gived me two bull’s eyes for a penny. Get on. In them days we didn’t have supermarkets, not long ago really. The sweet shops were open late at night, sometimes nine or ten o’clock and if you’m fancying a few sweets like, there was always some-one open. I was told today, you could get Fruit Salads, Sherbert Fizz and Black Jacks (penny each mind) up Church Street. Shop keepers were in an adjoining room reading the paper or asleep in their chair waiting for a bit of custom to come along. A few sweets is what you'm perhaps needn' while out Christmas shopping.

Later on, Later on