68. Bits and Bobs


Grandad Continued to Have Some Interest in Music and Musical Instruments

During this period, grandad continued his interest in music and musical instruments but perhaps to a lesser degree than previously. In June 1955, he went to Mansfield to see an exhibition of old musical instruments at the Art Gallery. I am not sure exactly where he was referring to. Perhaps part of Mansfield Museum.


In March 1956, he gave John Attwood a clarinet.


In January 1958, grandad went to Nottingham to buy an accordion but he could not find what he wanted. So, the next day, he sent to London for one. A few days later, it arrived but it was not the one he wanted so he returned it. It was only in February that the one he had originally ordered came.


In February 1959, John Attwood came to show grandad the B♭ saxophone he had bought for £10.


In October 1959, grandad noted that Reg Edwards brought him a HohnerMelodica”. Grandad commented that he had ordered this three months previously. The price was £3 1 6 but grandad noted that he paid fifty shillings, i.e. £2 10 0.  I am not sure if he sent it back but, in November, he noted that he got it back from Hohner’s in London.

Hohner Melodica – photograph by Laubrau released into the public domain


In November 1959, he went to see Reg Edwards to see a piano that Reg wanted to give him. Grandad asked Kath Evans if she wanted it. I don’t know if Kath took the piano but unwanted pianos, that people are willing to give to someone willing to take them away, were, and are, a common problem. There was an upsurge in piano smashing in the 1950s and 60s including a Guinness World Record. I recall this being part of the TV programme “It’s a Knockout”. 

Reel-to-Reel Tape Recorder

In June 1956, when Mr Pinchbeck came to show him his reel-to-reel tape recorder, grandad recorded “Diamond” hymn tune on it. I think this is what it says but I have not been able to locate this tune. I did find ones called “Diamond Bar” and “Ormond” and there is a famous one called “Crimond” but it definitely seems to end “amond

Grandad’s diary entry for 25 June 1956. It reads, “Mr Pinchbeck gave another recording of Sheila & Roy’s marriage. Afterwards I recorded “Diamond” Hymn tune on the recorder. 28 were here for Sheila’s wedding recording. “

The next month, after grandad had bought his own tape recorder, grandma took it to Ken Hodges to help him with his piano practice.


Jim’s Dog

I am not sure that the family had pets during this period. Jim had a dog as, in May 1958, grandad noted that he had to get home to see to his dog. It may have been called Gyp as on 29 December 1958, mum noted taking Auntie Bertha, Uncle Frank, Renie and Gyp home.


In March 1957, after dad had finished his period of study in Norwich, he bought a budgie for Annie in Grantham for ten shillings. Dad’s mother may also have kept budgies at this time. I recall her doing so later. In October 1958, mum noted that they had Billy the budgie for the weekend as “Mrs D went to Blackpool and Mr D to Newark”.


Chapel Cricket Matches

During this period, dad took part in, and mum watched, a number of cricket matches organised through chapel (see also Chapter 69). In July 1955, dad played in a circuit cricket match with singles against married. Singles won by two runs. That same month, mum went to Huthwaite to see Huthwaite play Bourne. Huthwaite won. In July 1956, there was a rematch between the singles and married involving Bourne, Diamond Avenue and Hill churches. Mum did not record the result. She went to visit a friend during the match. In June 1958, she noted going to watch cricket on the park.

Sport on TV

Mum sometimes watched major sporting events on television.

The Boat Race

In 1957 and 1959, mum noted watching the boat race with Cambridge winning in 1957 and Oxford in 1959.

F A Cup Final

In May 1958, grandad watched part of the FA Cup Final and noted that Bolton Wanderers beat Manchester United 2-0 (see Chapter 64). That final is noteworthy because it happened just a few months after the Munich air disaster and, as a result, Manchester United fielded a weakened side. However, neither grandad nor mum noted the Munich air disaster in their diaries.

1958 FA Cup Final programme extracts
Above– an article about Manchester United seeking to recover after the Munich Air Disaster
Below – Manchester United’s squad for the final

Another reason as to why the final was noteworthy was that for the second Nat Lofthouse goal, he bundled the Manchester United goalkeeper over the line and the debate that followed led to greater protection of goalkeepers as seen today.

