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My Black Heath great gran had draper's near Misses Hodsons' shop

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: February 02, 2014

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ON reading the article on the Misses Hodson and their shop in their front room in The Bugle (January 16 edition) it brought back memories of my childhood in Union Street, Blackheath.

My great grandmother Frances Fisher lived round the corner at No. 9, John Street where she had a drapery shop in her front room.

She died in 1951 and my grandmother (her daughter) Gertrude Pennington, took over her accounts with Wilkinson and Riddle & Bell and Nicolson, two wholesale warehouses in Birmingham city centre.

I used to go with her to order goods which were delivered a few days later by carrier. I especially enjoyed going when it was Sunday School anniversary time at High Street Methodist Church as I always had a new dress or two!

I could never understand why she bought goods this way as she hadn't got a shop to sell them in. However, looking back I think she used to sell them in her friend Blanche Bagley's shop at 101, Heath Street where she had a drapery shop in the front room.

Her sister, Agnes, had a grocery shop on the opposite corner and that was part of somebody's house. Whose, I don't know.

I remember there was a door at the back of the shop which was always locked and I often wondered who lived behind it!

My grandmother had these accounts for years and had these warehouses found out that she hadn't a shop, I wonder if they would have stopped her account. This I'll never know.

There was another shop I remember going to in John Street and the lady who owned it was called Emma and she was rather large with a cheery face. I used to have to go there and fetch potatoes and carrots etc.

She used to sell tinned goods also and had one of those lovely old fashioned scales.

Again, it was another front room job, well before the days of supermarkets.

Mrs Jean Ward,

74 Derron Avenue, Birmingham.

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