108. Items Purchased in the Early 1970s


I believe grandad bought both local and national newspapers.

Daily Mail

He certainly bought the Daily Mail (see Chapters 79, 86 and 97).

Book about the seventies written by Mary Fogarty for Paragon with photos by the Daily Mail

Newspaper Delivery

I think he had the papers delivered and then someone called to collect payment. However, in June 1970, he went to the newsagent on Drayton Wood Road. He went to pay three weeks’ newspapers as they were no longer collecting the money. Also, he paid for the Bells, Barbara Carpenter and Ron Douglas. He referred to them by the numbers of their houses, 152, 164 and 168 Drayton High Road. He noted that they would now pay their bills every four weeks. I am not sure if this practice was followed and, if so, for how long. If it was, it seems that the practice changed back at some point. On 20 April 1974, grandad noted that a man was supposed to call about the papers but he did not come. Instead, he came on the 27th and they settled up. It was agreed he would call weekly in future.

The Newsagent on Drayton Wood Road

I tried to find details of this newsagent. I had previously researched a shop called Den Dutch that sold fencing materials in the same location (see Chapter 95). So, I asked about this on the Norwich Remembers Facebook Group. Olwyn Emerson recalls a newsagent being there and that it was possibly called Cloughs. There was certainly a tobacconist called J J Clough in that row of shops in 1955. But, there is no entry for him in the 1970 telephone book. Now, there are still shops in the same location. There is a bike shop, Soren’s Cycles, at 17 Drayton Wood Road,. Also, there is a beauty salon, Bodyworks, at 19-23 Drayton Wood Road.

In the mid-1980s, there was someone called G Craske operating at 19-23 Drayton Wood Road. They sold the EDP. It seems that this may have been Graham Craske. He may have operated under the name of Shopper Foodmarket. However, it appears that he was not operating there before 1984. There is no entry for him in the 1984 telephone directory. In the 1970 telephone directory, there is a Drayton Wood Stores at 19 Drayton Wood Road. I wonder if this is the shop in question. However, this was a general store but I guess it could have sold papers. The only news article I can find about that store is from 1974. It relates to the theft of tins of salmon and steak and kidney puddings worth £25.

Why Would You Need a Stapler for the Daily Mail?

In September 1972, Jim, who grandad was calling Frank at this point, and Renie Seville went into Norwich and they bought grandad a stapler for the Daily Mail. Grandad spelled this “stapeller“. I don’t know why he needed a stapler for the Daily Mail. It may have been something to do with the change from broadsheet to tabloid in May 1971. Perhaps the paper was stapled before the change and not afterwards. It is the sort of thing on which grandad would have had strong opinions!

Shopping in Norwich

Quite often, grandma went into Norwich. While this might have been for meetings, I have assumed this was for shopping. Sometimes, she combined trips to attend meetings and to do shopping. On a few occasions grandad specified that a trip was for shopping without specifying what grandma bought, e.g. on 22 July 1970, 12 September 1972 and 30 May 1973. Sometimes, grandma went on her own and sometimes with other people including mum, Liz (on 15 June 1971 with Caroline Douglas and Joy), Auntie Dolly, Amy Wilson, Jack and Phyllis Attwood, Mrs Smith, Miss Cooke, Miss Coe and Mrs Davis. Often, grandma went on the bus but sometimes she got a lift with someone including Ron Douglas, Tom Wilson, Mr Beckett or Robin Harrison.

St Andrew’s Car Park

On 4 December 1970, grandma and grandad went into Norwich with Tom and Amy. They parked at St Andrew’s car park.

I still use this car park sometimes on the very rare occasions that I drive into Norwich. I recall, as a child, that mum did not like it. She considered it a long way outside the city centre although it really isn’t. It is only 0.2 miles to Jarrolds according to Google! I remember mum preferring the Malthouse multistorey car park, which was demolished when Chapelfield Mall was built. I recall parking there with mum and then using a cut through to St Stephen’s to where Sainsburys was.


On 27 May 1972, dad ran grandad to Nelsons.

Excerpts from grandad’s diary from 24-31 May 1972

Initially, I was not sure who or what this was. From the 1967 Kelly’s directory, I found a finance company by this name but would they have been going there on a Saturday? I also found two hairdressers by this name but neither of them were still operating in the 1970s based on Kelly’s Tradefinder.

So I posted a question on the Norwich Remembers Facebook Group. I received various suggestions including a hairdresser, a pub a restaurant in North Elmham or the Hotel Nelson which was a relatively new hotel then having opened on 8 March 1971.

However, it turns out that Nelsons was the name of a shop in Drayton. On balance, I think this is likely to be the place grandad was referring to. It is close to the Red Lion pub and currently houses Domino’s.

 Photo posted by Danielle Ep on the Norwich Remembers Facebook Group and used with permission. This was taken in 2017 when work was being done on the post office in Drayton to convert it to a pizza outlet. The work revealed the older Nelsons Store sign beneath.


Grandad also sometimes noted trips to Dixons (see Chapter 85) without saying what he bought, for example, with Tom on 24 August in both 1972 and 1973.

Some of Grandma’s Shopping Habits

On 13 January 1973, grandad noted that grandma went to the shop instead of him but he did not specify which shop. I assume it was a shop they went to regularly, perhaps in Drayton.

