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.
Shops in St Johns Wood in the 1960s
This page was added on 09/02/2012.