48. The Family Business

A Thriving Business

The family’s shoe business continued to operate and appeared to be thriving. In June 1951, grandad noted having the best weekend ever in the business.

Long Hours

He worked hard with long hours and very rarely closed the shop. For example, he noted that he closed the shop just for an hour for the Festival of Britain carnival in July 1951.

Cycling to Work

Mostly, after they had moved to Welbeck Street, grandad cycled to and from work. However, when the weather was bad he walked.

A Collective Effort

Grandma worked regularly and mum helped out more and more, including dressing both ladies’ and men’s windows. She also ran errands for grandad. For example, in August 1950, she went to Mansfield for shoes. In 1954, when both grandad and grandma were ill, various people helped out in the shop. They included mum, dad, grandad’s brother Cyril, family friend, Phyllis Attwood and, in particular, Ken and Pearl Hodges who were living behind the shop at that time. To recognise the help Ken and Pearl gave, in particular, grandma bought them a nest of tables. Grandad noted this cost £14 12 6.

Grandad’s practical skills benefit the business

Grandad continued to use his practical skills to benefit the business. For example in March 1951, he altered the weight on the workshop door and, in April that year, he made a new door mat for the shop bell. In May, he took the fireplace out of the stockroom and blocked up the opening and, in August, he opened mum’s bedroom out to make a new stockroom (perhaps as he knew they were moving to Welbeck Street). In January 1954, he made a writing desk for the shop. Sometimes, he brought in others to do work on the shop. For example, in June 1951, he brought in workers to paint  the shop.

Purchases for the Shop

He also sometimes bought things for the shop. For example, in March 1954, he bought an eight-day clock (see box) for the shop at a cost of 67 shillings. He bought this from Cobbs. According to the 1941 Kelly’s Directory, Rt (Robert?) Cobb was a watchmaker at 38 Kingsway. I have not found this location exactly, but I think it must be in the location of McColl’s Garage (#40) where New Street is. Sadly, one of the news articles I found about Robert Cobb was from 1983 when he hanged himself aged 84. In the 1939 Register, he was listed as living at 38 Kingsway and his date of birth was given as 14 May 1898. He was married to Lilian and they had a son, Alan.

An eight-day clock requires winding once a week only.

A Broken Window

In March 1952, a man, John Turner, deliberately broke one of the shop’s windows. He did this in order to get “a night’s kip” because he had had his war pension stopped. Although grandad had to make a statement to the police and he had to attend court, he was not called to give evidence. After initially being remanded in custody for three weeks for a medical report, Turner was sentenced to six months in prison because of a long string of previous offences. Grandad had to get the plate glass window repaired.

Various news cuttings about grandad’s broken window in 1952. In this one, he has changed Mansfield to Kirkby.