Hurn Road Shop

That same year, on 8 December 1973, grandad noted that grandma went to the Hurn Road shop because it was so windy. According to Mich Andrews, on the Norwich Remembers Facebook Group, Drayton had three general stores in the days before supermarkets. There was one in the village, one on George Drive and one on Hurn Road. I guess it was the one on Hurn Road that grandma went to on this occasion, presumably because it was closer. It appears that this was not her usual practice though.

Groceries Delivered

The following month, on 19 January 1974, grandad noted that they were still having their groceries delivered. According to him, this was the second week of delivery. He does not explain why they were having groceries delivered and does not mention this before or again. His health was not good at this point and grandma was having trouble with her feet so perhaps that is the explanation (see Chapter 100).

Helping Irene Bell

Later that year, in October 1974, grandma went to keep Linda Bell company while Irene went shopping in Norwich. Linda had been involved in an accident and was being looked after by her mother (see Chapter 100).

Food Shopping

Grandad rarely mentioned buying food but there were a few exceptions. For example, in October 1974, grandma bought some meat for Irene Bell.

Meat Vouchers

The following month, in November 1974, grandma went to the Post Office to collect meat vouchers. Grandad noted that, from 2 December 1974, old age pensioners were allowed 20p off meat.  

This was the result of the Social Beef Scheme which was introduced by the UK government based on an initiative of the European Economic Community to strengthen the beef market and to encourage beef consumption. The scheme ran from 2 December 1974 for 18 weeks and allowed pensioners 20 pence per week off the price of beef or veal provided they spent at least another 20 pence. Initially, I struggled to find details of this scheme but this was because I was using the term grandad used of “meat vouchers”. The scheme was widely advertised using the term “beef tokens”. The scheme led to an increased consumption of beef among pensioners and there were calls from butchers to reintroduce the scheme in July 1975.  

Meat and Bread Delivery

In December 1974, grandma went to Drayton for meat as grandad noted that there was no longer  a meat delivery. Also, that month, in December 1974, grandad noted that the bread strike (see Chapter 112) was over and they had a loaf delivered.

Clothes Shopping

Grandad did note more often the purchase of clothes although not perhaps as often as mum did when she was keeping a diary.


A New Suit

On 12 July 1970, grandad noted that he put on the new suit he had bought although I did not see any mention of when or where he bought this.

A Winter Coat and Overalls

A few months later, in October 1970, grandma bought a winter coat from Butchers for 17 guineas. She also bought grandad a pair of brown overalls for 49/6. But, the next day, she took the overalls back as they were too big. She got the money back and bought another pair for 35 shillings from Bostons.


Based on Kelly’s Directory for 1967 and Kelly’s Tradefinder for 1970-71, Butchers were a drapers located at 8 Swan Lane and 14 Bedford Street. I am not sure if this was two separate branches or one located on the corner of Swan Lane and Bedford Street. This site is now occupied by a Caribbean restaurant called Turtle Bay. I found a detailed full-page 1990 advert for Butchers in a newspaper on the Local Recall website. This included photos of the premises from 1900 and 1990. It appears that the company is still active under the name of Butcher Group Limited based in Lancaster House and that they traded as GF Butcher Drapers Limited from 1942 to 1989. It seems that they now operate a portfolio of commercial and residential properties including the shop on Swan Lane.  

Advert for G F Butcher
Swan Lane in 2018 showing Turtle Bay which is where Butchers were located © Evelyn Simak and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence


There are two entries for clothiers called Bostons in the 1967 Kelly’s Directory. Thomas Boston was based at 6 Orford Hill and William and Geoffrey Boston were based at 1 Farmers Avenue. Thomas Boston also appears in the 1970-71 and 1971-72 Kelly’s Trade Directories. For this reason, I suspect this is where grandma got grandad’s overalls. The building is currently occupied by Sahara.


A Handbag

The following year, in June 1971, grandma bought a handbag from Curls (see Chapter 93) for £4.50.

A Light Summer Jacket

The next month, in July 1971, grandma bought grandad a light summer jacket from the Co-op (see Chapter 93). This cost £7. But, it was too big so, the next day, Irene Bell changed the jacket for one size smaller.


Braces and Amy Buys a Coat, Dress and Hat

The year after that, in June 1972, grandma bought grandad some braces for 75p. Amy bought a coat, dress and hat.

A New Hat

A few months later, in September 1972, grandma bought a new hat for £5.


A Cardigan

The next year, in March 1973, grandma bought grandad a cardigan from Littlewoods for £4.99.


Littlewoods was a large betting and retail company that was established by John Moores in 1923 but which cease trading in 2005. The name continues to be used for online retailing by the Very Group. There is a picture of the Littlewoods store in 1967 as part of an online article on 16 shops no longer trading in Norwich. There are also quite a few photos on the Sprowston History website. I have strong recollections of this store which was one of the iconic brands in the city centre when I was a child. The site is now occupied by Primark. A new store was constructed there and opened in December 2019

View of Primark along Haymarket in 2011. This was before the Primark store was rebuilt and expanded taking in the Wallis and Dorothy Perkins stores © Stacey Harris and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
View of Primark when undergoing rebuilding and expansion in 2019. Once the building had been demolished, it was possible to see the Castle through the construction site © Michael Garlick and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
View of the expanded Primark in 2020. This clearly shows that Primark now occupies the properties to the left of the previous Primark store © Evelyn Simak and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

A Summer Coat

Two months later, in May 1973, grandma bought another coat from Butchers. Grandad described this as a summer coat and it cost £17.