In May 1959, grandad noted watching part of the FA Cup Final in which Nottingham Forest beat Luton Town 2-1 (see Chapter 64). I am not sure if mum watched it but she did note that Nottingham Forest won the FA Cup. That year’s FA Cup was an important one in Norwich City’s history as they achieved their best ever performance that year, reaching the semi-finals where they lost to Luton. At the time, they were in Division 3 South. They beat both Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur on their way to the semi-finals.

World Cup 1958

In 1958, the World Cup was held in Sweden from 8 June but it did not feature particularly strongly in either diary. On the 19th, mum noted that dad went to watch football at Edna Bust’s. This was the day of the quarter finals with all four games being played at the same time.

Because UK coverage was determined by Eurovision, the match shown live featured the host nation against the Soviet Union, which Sweden won 2-0, despite the fact that two home nations, Wales and Northern Ireland were playing. Wales lost 1-0 to Brazil with Pele scoring the only goal. Northern Ireland lost 4-0 to France.

It seems that parts of the game were shown on both ITV and BBC. Apparently, in the Midlands region of ITV, they showed the full second half live. The BBC had most of the game live but they interrupted it to show Starr and Company for thirty minutes. Apparently, Starr and Company was a TV drama series in 1958. Although there were 77 episodes, these were broadcast live and not systematically recorded. So, only episode 1 survives. The Guardian has an interesting article on TV and football in the 1950s.

For the semi-finals, on the 24th, mum noted going to watch the match at Edna’s (see Chapter 64) and that it featured France and Brazil. She did not note the score but Brazil won 5-2 with a 17-year-old Pele scoring a hat-trick.

Neither mum nor grandad mentioned the World Cup Final on 29 June, between Brazil and Sweden, which Brazil won 5-2. Perhaps this was because it was on a Sunday and clashed with the Bourne Primary Sunday School Anniversary!

Pele at the 1958 World Cup – image licensed for re-use from Alamy

Dad and Football

Dad occasionally played football. In April 1959, mum noted that he played for work at “Ashpley”, perhaps Aspley. In November 1959, dad went to watch a Youth Club football match in the morning.

Items Purchased


As in the early 1950s (see Chapter 51), a lot of the purchases mum recorded during this period related to clothes. Again, I am not sure if mum was particularly buying clothes at this time or just that she tended to record what she bought. She also made a lot of clothes during this period (see Chapter 67) and materials she bought for this are also noted here except those for mum and dad’s wedding in June 1956 which are covered in Chapter 62.


In January 1955, mum bought new black boots and dad bought some overshoes. That same month, grandad went to Mansfield for some wellingtons and mum bought a pattern and material for a pink ballerina-length dress. In April 1955, mum and dad went into Nottingham. Mum bought a new dress and white taffeta material to make a skirt. A week later, they went into Nottingham again. Dad bought a new suit and sports coat and flannels. Mum bought a new skirt and blouse. On 23 July 1955, mum and grandma went into Nottingham and they met dad there. Mum bought a lavender-coloured dress for her 21st party. On 1 October 1955, mum bought material for a bridesmaid’s dress and a new grey skirt. On the 15th, in Nottingham, dad bought a new mac.


In February 1956, mum went into Nottingham on the bus and bought nightdress material. At least I assume that is what it was. Mum recorded it as N/D material. In March 1956, mum went into Nottingham and bought a new grey suit. The next month, in April 1956, mum bought a pink hat, gloves and bag. In May 1956, mum and grandma went into Nottingham and grandma bought a red hat, bag and shoes. The following month, in June 1956, mum bought a new dress and material for a sunsuit. In December 1956, mum went to Nottingham and bought a new dress.


In January 1957, mum bought a new black mac in Middlesbrough. This was when mum and dad were visiting Dorothy Lofthouse in Stokesley – see Chapter 66. Also that month, dad bought a new overcoat in Nottingham for £17.

At the end of September 1957, mum bought a red coat and black hat in Nottingham. She noted that the coat needed to be taken in a bit at the back. A few days later, dad collected mum’s coat for her but she noted it had a mark on the back so, the next day, dad took it back. The following day he brought it back again but mum noted that the mark was still there. So, a few days later, dad took it back again. Four days later, he brought the coat back and mum noted that the mark had gone.

However, at the end of October, she noted that she had lost a button from her new red coat. So, when she went into Nottingham, and bought material for a blouse, she also went to Peter Barrie’s to see if they could get her another button. I think they were successful as, in November, mum noted that she got three buttons for her coat for free.

