Caerleon Remembered - The Shops
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Mill Street

From the Angel Hotel down the right hand side of the road:

Batemans Fish and Chip Shop, spotlessly clean, for two pennies one would have a good many chips.

Next came Davies' Universal Store, selling anything from toys to household hardware.

Further down the road on the left hand side stood Miss Grey's tiny front room shop selling sweets and homemade herb beer etc.

Opposite, and at the corner of Backhall Street stood Miss Jobbins' sweet shop and tea room. The Miss Jobbinses were rather old world, genteel, charming ladies. The shop was visited in the evening by the "College Boys" from the teacher training college. They were allowed out from six to half past seven to allow them to post letters and perhaps enjoy a cop of tea.

On the opposite corner from Miss Jobbins' stood Edmunds' Grocers Shop. While further down the street was Mrs Hutchings' tiny front-room shop selling sweets and sundries.

Backhall Street

Opposite the Red Lion stood Mr Williams' Dairy, whilst two doors away from the Red Lion was Mr Tom Edwards' Bakery Shop where he made his own bread. The ovens were at the rear of the shop. Each Christmas he would set aside a day to bake cakes for locals who took their own mixtures in. My mother always made six or seven large yeast cakes at Christmas. They were mixed in an earthenware pan, covered over with clean tea towels, and placed in front of the fire for a couple of hours to allow the mixture to rise. The mixture would then be put into bread tins, covered over to keep them warm and taken by pony trap to the bake house. We collected them a few hours later, they were delicious.

Opposite the London Pub stood Mr Brangham's sweet shop, next came Mr Knorze's baker's shop also selling nice pastries, this is now a bank. A short walk brought one to Mr Eddie Davies' newsagent and sweet shop, which today is an antique shop.

After Mr Tom Edwards died, his son sold the premises and had a new modern bakery shop and tea garden built next door to Mr Knorze's shop.

Cross Street

Turning into Cross Street: first on the right the Post Office where letters were sorted then delivered on bicycles. One postman, a rather dour looking man but full of dry wit and humour, when asked by a visitor, "Can you tell me where the King's Arms are?" replied not a smile on his face, "Why, around his neck I suppose!" much to the visitor's amusement.

Mr Green the postmaster also owned the shoe shop next door (later to become Mr Cecil Mills' green grocers shop) which is the flower shop today.

Then came the co-op, with Miss Fanny Taylor's shop next, a haberdashers, a lovely little shop, with a pretty Georgian bow window, selling such pretty things, hosiery, lace collars, sun hats, ribbons, buttons and bows, etc. It is now Curros Restaurant.

On the opposite side of the street stood a shop known as Davies the Market, selling green grocery and fish.

Next door stood a sweet shop owned by Miss Jenks helped by her niece Miss Edster - long and narrow with a stable door to enter, sweets to the front of the shop, crammed with household sundries at the back. I remember her selling clay pipes with long stems, which we bought for blowing bubbles. Miss Jenks was a lovely person, she always dressed in long black skirts, lovely blouses with a broach at the throat, her grey curls piled on the top of her head. She always had a happy smile on her face and lots of patience with children finding difficulty in choosing their sweets, who would only spend halfpenny, sweets were two ounces for a penny. I know I had difficulty choosing when a child - there was such a variety from which to choose.

Gertie Rawl kept a shop adjoining the Firs selling vegetables, wet fish and kippers and lamp oil, people burned lamps at that time.

Thorne's the grocers stood opposite Gertie's. Next door was a cycle shop, owned by the Bennett brothers, where bicycles could be hired. Now it's an Indian restaurant and a betting shop.

High Street

From the Hanbury Arms: Opposite the Catholic Church, a wet fish shop.

Two doors away a hairdresser.

Next Jones the Ironmonger which is now Harper's Fine Art Shop.

A short way up the street came Skuse the butcher shop, now an ironmongers.

The White Hart, with a general store came next, selling various cold meats, displayed on their own short counter, covered over with a sparkling white tablecloth. The cold meats and ham on the bone were displayed on large blue and white meat joint dishes, covered with a large meat mesh. An old fashioned carver knife and fork were at the ready for slicing the meat. It all looked so clean, fresh and wholesome. Then there were pasties (seven for sixpence), bread, soft drinks and their lovely homemade ice cream for which they were quite renowned. On the opposite side of the shop was a large counter full of sweet bottles and chocolates, and on the fixtures behind, cigarettes, tobacco, matches and anything else one cared to ask for. A thriving business, kept by Mrs Davies and her sister Miss Morgan who made the delicious ice cream.

Next to the general store a bank - then Abbot's Tea Rooms also selling confectionary and soft drinks. Today it is the Post Office, moved from its Cross Street location in the 30s. This was to become the Food Office during World War II.

A saddler's shop came next, horses were an important part of everyday life at that time.
Further down High Street on the right stood Bennett Brothers' Garage. This is now a kitchen outfitters.

Across the road from Skuse, the butchers, stood a chemist shop, then Reg Bateman the barber (now a bank), and then came Berry's outfitter and newsagents. These shops, along with the Bull, formed the Square, with the cenotaph in the centre, now removed to the Town Hall gardens.
Further up High Street and opposite the schools, Mr Cook's agriculture store, with a tea room next door, today it is the Chemist. Then next to the schools came Mr Lewis' Fish and Chip Shop, again spotlessly clean, the tables scrubbed white.

At the other end of the Common stood Mrs Moore's Fish and Chip Shop.

The three fish and chip shops produced lovely fish and chips, then came Mr Tom Morgan's butcher's shop.

Station Road

On the corner stood Windmills shoe repair shop; then Mr Lusty's electrical goods shop. Next Miss Lewis chemist, then a bank, Coopey's newsagent and tobacconist selling sweets and soft drinks with Mr Jones, grocer and baker, on the corner of Broadwalk. And on the corner of the Usk Road, True's shoe shop with a repair shop at the rear, later to become a chemist and hair dresser.

Church Street

Just one, Jones confectioner and tobacconist.

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