A Suit and a Cap

A few months later, in September 1973, grandad went for a new suit to Burtons (see Chapter 93). This cost £36.50. He paid a deposit of £10 but noted they could not deliver in under six weeks. He also bought a cap from Dunn & Co for £1.60 and he commented on the price. On 12 October 1973, grandma collected the suit and paid the balance. Grandad noted that he had never paid so much for a suit before.

Dunn and Co

The Nottingham branch of Dunn and Co is mentioned in Chapter 72. Dunn and Co was a major menswear chain, established in 1887 by George Arthur Dunn, in Birmingham. It ceased trading in 1996 and, at that time, it had 130 shops and 429 staff. According to the 1967 Kelly’s Directory, they were based at 11 London Street, The 1970/71 and 1971/72 Kelly’s Tradefinders shows them at 9-11 London Street. It seems that the building is now occupied by Jarrolds and Jo Malone which itself seems to be part of the Jarrold complex.

Cap and tied from Dunn and Co
Label in Dunn and Co cap
Label on Dunn and Co tie
Grandad commonly wore a flat cap, similar to the one bought from Dunn and Co and shown above, as illustrated from these photos in the memory book that Tricia put together. This is a family trip to Eaton Park circa 1962 showing Tricia, mum, me, dad and grandad
Grandad and Tricia gardening
Eva, grandad and grandma at the beach

A Fur Coat

The next month, in November 1973, grandma bought Mrs Ducker’s fur coat for £15. Grandad reckoned this was a bargain.



The next year, in January 1974, grandma bought some Barkers shoes at Buckinghams. She bought them because her feet hurt. They cost £11.95.


Established in 1880, by Arthur Barker, this company continues to make shoes although they moved to a new factory in 1987.

Advert for Barker shoes


It seems this company operated from at least 1914 to 2000. There was a book written about them which was subtitled “a hundred years in the shoe trade 1862-1962”. Also, they are one of three shoe retailers featured in the book “The Story of the Norwich Boot and Shoe Trade” by Frances and Michael Holmes (pp107-109). According to the 1967 Kelly’s Directory, they were located at 27 London Street. This address is confirmed in the 1970-71 and 1971-72 Kelly Tradefinders. This is at the top of Swan Lane and was occupied by Fourth Avenue but this has permanently closed and the building was being advertised for sale in December 2022. There is a photo of shoes in the window of the shop on the Norwich Remembers Facebook Group. I also found a 1972 article celebrating their centenary.

Book by Frances and Michael Holmes entitled “The Story of the Norwich Boot and Shoe Trade”. It features three shoe retailers including Buckinghams
Copy of the book Buckinghams: A Hundred Years in the Shoe Trade. They published this book privately to celebrate their centenary in 1962. The book is open at a page which shows their shop in London Street at that time.


The following month, in February 1974, grandma bought grandad a pair of trousers from Marks and Spencer’s for £6.99.

Marks and Spencer

See Chapters 84 and 93. Established in 1884 by Michael Marks and Thomas Spencer in Leeds, Marks and Spencer is a well-known department store. The Norwich store on the corner of Rampant Horse Street and St Stephens has been there for as long as I can remember.

Marks and Spencer’s in Norwich in 2009 © Keith Evans and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence


In March 1974, grandma paid a £1 deposit on some shoes to be picked up the next Monday.

More Trousers

The following day, Irene Bell bought grandad a pair of trousers from Marks and Spencer but she brought size 40” waist and he needed 42”. He noted that she would change them. A few days later, he noted that he had started wearing his grey trousers and I assume these were the ones Irene had bought.

A Folding Umbrella

In August 1970, while on the trip to the passion play in Oberammergau, grandma bought a folding umbrella in Innsbruck (see Chapter 106). Apparently, the first telescopic, foldable umbrella was invented by Hans Haupt in 1928 but it was only patented by Bradford Philips in 1969.


As far as I can see, there was only one mention of buying games during this period. That was in January 1974 when grandma went to Norwich and bought Scrabble for £2.10 (see Chapter 106).

Musical Instruments

There were more frequent mentions of purchases related to musical instruments.

A Japanese Piano

For example, in January 1971, grandad noted that we told him that we had bought a Japanese piano from Suttons (see Chapter 93) in Exchange Street for £360. For some notes on this and photos of the piano, see Chapter 102.

Parts for a Fiddle

Three months later, in April 1971, grandma and Auntie Dolly went into Norwich and bought some parts for “the fiddle”. This refers to a one-stringed fiddle grandad was making – see Chapter 109.

Selling a Banjo

The next month, in May 1971, grandma took Dolly’s banjo to “Wilson’s music shop”. He was going to try to sell it for her. Presumably Auntie Dolly did not want this anymore. I think grandma had brought it for grandad to look at following a trip to Bedford in 1970 (see Chapter 106). I assume grandad decided he did not want to buy it/keep it.Two weeks later, grandma went back and he gave her £6 for the banjo. Auntie Dolly was very pleased with this.

Wilson’s” Music Shop

This entry amuses me as there were two music shops in Norwich at this time (see adverts in Chapter 103) with the name Willson but both were spelled with a double L. Our youngest daughter’s married name is Willson and, at her wedding, she said she would be getting used to introducing herself as Emma Willson with two Ls!