Also that month, dad ordered a new suit. Mum noted that it was wool and terylene. Mum also bought material for thick nightdresses from Pullmans.

Peter Barrie’s

Barrie’s gowns are mentioned in the 1941 Kelly’s Directory at 74 Upper Parliament Street where Starbucks is now. I am not entirely sure this was the same business. I also found details for Peter Barrie in telephone directories for 1950 to 1976 where their address is given as New Exchange .I found a number of adverts including one from 1933. Based on one, from 1931, it seems they were also based in London and Paris and their base in Nottingham was in Exchange Buildings. However, it is difficult to find anything relevant in amongst all the material on J M Barrie and Peter Pan!


In the 1941 Kelly’s Directory, Pullman and Sons is listed as a drapers in Lower Parliament Street and Derby Road. There are pictures on the Nottstalgia forum and on  Picture Nottingham. It closed in 1962.

Pullman’s store in Lower Parliament Street in Nottingham in 1962 – image licenced for re-use from Picture Nottingham


In January 1958, mum went to Nottingham and bought a new loose, blue coat from Barnett-Huttons in Pelham Street.


It appears this was a major national chain in the 1950s. Apparently, it was incorporated in 1945 and dissolved in 1972. There is a photo of their Sheffield store from 1964 online. In the 1960 and 1967 Kelly’s Directories, they were listed as costumiers at 1 Royal Arcade in Norwich.

1958 (continued)

That same month, in January 1958, mum bought a new red hat in Nottingham and a new red scarf in Mansfield. On the 12th, she noted wearing her new coat and hat. At the end of January, mum bought blue material for a smock. In February 1958, mum went to Nottingham and bought red material for a dress, red material for a two-piece and black material for a skirt. That same month, grandma bought a new costume. I am not entirely sure what this refers to but there are other references to buying costumes, for example, Chapter 51. I wonder if it related to some kind of show or performance. In November 1959, mum noted buying “some net etc. for the pantomime”.

In July 1958, mum noted that she bought Tricia’s christening dress in Nottingham. Two months later, in September 1958, mum, grandma and Tricia went into Nottingham and grandma bought a coat for £12 9 6, which was a reduction on the marked price of £13. Mum also noted that grandma bought a hat but she found it was not the right colour when she got home. I presume this means that the hat was supposed to march the coat in colour.

In October 1958, mum went to Nottingham and bought material for a blouse. In November 1958, she went to Nottingham again and bought material for Tricia’s coat. She described it as white nylon fur.


In February 1959, mum bought material for another coat, dress and some nightdresses for Tricia. She also bought her some red shoes. In April 1959, mum got Tricia a red mac for her pushchair from Pearson and Pearson for 19/9. I assume this is referring to the department store Pearsons (see Chapter 66) but I have not seen it called this anywhere else.

The next month, in May 1959, mum went to Mansfield and bought blue shoes, two bibs and two nylon underskirts for Tricia. In June 1959, grandma bought Tricia some new white shoes “from Wicksteed”. I believe this was a reference to a Sunday School trip to Wicksteed Park which had taken place two days earlier – see Chapter 69.

In July 1959, in Nottingham, dad bought a new overcoat and mum bought a blazer. That same month, mum went to Mansfield and bought a new hat and gloves. In August 1959, mum bought dad new shoes from Greggs (see Chapter 52). She also bought him material for pyjamas. In September 1959, mum bought new shoes from Greggs. In October 1959, she went to Mansfield to try to get Tricia some red shoes. The next day, she got her new shoes in Sutton, from Hiltons and she also got dad a new shirt and tie. In December 1959, mum bought a red dress in Nottingham from C&A.


According to the 1941 Kelly’s Directory, S Hilton and Sons were boot and shoe dealers at 2 Low Street. I found an advert which indicates that they were a chain from Leicester and had branches in Nottingham at 12 Clumber Street and 35 Mansfield Road. Apparently, the business was started by Stephen Hilton in Leicester where he started working as a currier from 1869 and, by 1914, he had 129 branches.


