Shops in St Johns Wood in the 1960s

All your shopping needs were catered for in St Johns Wood, there was even a car showroom called Lewis Auto’s in the High St.  There were 2 shoe repairers; one was run by my uncle and aunt, George and Nellie Impey, [although the shop was called Batemans] and the other was around the corner in Allitsen Rd, that was called Cham’s run by Cliff Cham. Next to that there was Arther Crosson butchers, then a baker who baked fresh bread,( if you came by late at night the smell of freshly baked bread , well…..). Further down past Avenue House there was Hyam’s greengrocer, also Sam and Sid Riesman’s barbers shop, then a ironmongers called Page’s which sold everything from a gallon of parafin to a sheet of Formica. Opposite was Reeds little grocer and Pykes sweet shop and a working man’s cafe called The Gammon Rasher. There were 4 pubs in Allitsen Rd, the Isaac Newton, the Crown, the New Inn, and the Pitt’s Head,(later to become the Lyndhurst Gambling Club), and in Charlbert St  you had Browns Fishmonger, Jordan’s greengrocer, and my favourite, Mary Wold’s sweet shop, where you could get a glass of Tizer or cream soda for 4 pence;  she also had a glass cabinet with sweets you could buy for a penny, like chews, fruit salads, or liquourish pipes. Sadly Mary died, and the shop was taken over by lady called Dinky, assisted by another lady called Trixie.  You didn’t need supermarkets then, you had the Co-Op (where you gave your Divi number) or the Home & Colonial. Brown’s grocery was a lovely shop, but catered for the better off local residents. There was a little department store called Bents in Circus Rd, but the main shops were in the High St.  Some of these were Joe Ruff jewellers, Mr Footring ,who sold ladies undergarments, three chemists, the Express Dairy which had a milk machine outside, [sixpence for a small bottle of milk] two TV repairers, Mac Fisheries, the aforementioned Home & Colonial, where most things like biscuits, sugar and flourwere sold loose, Finlay’s the tobacconists, the two butchers Scanlons and  Botchins.  Lionel Botchin did Kosher, and always drove a big American Car.  The greengrocers were Majors but they closed in the early 60’s and Salamones which was run by Mr and Mrs Salamone, who came from Italy sometime before the War. They had a large family, some of whom later ran the shop, and one daughter had a florists in Circus Rd. The St Johns Wood of today is  a different place, most, if not all of the shops mentioned are gone, and sadly so have all the people.

This page was added on 09/02/2012.

Comments about this page

  • Does anyone remember the pharmacy in St John’s Wood Tube Station in the 1960s? My mum was the pharmacist there and met my Dad in the shop.

    By Miranda (21/02/2021)
  • What was the name of the gift shop in St John’s Wood High Street. I think it was called Etcetera and owned by Mrs Rosen?

    By Anne Norton (13/01/2021)
  • I used to work as pastry chef in a tea salon pastry shop called Weinberg ?
    I would like to know where it was located ?

    By aishen (29/07/2019)
  • This is a fascinating website and I’m loving reading all the posts! I was born and lived in St Johns Wood (at Hamilton Gardens) during the 1950s through to the early 1980s and have such very happy memories of my childhood in the ‘Wood’ and my school days at Robinsfield and Barrow Hill Primary School. My mother did all her shopping in the high street … literally every need was catered for! A big treat for us when we were walking home from school was buying delicious cream cakes for tea from the Patisserie! As a young child I was very poorly with a severe ear infection and recall the great care from our family doctor – an elderly Austrian man who ran his surgery from his home in a block of flats at the top of Abbey Road … Just wish I could remember his name! Does anyone remember?

    By Judy Harris (Nee Yemm) (06/02/2019)
  • My dad (Pat Harris) managed Thompson Stores in Nugent Terrace – does anyone remember him?

    By Helen Jenkins (14/11/2018)
  • Back in the early and middle 60s, my dad Henry Conway was the Manager of the Express Dairy shop in St Johns Wood until he retired. In addition to running the shop he organised the milk float deliveries, from the yard at the back of the shop, and I used to go and help after school. I went to Kynaston school nearby.
    I remember Lionel Botchin the kosher butcher very well, he had a very pretty niece and we dated for a while until she emigrated with her mother. I still think of her occasionally.
    When I was older I sometimes went to the pub on the corner near the Express Dairy shop with some friends, but I can’t remember the pub name.
    I do remember a few of the special customers who came in the shop. Lulu the singer lived nearby and she came in and amazingly Keith Moon the fantastic mad cap drummer in the band The Who came in. Dad would often chat with them and tell me about when he got home. I was learning the guitar at the time so it was all quite fascinating.
    There were great days. Does anyone remember the shop and my dad? He was the manager of the Express Dairy shop for quite a few years.