Willson and Ramshaw

Willson and Ramshaw were located at 10-12 Bridewell Alley (which now seems to house womenswear and cosmetics shop Atwin)’

Advert for Willson and Ramshaw from the Hewett School 1972 magazine

W E Willson’s

W E Willson’s were located at 24 White Lion Street (which now houses Jack’s Jewellers). I am not sure which of these this was but perhaps the latter, otherwise grandad might have said Willson and Ramshaw. There are excellent photos of both Willson and Ramshaw and W  E Willson’s posted by Reg Thrumper on the Norwich Remembers Facebook Group. There are also posts of record sleeves with the W E Willson’s stamp on.  

Advert for W E Willson’s from the Hewett School 1972 magazine

A Violin Bow

The next year, in January 1972, grandma bought grandad a violin bow from Willsons for £3.50. Grandad consistently spelled this with one L but, given that this is my daughter’s married name, I don’t think I can do this!

Chime Bars

A year later, in April 1973, grandma and Auntie Dolly bought grandad two chime bars from Willson’s. These cost £1.60. But, two days later, grandma returned the chime bars and got a refund. Grandad noted that he was going to try to get him a glockenspiel. Three months later, in July 1973, he noted that Cooke’s (see Chapter 92) delivered “the chime bars and case”. As far as I can see, there is no earlier reference to this, e.g. when grandad ordered this. The price was £31 but grandad was offered it for £22. So, he bought it.

Violin Strings

At the end of that year, in December 1973, grandma bought grandad a D violin string. Arthur Elsegood had brought him an A string the previous day.


There were a number of entries related to buying pens. For example, on 15 February 1971, grandma bought a “Tempo” nylonpoint pen for 15 NEW PENCE. Grandad recorded “new pence” in capitals as this was the day decimalization took place.

The Papermate Tempo

Apparently, this pen was originally known as the Flair and has recently reverted to that name. It was also variously known as the Tempo and the Nylon. It is still produced by Paper Mate.

Unopened Paper Mate Tempo pen

Biro Refills

The following year, in August 1972, grandma went into Norwich and bought grandad a Biro refill for five pence. He noted getting such refills again in November 1974 when both grandma and Arthur Elsegood bought one for him, again for five pence.

A Parker Pen

For Christmas 1974, we bought grandma a Parker ball pen (see Chapter 106).

Clocks and Watches

There were also a number of entries related to buying clocks and watches.

A Watch for Liz’s Birthday

For example, on 13 March 1970, grandma bought Liz a watch from Tilletts (see Chapter 92) for her fifth birthday (see Chapter 106). This was something they had done for each of us when we turned five, see Chapter 92. This cost £3 13 0.

Auntie Dolly Buys a Wrist Watch

The following year, in June 1971, Auntie Dolly bought a wrist watch from Tilletts for £5.40.

A Digital Clock

The next month, in July 1971, grandma and grandad bought a digital clock from Parton’s. The price was £21 and they received a one pound discount so paid £20 cash. But, some ten days later, grandma took it back. Parton’s had to send it off to where it came from as they were unable to put it right. Five days after that, Parton’s notified them that the clock was ready for collection. Apparently, they had replaced it with a new one.


In the 1967 Kelly’s Directory, they are listed as a jewellers, silversmiths and watch and clock makers based at 20 Gentleman’s Walk. There are similar entries in the Kelly Tradefinders for 1970-71 and 1971-72. This is on the corner of Davey Place where Caffe Nero is now. There are some fabulous photos of Parton’s on the Norwich Remembers Facebook Group including two posted by Karen High, one from the 1980s and one from 1914 showing troops gathered in the Market Place. A similar 1914 photo was posted by Peter Rowley.  Reg Thrumper has posted views across the market comparing the 1970s and the 2010s. Ed Norfolk posted a shot taken from Davey Place which shows Parton’s on the left with a large clock with their name on it. Richard Vivian posted a photo which looks the other way towards the castle.

Watch from Parton’s in Norwich

A Battery Alarm Clock

In November 1974, grandad ordered a battery alarm clock by phone from Dixons. They delivered it the next day, It cost £6.95½ and grandad noted that he liked it. A note on the price – halfpennies were in use from 1971 to 1984 (see Chapter 112).

Gifts for Others

There are relatively few mentions of buying gifts for others but, in February 1970, grandma bought a cut glass flower jar for John and Bunty who were getting married in March (see Chapter 101). This cost 24 shillings from Samuels on the Walk.

H Samuel

Their Nottingham branch is mentioned in Chapter 72. H Samuel was established by Harriet Samuel in 1862, as a mail-order business in Manchester – and continues to operate. There is a good history section on their website.

Vintage Celtic cross silver pendant from H Samuel
Watch from H Samuel

There is still a store in Norwich in Chapelfield Mall which is now called Chantry Place. According to the 1967 Kelly’s Directory, there were two branches in Norwich at that time, one at 14 The Walk and the other at 10 St Stephen’s Street. This was also the case in the Kelly Tradefinders for 1970-71 and 1971-72.

The branch in The Walk was still there in 2019. However, it was boarded up in 2021 and still seems to be available to rent. The branch in St Stephen’s Street was on the corner of St Stephen’s Street and Barwells Court and appears to be occupied by M&S now. There is an excellent photo of this from Barwells Court taken in 1974 on the Norwich Remembers Facebook Group.

The clock outside this branch was a well-known landmark and people used to meet there. There is a photo from 1997 showing this on the Norwich Remembers Facebook Group. However, it seems there may have been two clocks with one outside the branch in the Walk too.