C&A is a major Dutch multinational clothing company. It was active in the UK from 1922 until it withdrew in 2001. Apparently, it suffered from a perception of being unfashionable and its strategy of selling budget clothes in city centre retail stores. For me, C&A was one of the iconic stores in Norwich during my childhood. It occupied the space on Hay Hill where Next is now. It was also known for the fountains in front of it which were regularly sabotaged by putting foam in. Apparently, there are currently plans to redevelop the area. In Nottingham, C&A was in Lister Gate and the space was taken over by H&M after C&A closed in 2001.

C&A store in Bradford circa 1960s ©Bradford Timeline and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence


In June 1955, mum noted that she “fetched back” her watch from Fearns. Although she did not record taking it in, I presume this had been there for repair and she noted paying ten shillings.


According to the 1941 Kelly’s Directory, James Handley Fearn was a watchmaker based at 109 Lowmoor Road. He died in 1990 aged 70 and, at that time was living at 5 Church Street. According to the 1939 Register, he was living at 109 Low Moor Road with his father James H (b1890) and his mother Harriet (b1891). His father was a watch clock and instrument repairer. He married Marie Elizabeth Blore in 1948.

More on Watches

I am not sure which watch mum was referring to. In 1947, she had referred to getting a new watch (see Chapter 37) and, in 1956, she and dad bought each other watches at the same time as they bought mum’s wedding ring (see Chapter 62). At the time of mum’s death, she had three watches, one made by Limit, one by Corocraft and one by Accurist. They came to me and they were valued together at £150.

Mum’s watches that came to me when she died. These include one from Limit (left), one from Corocraft (centre) and a 1955 Accurist gold watch (right)


Limit is a watch brand that was established in 1912 and is still being produced today.

Coro and Corocraft

Coro was established as a company in 1901 and is best-known for producing costume jewellery which was sold as Corocraft. I believe this also included watches. Coro ceased production in the US but continued some production in Canada until the mid-1990s.


Established in 1946, watches continue to be produced under the Accurist brand name.

I think the majority of the value is in the Accurist watch which I believe to be nine carat gold. I also believe this was the watch that mum and dad bought in 1956 when they got married.

Inside, the watch is marked 375 which denotes nine carat gold. I find the assay office mark difficult to make out as it does not seem very clear. However, the date letter is “u” and from the typeface, this seems to be from London in 1955.

Cutting Hair

Between 1956 and 1963, grandad noted going to J Ainsworth’s to have his hair cut. These trips were fairly frequent, every month or so. So, by November 1959, grandad was recording the barber’s name just as “JA”,

John Thomas Ainsworth

In the 1941 Kelly’s Directory, John Thomas Ainsworth is listed as a hairdresser at 4 Kingsway. It seems he was born in 1906 and died in 1978. According to the 1939 Register, he was living at 9 Clumber Street and was recorded as a hairdresser. He lived with his parents Joseph (b1881) and Ellen (b1880). Joseph was listed as a colliery deputy. Apparently, he was known locally as “one-eyed Jack”.

Haircuts at Home?

I don’t think grandad made much mention of having his hair cut before this. It may have been that he had his hair cut at home. In his book “Ferrets, Tin Whistle and Haircuts at Home”, Mark Ashfield describes how his Uncle Levi cut his own hair (pp8-9). But, I am not sure grandad ever followed this example of doing it himself. However, on at least one occasion, Joe cut grandad’s hair (see Chapter 2). During the second world war, grandad’s neighbour Mrs Green, who was also a hairdresser, cut his hair on at least one occasion (see Chapter 29).

A Safety Haircutting Machine

Certainly, in 1919, he and John Smith, bought a safety haircutting machine although he sent this back and got a refund (see Chapter 27).

The Price of a Haircut

It seems grandad was paying to have his hair cut even before then as, in December 1967, when the price of a haircut had gone up to four shillings, he noted that he only paid 2d before 1914 (see Chapter 97). In March 1958, he noted that a haircut cost two shillings and, by April 1961, it had gone up to 2/3.

Getting To and From the Barbers

Quite a lot of grandad’s notes about going to get his haircut related to how he got there and back. Although it was only about a ten-minute/half-mile walk, this was too much for grandad for much of the late fifties because of ill-health (see Chapter 65). So, he sometimes went by car or bus. In September 1961, he noted riding his bike to J Ainsworth’s and then walking back which took him 25 minutes. In May 1962, he noted getting a lift there and then walking back but he described it as a struggle.


