Kirkby Sales and Exchange
Although Kirkby Sales and Exchange’s Facebook page gives their address as 80 Station Street, they appear to occupy what was 78 Station Street as well. They have been there since November 2015 at least. However, in June 2015, the property appears to have been vacant.
Fidler and Pepper
From at least October 2008 to April 2011, the premises, both 78 and 80, housed solicitors Fidler and Pepper. They appear to still be operating with offices in Mansfield and Sutton.
In 1941 and 1942, number 78 was occupied by Reginald (“Reg”) Edwards who provided a “Leisure Hour” Library.
W Heath & Sons
In 1928, the tobacconist W Heath & Sons had been based at 78 Station Street. It is of interest to note that they also ran a billiard rooms in Kingsley Street. I am grateful to Frank Ball for pointing out that there was a passageway to these billiard rooms through the Station Street shops. Initially, he thought this had been through the door between 80 and 82 Station Street. But, he later remembered that it had in fact been between 78 and 80 Station Street.
Reginald Edwards in Grandad’s Diaries
Reginald Edwards, as grandad’s neighbour, appears fairly frequently in grandad’s diary.
My initial impression was that he was some kind of hardware or do-it-yourself dealer as grandad got all kinds of building-type supplies from him including bricks, fluorescent lights, an electric motor, a lawn mower, paraffin stoves and an oil heater.
But, I wonder if he was more of a general dealer as grandad also got other things from him, including a baby’s crib, high chair and pushchair, a child’s scooter and a Hohner Melodica.
The 1941 Kelly’s Directory entry refers to Reginald Edwards as having a library. It does seem that Reg may have sold books as, in December 1960, grandma bought grandad the book “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” from him, see Chapter 86. I found it surprising that grandma bought this book given her staunch Methodist background but, according to his diary, grandad was interested in the book because of the court case there had been over whether it was fit for publication. This book caused quite a stir and a chapter (#5) of Jonathan Evans’ book “The Mystery of Ernie Taylor’s Abdomen” is devoted to it.
It appears that Reg and grandad were friends. Reg visited grandad at home and grandad visited Reg in hospital when he was unwell. Grandad noted making a garden seat for Reg in 1957. Reg provided the wood and grandad did the work. In 1958, grandad got a step ladder from Reg for a ladder that Cliff Green had made for grandad when he was still living at Station Street and, in 1958, Reg offered grandad a piano that presumably he no longer wanted.
Three years later, in 1961, Reg was interested in grandad’s slide projector so he came to see it and then came again a few months later with his son, Robin. In September 1963, Reg and Robin visited grandad as the ten-year old Robin had a new cine camera he wanted to show grandad. It seems that Reg may have acted for grandad, after the latter had moved to Norfolk, in relation to houses he owned and was renting out in Victoria Road.
Memories of 78 Station Street
In her book(let) “I Also Remember“, Edith Searson recalls a tobacconist’s which she referred to as the Heath family business. She noted that, at one time, the business was managed by the eldest son Reg. It is odd that this first name is the same as Reg Edwards but, given the different surnames, I don’t see how they could be connected.
Recollections of Reg Edwards’ Shop
In a discussion on Kirkby Living Memory Facebook Group, John Webster asked about Reg Edwards’ paper shop and toy emporium as he had worked there as a “paper boy” from when he was 11, in 1959, until he was 15, in 1964. He was a friends of Reg’s son, Robin, and thought Robin had a sister called Regina. He recalled that, “the downstairs of the shop was newsagent/books and a very large upstairs showroom of toys games etc.” Also, he thought that, when Reg retired, they went to live in Lincolnshire.
David Meredith recalled that he had also worked at this shop as a “paper boy” for a year. He noted that it later became a babywear shop run by Jean Bolter. In a comment on Facebook, Bob Godley recalled a newsagent here because “as a young trainspotter in the early 1960s I bought my Ian Allen Combined Volume from there“.
There was also a discussion in relation to 84-86 Station Street and this is also captured here as it it relevant. This discussion arose because of some uncertainty over how many Edwards’ businesses there were, where they were located and what they sold. Locations suggested varied from anywhere between 68 and 86 Station Street, Reference was made to an Edwards’ newsagent and a toy shop. On balance, I think there was probably one shop located here at 78 Station Street. John Webster referred to the shop as a paper shop and toy emporium so it seems likely that it sold both newspapers and toys.
Joy Dean confirmed this explaining that her father had taken over a shop from Reg Edwards and that it had been a newsagent and toy shop. She was 15 at the time and recalls that the shop was double-fronted. Also, she remembered living on the premises for a period of around two years. She also thought that the building is now Kirkby Sales and Exchange.
Jean Bolter’s Clothes Shop
In a comment on the Kirkby-in-Ashfield People Facebook Group, Daryl Lees noted that his aunty Jean used to have her own fashion design wear shop in this part of Station Street. He identified her as Jean Bolter and that this shop was there in the early seventies. He thought it might have been where the wedding shop is now “but it has changed so much on the front, it wasn’t like that then…” I have located it here based on David Meredith’s comment above.
Daryl notes that she stocked all kinds of haberdashery including baby clothes, wools of all kinds, knitting patterns, children’s dresses, wedding and bridesmaids’ attire, laces and fabrics.
Residents of 78 Station Street
In 1939, no-one was registered as living at 78 Station Street. Although Reg Edwards probably had a shop at 78 Station Street at that time, it appears that he and his wife Laura were living at 22 Chestnut Avenue. She was recorded as a library owner which might mean that she ran and owned the “Leisure Hour” Library. However, he was recorded as an assurance representative which is harder to explain! Reginald also appears to have been a Nottingham Territorial Army Rifleman.
In 1921, no-one was registered as living at 78 Station Street.
According to the 1911 census, William Heath, a tobacconist, was living at 78 Station Street with his wife, Mabel. They had six children and the eldest of them was indeed called Reginald (b1897). His middle name was Robinson. The other children were Winifred (b1900), William Kendrick (b1901), Raymond Victor (b1903), Jessie (b1907) and John Ralph (b1908). It certainly seems from this that Reginald Robinson Heath and Reginald Edwards were different people.
The Heaths were also at 78 Station Street in 1901 although William Heath is listed there as both a coal miner (hewer) and tobacconist. A servant, Ada Fowler, was also living with them.
Based on the 1939 Register, it appears that Reginald Edwards was born in 1912. I have found it somewhat difficult to find information about him. This may be, in part, because he was adopted. The 1921 census lists a Reginald Page Edwards (b1912) as the adopted son of George and Wanda Edwards. They were living at 35 Derby Road. Perhaps frustratingly, no place of birth is given for him in that census.
It appears that Reg Edwards married Laura L Skuse in Basford in 1938. Based on this, I was able to identify two children, Regina P (b1942) and Robin B (b1953). I have not as yet established a date of death for Reginald Edwards.