Clock outside H Samuel branch in the Walk, Norwich in 2007

To be honest, I was a bit surprised that grandma bought a glass vase from H Samuel which I know for jewellery but it does seem they sold and sell such items.


In December 1973, Barbara Carpenter brought grandad an electric razor, a two-cutter Philishave model. But, grandad wanted a three-cutter. He saw an advert in the Evening News that Currys (see Chapter 93) had them at a reduced price from £10.78 to £7.50. So, grandma went with Barbara and got him one. He noted that he tried it and was satisfied. Later that month, in December 1973, grandma and Auntie Dolly went to Norwich to buy three yards of cable to make an extension for his razor.


This was the brand name used by Philips for their razors from 1939 to 2006. Philishave differed from other razors in that it had rotating cutters. The original design, with one cutter, was designed by Alexandre Horowitz. A two-cutter model was introduced in 1951 and a three-cutter model was introduced globally in 1966. I am pretty sure I recall grandad having one of these and I think I may have owned one at some point. But, I reverted back to disposable safety razors a long time ago.

I have not found the precise advert grandad referred to but I did find an advert from December 1973 in which a Philishave 1129 was reduced from £10.78 to £7.95 at Thelco Cash and Carry (which is apparently now Woodside Snooker Centre). I wonder if this is the model grandad bought given the match to the base price.

Collection of Philishave razors including a two-cutter model (bottom left) and two three-cutter models (top left and bottom right). The model top left is the 1129 which I think is the model grandad had.

Irene Bell Buys a Deep Freeze

In December 1974, Irene Bell got a deep freeze. The termdeep freeze” was popular in the 1940s and has come to symbolise a chest freezer. I don’t think grandad had mentioned them before and I don’t think we had one as a child. Apparently, only 3% of British households owned a freezer in 1969 but this rose to a third in the mid- 70s, over half by 1980 and 96% by the end of the nineties.

Photography-related Purchases

There were a couple of entries related to purchases related to photography.

A Replacement Bulb for the Projector

In August 1970, grandad had a replacement bulb for the projector from Dixons for the one that had “burst” a couple of months earlier in June 1970.

A Slide Film?

The following year, in September 1971, grandma bought a reversible coloured film from Co-op for £1.89. I am not entirely sure what this was but assume it was a film for a camera. Slide film is known as reversal film and I wonder if this is what grandma bought. I know grandma and grandad used slide film.

A New Television

In January 1972, the tube went on grandma and grandad’s television. Initially, it seems they were going to rent a new set from Hubbards (see Chapter 84) but the next day grandma went into Norwich to look at new televisions.

Three days later, grandad phoned Panks (see Chapter 96) to order one. The next day, a man came and fixed an aerial for BBC1 and 2 and also ITA1. In the afternoon, Panks brought them two televisions to look at, a new one and a secondhand one. They decided to have the new one, a Bush De Luxe. I think these sets were produced from as early as the 1950s and there may have been a range of different TVs with this name.

Advert for Bush televisions

Three days after that, grandad started to pull their old television to pieces. He finished doing that some three days later.

On the same day as grandad started to pull the old TV to pieces, grandma went to Panks to pay for the television. The cost with discount was £85. The day after that, a man came from Panks to see to the tuning of the television. But, grandad said he would have to come again as, although it was better, it was “not OK”.  Two days later, grandad noted that the television was not working properly. Someone came from Panks the next day. They took the television away but left an old one temporarily. But, after about a week, that one went “wonky”. Grandad phoned Panks in the morning and Irene Bell went there in the afternoon. They promised to return their TV that day which they did about 6pm. Grandad reported being satisfied and that he sent the old TV back.

An Aside on ITA1

Grandad was referring to the channel which is now ITV. ITA was an agency created in 1954 to supervise the creation of ITV. It was renamed the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) in 1972 when it was also given responsibility for commercial radio. It was replaced by the Independent Television Commission (ITC) and the Radio Authority in 1990. These were in turn replaced by the Office of Communications (OFCOM) in 2003.

A Television Aerial

In March 1972, grandma went back to Panks to pay for a television aerial which cost £7.75.

A New Portable Radio

She also enquired about a new portable radio. The next day, Irene Bell brought them a Roberts portable transistor radio from Panks for £33.75. Grandad noted that Irene also paid for it.

A vintage Roberts R600 radio. I don’t know if this was the model grandma and grandad bought. I do know that the one they bought had wooden elements which this one does. They bought the radio in 1972. Apparently the R600 was produced from 1968 to 1973 so the dates fit. Another radio that fits the time period is the R707 and that looks very similar. I thought I might be able to track down the model based on price. In November 1972 the Roberts R600 was selling for £23.25 with a list price of £25.90 while the R707 was selling for £31.75 with a list price of £34.75 . On balance, I suspect this means that grandma and grandad were more likely to have bought the R707 as they paid £33.75.
This is the R707 radio. To my untrained eye, it looks very similar to the R600
It is only when the two radios are put together that it becomes apparent that the R707 is much bigger

But, two days later, a man from Panks brought them a new radio as grandma and grandad did not like the graining on some of the wood. Grandad noted that it looked like a blob of black paint. Over the next few days, they had problems with the radio. Grandad said it went “wonky”. They could not get any sound out of it except through earphones. Irene Bell took the radio in for them but she had to leave it there, She collected it the next day. Apparently, there had been a loose connection. But, in May 1972, the radio went “wonky” again. Grandma took it to Panks the same day but it was about two weeks before they got it back but grandad said it was then “OK”.