There was not much mention of buying books during this period. One exception was that grandad noted mum buying him a new “atlas book” for Father’s Day in June 1955. I think this was a road atlas and grandad noted that it was three miles to one inch. He also noted that we bought him a new version of the same road atlas for Christmas 1967 (see Chapter 95).


I recall mum and grandad having an affection for pens, particularly fountain, and later cartridge, pens.

A Lost Pen

One measure of the value they, and others placed on pens, was found in March 1959 when grandma found a fountain pen in Welbeck Street. She reported it to the police who sent a constable to collect it (see Chapter 73).

Buying Pens

The affection mum and grandad had for pens is also reflected in items they bought during this period and at other times.

Grandad Bought a Pen for His Mother

In January 1921, grandad noted buying his mother a fountain pen.

Grandad Bought a Pen from Frank Seville

In March 1945, grandad bought a Parker fountain pen from Frank (Seville) for thirty shillings (see Chapter 31).

Post-war Pens

After the second world war, both mum and grandad bought rollerball pens/biros (see Chapter 37).

Pen Repairs

In February 1956, mum took her pen for a new nib to Boots. I am not exactly sure which pen this was. Regardless, she got it back in March and this cost her 12/6.

A Pen for A Birthday

For her birthday, in 1959, mum noted that dad bought her a pen but that she would get it later. Two days later, mum noted getting her pen from Linneys in Mansfield and I assume it was the one dad had bought her for her birthday. It was a black Parker Slimfold and cost 24 shillings.

Example of black Parker Slimfold pen


In the 1941 Kelly’s Directory, they were listed as a booksellers, stationers, newsagents and printers and proprietors of the Mansfield and North Notts Advertiser. They were based at 5 West Gate. The company appears to have been in existence since 1914 and it is still operating. The name is W & J Linney Limited. Auntie Bertha worked for them before she was married – see Chapter 62.

Mum Bought Dad a Pen

In November 1959, mum bought dad a new pen ahead of him spending a week in Norwich.

Finding a Lost Pen

And, that same month, mum found her old fountain pen behind the settee in the dining room. I am not sure which pen this was.

Home and Domestic Items

During this period, grandma and grandad were living at 96 Welbeck Street. Mum was living there at the start of the period, but after she and dad got married in 1956, they moved to behind the shop in Station Street. They lived there until 1958, just before Tricia was born, when they bought a house at 41 Diamond Avenue (see Chapter 70).

Grandma and grandad, and mum and dad, bought various home and domestic items during this period.


Fluorescent Lights

In February 1955, grandad noted paying Reg Edwards £8 for “fluorescence”. I have assumed this was something to do with fluorescent lights.

Boiler and Bricks

In March 1955, grandad noted that they had a new “boiler and bricks” from S Stow for the middle room grate. I am not entirely sure of the words here. The second word could be brush. Could the boiler have been some form of back boiler?

Grandad’s  diary entry for March 1955 which appears to refer to a new boiler and “bricks

S Stow

I am not entirely sure of this name. It could be Slois but I think it is Stow. I found two Stows in the Kelly’s Directory for 1941. One was Frederick W Stow, plumbers on Lowmoor Road while the second was Samuel P Stow, builders merchant on Portland Street. I think the second one is more likely.

It could be the same S P Stow who were joiners in Portland Street and who took part in a window spotting competition in the 1980s. I also found details of this business in phone directories from 1940 to 1984.

Also there were details of S P Stow Ltd who were joinery manufacturers in Nottingham Road, Fishpool, Blidworth. Prior to 1940, it seems that S P Stow builders merchant may have been located at 99 Lowmoor Road.

It seems that he may have been Samuel Perman Stow, born 1894 and died 1979. In 1911, he was living in Clumber Street with his parents. He was 16 and was recorded as a bricklayer as was his father Robert. In the 1939 Register, he is listed as living at Woodlands in Southwell and he is described as a joinery manufacturer and timber and building material merchant. His wife is given as Gertrude. It looks as if he married Gertrude Abbott in 1919. It appears that the firm may still exist as joinery manufacturers in Portland Street.  

A Small Chair

In July 1955, mum and grandma went into Nottingham. Grandma bought a small chair for taking a picnic.


A Grate for the Living Room

In March 1956, grandad bought a new grate for the living room from Pearsons. This cost £2 10 0.