    By Stuart Conway (30/09/2017)
  • My auntie Mary was a Salamone before becoming a Rumble. She was one of the daughters who helped run the shop. i have very fond memories of them. Uncle John was always at hand helping them. My dad Tom rumble was born in the Wood and my grandad used to run the Christmas Club in the pubs.

    By sue (08/08/2017)
  • Does anyone know Bill Lee the kosher butcher?

    By Lorraine (07/07/2017)
  • I worked at Britton Poole and Brown from August 1963 to 1966. Miss Ward was Mr Brown’s Secretary. Jill Hodge worked for the branch manager Mr. Butler. Mr. Headley was still there. Paul Shields. Ian Williams. Yvonne Wolcott. Mr. Madden. Happy memories.



    By Barbara Badzek (13/08/2016)
  • Many thanks for the memories; my Aunt was Mary Woulds, who had the sweet shop. Trixie was also my aunt, she was Marys sister in law.

    By Philip Woulds (04/06/2016)
  • My father, Frank (Francis) Sheridan, worked at Britton, Poole and Brown around 1940/1944 as an articled pupil. My dad is nearly 92, it would be lovely to hear if anyone remembers him He has very fond memories of the place!

    By Frank Sheridan (09/03/2016)
  • Please tell Angela Beer that I recently purchased a special calculator given to Roy Lidington on his leaving Britton, Poole, Brown. 

    By ian mc donald (21/11/2015)
  • We used to shop in Boundary Road, our doctor was Dr Sachs. I worked 1968 in Edwards delicatessen. I remember a big dog that used to lay outside the green grocers shop. Sweet shop on the corner. On the Abbey Road just around the corner was a lovely chemist with the big colour bottles on top shelves and a launderette and a confectioners.

    By Susan Markham (24/07/2015)
  • There was also the BonBon Patiserrie in Charlbert Street which used to sell off cuts of millefeuielle for a tanner. Lovely. 

    By David Hussey (25/06/2015)
  • I worked at Britton Poole and Brown, Estate Agents on Wellington Road, St John’s Wood from 1951 to 1955 – latterly as Secretary to Richard Brown (REB)  My colleagues were Marjorie Thompson who was our telephone operator and copy typist, Ann Loxton, and Vivian Fullard who was Secretary to the Senior Partner Mr Poole.  Mr Poole’s son, “Mr Tony” worked there too, as did Articled Pupils, Norman Friend (later of Friend and Falke Estate Agents, maybe around Sloane Square), “Bobby” Burns, Raymond Durrant (later, I think, Mayor of St Albans). The pupils kept the girls entertained with their (now no doubt politically incorrect!) good-humoured teasing which we thoroughly enjoyed and encouraged. The Manager of unfurnished properties was “Willie” Fryett and the chief negotiator was Mr Headley who had suffered badly as a POW.  Are any of my former colleagues reading this blog?  If so, I would to hear from them.  Although Britton Poole and Brown was rather “dickensian” and we worked long hours in a crowded office, I do look back with affection at the 4 years I spent there between the ages of 16 and 20.  If we managed to get a proper lunch hour, it was often spent eating sandwiches in the churchyard across the road or at the little restaurant next door run by “Miss Marigold”   Lunch there was 2/6d and was excellent.  We also had an office in Elizabeth Street, Chelsea.  I am sorry I don’t remember Barbara Jennings who posted a piece here on 6/4/13.  I think you must have worked at Britton Poole and Brown after I left in April 1955.

    By Angela Beer (nee Saunders) (06/03/2015)
  • Having lived in Australia for the past 35 years, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this page, it takes me back to my childhood, I lived in Robin House from Nov 1950 when I was 2 months old to my leaving to do Nursing at St Mary’s Paddington in 1969. Mum and Dad (Ted and Mary) lived there until they died, I always return to the Wood on visits home, sadly most of the Family and friends have either passed away or moved away, so it is refreshing to read up on others memories, thank you.

    By Pam Bishop(Nee) Davies (12/02/2015)
  • Lionel Botchin, kosher butcher,  was a cousin of my dad Michael Botchin . They moved the shop to Kingsbury if I recall . Both have passed on now. 

    By Ambrosine (09/10/2014)
  • I well remember the lady with pram and dog selling wafer biscuits in the ’50’s when I was a pupil at Barrow Hill, I think there were sweets in bags too. She had very few teeth and white hair and I was forbidden to buy anything.

    By Rosemary Lee (29/06/2014)
  • I really miss England after25 years in Cyprus.  The heat is awful and I am going to return.

    By susan fiszman (29/06/2014)
  • Hi All, I served at St Johns Wood Pol Stn (DS) in the 80’s when it was a sub-division to the larger Paddington Green (DD). I have fond memories of the whole area, one of my favourite shops was Lionel Botchin’s who did a mean kosher sausage roll !! The Police Stn had a unique postal address of 20 1/2, Newcourt Street. The place in those days still retained a village type atmosphere and was full of lovely people with some very quirky characters. Haven’t been back for years, as l am certain l would be disappointed with the direction the area has taken. It is really nice to read and see all the comments and reminisce.