Roberts Radios

Roberts is a British company that produces radios. Established in 1932 by Harry Roberts, it has been based in Mexborough since 1994 when it was taken over by GlenDimplex

I recall mum being a fan of Roberts radios and she had this relatively modern ChronoDAB radio
Modern promotional poster for Roberts ChronoDAB radio

Paul Warma Paraffin Stove

Grandad continued to buy paraffin and other items for his Paul Warma paraffin stove (see Chapter 67) which dated from the 1950s and which I believe he used in his cabin.

Example of Paul Warma with expanded logo below. Initially, I just bought a leaflet about the Warma (see Chapter 67) but, in the end, because it is mentioned so often and I find it a cool-looking thing, I bought one!

Buying Paraffin

In November 1970, he went to Dixons for five gallons of paraffin. He noted that it was the first of the season. He also noted buying paraffin in April and November 1973 and March 1974. The price went up sharply from 16p per gallon in November 1973 to 29p per gallon in March 1974. This was despite the price of paraffin being controlled at that time. Apparently, the average price of paraffin rose from around 21p per gallon in 1973 to 46-51p per gallon in 1979.

Buying Wicks

He also had to buy wicks for the Paul Warma. Grandma bought one in Norwich and Dixons delivered one, which cost 11p, with paraffin in November 1973.

Another Old Stove

Also, in November 1973, Ron Douglas gave grandad an old fire like the Paul Warma. Grandad got this going the following day but took it back a few days later as it leaked.

Domestic Items for the Home

During this period, grandma and grandad bought a number of domestic items for the home.

A New Battery for Their Gas Lighter

They had got the gas lighter from Halfords in 1966 (see Chapter 93). They also got the battery from Halfords, in February 1970, at a cost of 3/3. In December 1972, grandad noted that grandma bought a new battery for the gas “lighting”. I suspect this was referring to the gas lighter as she also bought this battery from Halfords. This time it cost 40p which was the equivalent of eight shillings in “old money”. In May 1973, grandma bought a replacement gas lighter, also from Halfords, for £1.25.


For details of Halfords see Chapter 84.

Halford adverts from the Christmas Radio Times in 1972

Electric under blanket

Grandma bought this from Boots for £4 15 0 in October 1970. For details of Boots see Chapter 52.

A Shade for a Reading Lamp

Grandad got this from Dixons in December 1970 to fix up a reading lamp for Amy Wilson. I am not sure if this was for Amy to use with them or for once she returned home. I am also not sure if the reading lamp originally came from Arthur Elsegood but, in August 1971, Arthur brought grandad a bulb for the reading lamp that he had previously given him. The price of the bulb was 62½p.

Cups and Saucers

In June 1971, grandma bought three dozen cups and saucers from Loose’s. I am not sure why she wanted so many but perhaps they were for church. She got them through Mrs Douglas at a discount so paid £7.14. I am not sure why Mrs Douglas got a discount at Loose’s. Perhaps she worked there or had done so previously.


Loose’s were a retailer of china and glassware that advertised in the Hewett magazine in 1972. They still operate as Loose’s Emporium and appear to focus on antiques. They are based at 23-25 Magdalen Street.

Advert for Loose’s in the Hewett School magazine in 1972
Loose’s Emporium in Magdalen Street in Norwich circa 2020 © Evelyn Simak and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

A Large Cup and Saucer

Grandma brought this for grandad from Mansfield. It cost 50p.

A Slicing Machine

Grandma bought this in August 1972 from Bonds for £3.75. But, about a week later, she took it back and exchanged it for another one. This one cost £6.35 and she paid the £2.60 balance.

I confess I am not absolutely sure what this was but I suspect it was a food slicer for ham or bread althoughI don’t know if it was manual or electric. I think I may recall grandma having something like this for cutting ham but I am not sure!

Example of a manual food slicer

In April 1974, grandad noted that Mrs Davis bought a bread slicer for £8.58.

A Kitchen Fire

In January 1973, grandma and grandad were visited by Mr Robinson from the Gas Board concerning a kitchen fire (see Chapter 102).

A Shopping Bag on Wheels

Grandma bought this from Boots in May 1973 for £2.60.

A Cheese Grater

Grandma and Auntie Dolly bought this in Norwich in April 1974.

Sometimes Ron Douglas Got Them and Mum Discounted Items.

Sometimes, Ron Douglas bought items for them as, for some reason, he was able to get discounted prices. For example, in February 1974, he bought them a Hoover vacuum cleaner from the Electric Board. It should have been just over £36 but it was on offer at £28. Ron got it for £25.65 and grandma and grandad gave him a pound for getting it for them.

The following month, in March 1974, Ron got mum an electric fire. The cost of this should have been £15.99 but he got it for £10.73. Mum also gave Ron a pound for doing this. Grandad noted giving mum half the cost of the fire (£6).

Repairing and Reassembling Items They Had Bought Earlier

Grandad also repaired or reassembled items they had bought earlier.

A Chair from Brays

For example, in June 1973, he repaired a chair of a suite they had bought from Brays (see Chapter 85) in Kirkby.

Grandad wrote, “I repaired a chair of the suite we bought off Brays (Kirkby) & exchanged Sheila for her suite for ours when we came to Norwich”. I confess to finding this a bit hard to follow! It seems they bought the suite from Brays and then exchanged it with mum when they moved to Norwich. Presumably, this means this suite was now mum’s. They did buy a suite from Brays in 1961 (see Chapter 84). I have memories of an orange suite which we had for a long time (see Chapter 102) but I don’t know if this was the one.