A Barometer

In June 1956, mum bought a barometer while on honeymoon in Torquay.

A Three-Piece Suite

In September 1956, mum bought a three-piece suite from Lawrences.


According to the 1941 Kelly’s Directory, there was a William Lawrence and Co Ltd who had furniture showrooms at 23-31 Station Street in Nottingham. This area was redeveloped in 2019-20. They were listed in the telephone directory from at least 1908 to 1968 and they may have had a factory in Colwick. There are many references to them in newspaper articles. It seems they were in operation from at least 1897 to 1973. It is possible to find lots of their items of furniture for sale.

A China Cabinet, Four Chairs and a Bed

Also, in September 1956, mum bought a china cabinet, four chairs and a bed from Cheshires (see Chapter 70).


I think this refers to Cheshires of Nottingham. According to the 1941 Kelly Directory, they were listed as manufacturers’ agents in St James Street and furniture manufacturers in Handel Street. They are listed in the telephone directory from at least 1934 to 1979. Towards the end of that period, they seem to have been known as C of N. I found some job adverts for them from 1965. Cheshires of Nottingham still seems to exist as a flooring company.

Exterior of Cheshire’s showroom in 1961
Main entrance of Cheshire’s showroom in 1961
Cheshire’s showroom in 1961

Mr Hannam of Carlton

Grandad referred to this as buying furniture through Mr Hannam of Carlton. I don’t know entirely what this means but I wonder if Hannam acted as a retailer to give access to a wholesaler?

A Couchette and Two Chairs

In October 1956, mum went to Nottingham and bought a couchette and two chairs from Toby’s (see Chapter 93). The couchette was delivered at the end of October and, in early November, the mattress and base came as did the carpets.

Fire Guards and More

Also that month, mum and dad went into Mansfield to buy fire guards and a dinner service and the china cabinet and washer came. In December 1956, a man came from Hoover and gave a demonstration of the washer.


Bedroom Suite and Bed

In February 1957, mum, grandma and grandad went to Nottingham and bought a bedroom suite and bed for the backroom from Cheshires. They also went to Hannam’s in Carlton. The bedroom suite was delivered at the end of the month. Also then, grandma and mum went to Nottingham and Carlton to pay Hannam £67 12 0 for the bedroom suite and bed.

A Light and a Wooden Coalhouse

In August 1957, grandma paid Carter £1 7 6 for a light in 98 Welbeck Street and, in September 1957, a wooden coal house was delivered. This cost £10 plus £3 5 0 for boards for lining, making a total of £13 5 0.

Ceiling Repairs

Also, in September 1957, grandad got a price from W Bains to do ceiling repairs at 98 Welbeck Street. This was £45 12 0.


A Table

In January 1958, grandad had a table delivered by Toby’s of Nottingham. It cost £6 12 0.

A Fret for the Fireplace

In February 1958, grandma and grandad had a new fret for the fireplace from Pearsons. I didn’t know what this was but apparently it is the front of the fireplace.

Example of a fret for a fire

Fireplaces and a Toilet

In March 1958, mum, grandma and grandad went to Sutton and Mansfield to look at fireplaces. That same month, mum noted going to Nottingham and buying a toilet and fireplaces. They got these from Pearsons. The fireplace was £18 12 6 and the toilet was described as “low-down” and cost £22 15 0. I think the term “low-down” refers to the height of the cistern.

A Draining Board

They also bought a draining board for the sink from Swains for £2 3 11.


I struggled to find details of this business as I thought it was Swan’s but I think it is referring to a builder’s merchant William Ewart Swain who was based at 26 Greyfriar Gate and  45 Ribblesdale Road according to the 1941 Kelly’s Directory. In 1941, he was fined £3 for breaching blackout regulations and in 1948 he was fined £1 for causing an obstruction. According to the 1939 Register, he was born in 1900 as was his wife Doris. They were living at 45 Ribblesdale Road and he was described as a building merchant.

A Kitchen Table

In April 1958, mum went to Nottingham and ordered a kitchen table from Toby’s.


That same month, she bought curtains for the front room.

Door Handles etc.

In June 1958, mum noted that she and dad went into Nottingham and bought door handles etc.

A Half Tea Service

In September 1958, grandma, mum and Tricia went into Nottingham. Grandma and grandad bought mum a half tea service from Griffin and Spalding. This cost £5 6 4.