    By Keith Sparks (15/04/2014)
  • Hello Jim, I’m keeping well hope you are too, I still pop up the Wood occasionally and have a drink with Chris Nichol, I can’t remember the ap club though, I only remember the hut which was at the Adventure Playground.

    By Terry Farmer (04/02/2014)
  • There is an excellent piece of colour film of St Johns Wood in the 40’s on YouTube, it’s called London Late 40’s in colour, it is accompanied by a beautiful piece of music by Georges Delerue.

    By Terry Farmer (02/02/2014)
  • I grew up on Townshend estate, the New Inn and the Star were on each corner, we had a news agent and a little cafe opposite. We played football from dawn to dusk, who remembers the ap club? We still have little get togethers from time to time in the Star. Place has changed progress I think. Alright Tel how you keeping? Dr

    By jim watson (12/01/2014)
  • My grandfather, Walter Crisford, ran W.E. Crisford, Painters and Decorators at 76 Allitsen Road for over 30 years. He and his family lived in Hamilton Gardens. My mother and I have many happy memories of the area from the 1920s onwards.

    By Sarah Hall (05/11/2013)
  • Ms Fiszman, I suggest you don’t go back to St Johns Wood, if you do, you may be sorely disappointed, for nothing old in the Wood seems to exist anymore, the shops, the people, all gone, on a recent visit I was shocked to see even the old Police Station closed and up for sale. They say the past is another Country, well that certainly applies to St Johns Wood I am sad to say.

    By Terry Farmer (01/10/2013)
  • I remember Waterbyrn. It was a small shop in St.Johns Wood High Street owned by a very nice lady. I used to buy antique tables and also library stairs and beautiful ornaments and small china cups and saucers.

    By Susan Fiszman (10/09/2013)
  • I really miss St. Johns Wood and the high street..We dont have anything like that in Cyprus and it is very boring and very hot. Maybe it is time to return

    By susan fiszman (09/09/2013)
  • Lionel Botchin caught us in the dead end mews behind his shop and whacked our backsides with a bambo cane,it did b****y well hurt, we should not have shouted names into his shop,we did not ever do it again.

    By Michael Kenward (09/06/2013)
  • I lived in Clifton Hill and Belgrave Gardens in the 50s and 60s. I worked at Britton, Poole and Brown, estate agents at the back of Lords. My sister worked at the Abbey Road Studio in the early 60s.

    By Barbara Badzek (was Jennings) (05/04/2013)
  • Excellent page. I lived in St. Johns Wood for a long time but have been in Cyprus 23 years now

    By susan fiszman (24/03/2013)
  • I worked in Scanlons butchers in the 70’s. Does anyone know where the staff went after it shut?

    By Lawrence Cole (20/02/2013)
  • I was fortunate enough to work a the Abbey Road Studios for 35 years, starting back in 1962. St Johns Wood was like my second home and we would regularly shop and eat in the ‘town’. A regular haunt for my colleagues and I was the Indian Restaurant (one of the first in the area) on the corner of Cochrane Street but I’m blowed if I can remember the name, can anyone put me out of my misery.

    By Peter Vince (03/11/2012)
  • Jeff,I think the old lady you’re thinking of was called peanut Annie, she used to live in De Walden Buildings and as well as having a dog she always pulled a wicker shopping trolley, at one time I believe she used to sell peanuts in Trafalgar Square, hence the name.

    By Terry Farmer (01/10/2012)
  • Does anyone remember Bents the drapers shop and Rapsons the Grocer in Circus Road.

    By Jeff Coultas (24/09/2012)
  • Does any one remember the old lady with a dog who used to sell wafer biscuits out of a tin outside of Barrow Hill School.

    By Jeffery Coultas (24/09/2012)
  • What about the electrical/bike shop on the corner of Charles Lane/Charlbert Street? It was run by two brothers, Bill and Reg Russell, and you could get your accumulators for your wirelesses recharged here. This was before batteries we use today were widely used. There was also a little shoe repairers next door to Wolds sweet shop in Charlbert Street, and along the road on the corner of St John’s terrace was Browns Delicatessen. I think the electrical shop was in the early 50s.

    By Jeffery Coultas (24/09/2012)
  • There was also a little antique shop called Waterbyrn. Does anyone remember it?

    Dear TJ, Look at the new addition about Waterbyrn Antiques!




    By Tj (21/07/2012)
  • Thank, thank, thank you. It has been driven me and my mother nuts re-the shoe repair shop on Allitsen Road and you have solved the problem. Isn’t the internet great! Also, I remember Carters, the electrical shop, on the High Street, and Anderson and Young, greengrocers on Charlbert street and, of course, Panzer’s Circus Road, still there

    By Giselle Harrison (27/04/2012)

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