A Table from Barringers

The following month, in July 1973, grandad reassembled the table he had from Barringers when they lived in Kirkby. He finished it a few days later.

I am not entirely sure who this is referring to. There is a Barringer Road in Mansfield and the company Barringer, Wallis and Manners made metal boxes from the 1890s to 1939 when the business was taken over by Metal Box. However, I can’t see any connection between this and a table! Based on comments on Kirkby Living Memory Facebook Group, the most likely explanation seems to be that he was given or bought the table from Barringers/Metal Box when they perhaps no longer needed it.

Buying Tools and Equipment

During this period, grandad also bought various tools and pieces of equipment.

A Ladder

Grandad ordered a 10’ 5” aluminium ladder from Gaywood Corner (see Chapter 93) on 27 June 1970. They delivered it on 11 July 1970. Grandma paid the balance of £1 16 6 as grandad had gone to Irene’s for the paper.

A Belt for His Circular Saw

Grandma got this in January 1971 for 3/11 from a shop in Maddermarket.

Wire Brushes for His Black and Decker Drill

Grandad got these in March 1971. He had got a Black and Decker drill for his birthday from mum and dad in 1955 (see Chapter 66).

Seven Feet of Belting

Irene Bell got this for grandad in June 1971 from Gaffers (see Chapter 93). It cost 10p per foot, so a total of 70p.

A Motor

Grandad bought a ¼ HP motor from what looks like “Eleothonics” on Reepham Road in August 1971. This was for his fret machine and cost £3.50.

Grandad’s diary entries for 15-23 August 1971. Highlighted is the purchase of a quarter HP electric motor from a shop on Reepham Road.


However, I have not found any company by the name of Eleothonics or Electhonics. I wonder if it might be Tele-tronics as they were based on Reepham Road and grandad had used them before (see Chapter 93). However, the first letter appears to be clearly an “e” but it is small case which is odd. It is certainly possible that he got the name mixed up. It was quite a while since he had bought other things from them. But, he recorded the name correctly then.

A Piece of Plating and a Dozen Fret Saw Blades

In September 1971, grandad bought a piece of plating for his fret saw from Boddys (see Chapter 93) for 55p. He also bought a dozen fret blades No 4 for 16p.

A Band Saw Kit

In October 1971, Tom took grandad to Sergents in Costessey (see Chapter 93) to enquire about a band saw. Two weeks later, he tried again. But, he commented “I needed ball bearings instead of buying them I decided to have the 2 wheel kit front [from?] Sergents price £12, I have to build it”. I am not entirely sure what this means.

The next day, Robin Harrison took grandad to Sergents in Costessey. He bought a kit for making a three-wheeled band saw, price £13.60 less £1 for the saw he bought the previous week. He noted that he paid £11.50 but I am not sure I follow the maths here. Also, he noted that he needed to get a saw to fit the size he was making. I confess I am not sure why he needed another saw if he had bought one and was making one.

Two months later, in December 1971, grandad sent for a quarter inch saw. That same month, Robin Harrison bought grandad an iron plate from Boddy’s for 60p. It was 25 inches by 15 inches and was for the band saw, which grandad referred to as “BS”.

A Piece of Formica with Chess Board

In April 1972, grandad and Tom went to Dixons. Grandad bought a piece of Formica with a chess board. It was three feet by two feet and cost £2.47½. I am not sure what it was for but I vaguely remember a table top with a chess board on it.

We Bought Grandad a Drill

For Christmas 1974, we bought grandad a drill (see Chapter 106).

Nails and a Sharpened Saw

In January 1971, grandad got some nails from Dixons and also collected his eight-inch saw which they had sharpened at a cost of 6/3.

Materials for Projects

Grandad and others also bought materials for a variety of projects.

Work on the Windmills

In August 1970, grandad bought a 100 foot roll of aluminium lawn edging to cover the sides of the  windmill. In May 1973, Ron Douglas got grandad an eight inch bolt for the windmill from Dixons. This cost 22½p.

Making an Anemometer

In January 1970, grandad made a rare trip by bus to Norwich as he wanted some larger cups for his anemometer (see Chapter 94). He got four five inch tundishes from Jarrolds at 1/9 each. But, in the afternoon he went to Dixons for some six inch tundishes and got four at 2/3 each as he thought six inches would be better than five. He noted that they would be able to return the five inch ones to Jarrolds for other goods which grandma did later that month. She paid another six pence and got a cooking pan in exchange. On the same trip, she also bought some fluorescent tubes from the Co-op for 48/6.

Adding a Transformer to Barbara Carpenter’s Photo Viewer

Barbara bought this transformer in June 1970 from Woolworths for 12/6. Grandad was going to use it to convert her photo viewer to run, like his did, from the mains rather than batteries. 

Making a Box

In August 1970, grandad went to Dixons to buy plywood to make a box for Rev Hayman’s son who was starting a new school.

Fitting a Tube to my Bike

In June 1971, on my 11th birthday, mum brought grandad a new tube which he fitted to my bike. In November 1973, grandad repaired two bikes and he bought a new tube for my bike for 66p. Arthur Elsegood brought the tube from Dixons.

Making One or More Tables

In April 1972, grandad, Tom, Amy and grandma all went to Dixons. Grandad bought a piece of blockboard that was two feet by three feet and a set of legs and adhesive etc. for the table. The blockboard cost 102p [or £1.02]. Grandma also bought a door mat. In September 1972, grandma bought a piece of Formica for the table top grandad was making. This cost 90p. I am not completely sure if grandad was making one table or more.

Work on a Chair

In October 1972, Arthur Elsegood went to Carpenters on Reepham Road to buy some castors for a chair that he and grandad were doing for dad. These cost £2.15. From the 1972 telephone directory, this was a hardware store called C D Carpenters at 313 Reepham Road. These premises also later housed Teletronics and Wensum Glass and Filming but, in August 2021, they housed Hab-a-Go, a knitting shop. I found a news article from 1977 in which Mr C D Carpenter was appealing against a decision to refuse him planning permission to extend the shop.  

Making Covers for Their Suite

In November 1972, grandma bought some material to make covers for the arms of their suite. This cost £2.18 per yard and the total cost was £9.88. She got the material from Bonds. A few days later, she bought some more material for £5.45 bringing the total cost to £15.33.

Items for the Garden

Grandad also noted the purchase of various things for the garden.

Lawn Mowers

In April 1970, grandad noted that Ken Bell bought a Ransome 14 inch battery mower. It was the 1970 model and the price was reduced from £61 to £45.


Ransomes is still a brand of lawnmowers and the history section of their website traces their origins back to Robert Ransome in 1789. However, Wikipedia states that the company was taken over by Textron Inc in 1989 and it ceased to exist as an independent company then.

A Qualcast Rotary Electric Mower

In June 1973, grandma bought a Qualcast rotary electric mower from Curls. The price was £14 but it was on offer at £10.90. For details of Qualcast and Curls, see Chapter 93. Although Curls was taken over by Debenhams in the 1960s, it was only renamed in the 1970s. I presume it was after this but this may not be the case as I know many people persisted with using the old names (e.g. for Curls and Bonds) even after they had officially changed. This may be the case as, three days later, grandad noted that David Bell brought the rotary mower from Debenhams. Grandad had to assemble it. In July 1974, grandma bought a new blade for the rotary mower. This cost 65p.

120 Feet of Plastic Hosepipe

In May 1970, mum took grandma and grandad to Jarrolds where they bought 120 feet of plastic hosepipe plus fittings for the same. The pipe cost 79/11 and the fittings 23/3 so a total of £5 3 2. In June 1970, Irene Bell bought grandma and grandad a coupling for the hose pipe. She got this for 11/7 from Jarrolds. I assume this was to link the hosepipe to oscillating lawn sprayer.

An Oscillating Lawn Sprayer

In June 1970, grandma bought an oscillating lawn sprayer for 65 shillings.

Grass Seed

n March 1971, grandma bought a pound of grass seed from Jarrolds for 50p.

Weed Killer

In March 1972, grandma bought a stone of weed killer for the paths. This cost £1.60. In May 1973, grandma bought a pound of weedkiller from Boots for £1.90. I cannot quite follow this as this would mean the price had gone up more than 14 times in little over a year unless they were very different types of weedkiller! It is possible that one entry is wrong and they should have both been the same unit. One thing of note is that there is a gap in the text in May 1973. I think grandad may have intended to write a number there and never did.

Grandad’s diary entry from 26 May 1973 concerning grandma buying weedkiller. The gap between “a” and “lb” could mean he meant to write a number in later and never did

A Pair of Shears

In June 1972, grandma bought a large pair of Wilkinson shears from Dixons. For details of Wilkinson shears and secateurs, see Chapter 93. In March 1973, grandma and grandad had their small Wilkinson grass shears sharpened. This cost 45p which was a special price for pensioners.

Some Slabs

In June 1973, Ron Douglas brought grandad two 2×2 slabs from Dixons for 47p. These completed some slabs that grandad and Arthur Elsegood laid in May and June 1973 (see Chapter 109). He got cement and sand from Ken and David Bell and he paid them £2.50 for this in July 1973.

A Lawn Edger

In May 1974, grandma bought a lawn edger for £7.35 from Leach’s. But, they found it was cracked so grandma phoned the shop and they promised to change it. Ron took this back a few days later and he brought a new one a few days after that.

Leach and Son

According to the 1967 Kelly’s Directory, Leach and Son was a decorators’, paint & hardware merchants, wallpapers & electrical appliances. They had branches at 32 St Stephen’s Street, where Nationwide is now, and 94 St Benedict’s Street, where the wedding shop White Reflections is now, with a warehouse on Riverside Road. The branches are also detailed in the Kelly Tradefinders for 1970-71 and 1971-72. There is a photo of Leach’s on St Stephen’s Street in the 1980s on the Norwich Remembers Facebook Group. Apparently, Leach’s was founded in Yarmouth in 1868. Joe Mason’s blog has some reminiscences about Leach’s.

Advert for Leach and Son
Grandad’s diary entries for 1-10 May 1974. I found the highlighted word difficult to decipher. Initially, I thought it might have been Seaster’s, Feaster’s, Teaster’s or even Searle’s. So, I asked for help on the Norwich Remembers Facebook Group. The consensus appears to be that this refers to Leaches but it is complicated by the fact that this is in grandad’s writing and most of the rest of the page was written by grandma.

A Lawn Rake

In December 1974, grandma bought a lawn rake from Curls for £1. She got a 45p discount on the price of £1.45.