A Small Chair

They also bought a small chair for Tricia for four shillings.


In October 1958, mum, grandma, dad, Tricia and Renie went to Crowes and mum bought a carpet for her middle room/dining room.

Grey Lino

That same month, mum went to Hannam’s and bought grey lino for the front room. This came two days later.


Also in October 1958, mum had some coal come and this cost £2. She also had the chimney swept/vacuumed for 6/6.


In November 1958, mum, grandma and Tricia went to Nottingham. Mum bought a set of cushions for the easy chair in the dining room. These cost 10/9.


Various Items from Challans

In January 1959, mum bought a gas ring for 12/6, a pipe for 3/10 and a saucepan for eight shillings from Challans.

A Fireguard

In February 1959, mum bought a fire guard from Brays for 34/6. It was 4’6” by 18” in size. There were two stores called Bray in Kirkby (see Chapter 85) but this probably refers to R C Bray.


In July 1959, mum went round Mansfield looking at wallpaper shops.

More Coal

In August 1959, grandad noted that Machin brought them a ton of coal. Grandad noted that it was grade 3, was bagged and  cost £6 11 0.

I am not entirely sure who this Machin was. According to the 1941 Kelly’s Directory, Charles Machin was a funeral undertaker in Lowmoor Road but I am not sure if this is relevant.

Material for Chair Covers

In August 1959, mum went to Sutton and bought material for chair covers for the front room.

Iron Gate and Posts

In September 1959, grandma, grandad, mum and Tricia went to Mansfield about an iron gate and posts for 41 Diamond Avenue but could not find one. So, the next day, grandad ordered one from Pearsons. The gate was 75 shillings and the posts were 78/6.

Oil Stove and Vegetable Sack

In November 1959, grandad noted that Auntie Bertha bought an oil stove and vegetable sack from Smiths through Reg Edwards. This was another example of grandad buying something through Reg Edwards.

Warma stove

In December 1959, grandad bought a Warma paraffin stove (see Chapter 67) from Reg Edwards. That same month, he bought a paraffin drum and five gallons of paraffin from Unwins. The drum cost 20 shillings and the paraffin ten shillings. He got the stove working but “was not thrilled with it”. I think it must have grown on him as he used it a lot subsequently including after they moved to Norfolk.

George Unwin

George Unwin was a herbalist occupying number 62 Station Street in 1942. Now, this is part of the premises occupied by My Dentist. There are some photos on the Our Nottinghamshire website.


As in other periods, grandad bought a number of tools during the late 1950s although perhaps to a lesser extent because of his ill-health during this period (see Chapter 65).

Long-handled Shears

In October 1955, grandad went into Mansfield with mum and Auntie Bertha. He bought a pair of long-handled shears from Blake and Beeley for 32/6 (see Chapter 85).

A Glass Cutter

In October 1956, grandad bought a glass cutter from Pools for three shillings.

Pools Tools

It is not very clear but I thought it looked like Pooles. I found a Pools Tool Company in Carlton Street in the 1941 Kelly’s Directory. It seems they produced lathes.

Grandad’s diary entry for 15 October 1956
Front cover of Pools tool catalogue 1967

Title page of Pools tool catalogue 1967
Example page from Pools tool catalogue featuring lathes. I was not able to find an example of a glass cutter

A Blow Lamp

In October 1957, mum and grandma went into Nottingham and bought grandad a blow lamp from Hannam’s for 41 shillings less discount. Grandad referred to it as a Monitor lamp. I am not sure if grandad sent it back as, at the end of October, he noted that mum and grandma went to Carlton and Nottingham and they bought him a blow lamp for 41/3 plus a nipple key for 1/9 less 12½% discount. I am not sure if he bought two blow lamps or replaced the first with the second or if he mistakenly recorded the same purchase twice.

Example of Monitor blow lamp
Close-up of front of Monitor blow lamp where the name is shown
Close up view of filling cap of Monitor blow lamp

Wood to Make a Shelf

In September 1958, grandad bought some wood to make a shelf for mum.


In June 1959, grandma bought a one pint tin of varnish from Hannam’s for 9/6.


And, in July, grandad ordered and paid for one sheet of hardboard. This cost twelve shillings.

Jig Saw

In July 1959, grandad bought a jig saw in Mansfield for 46/9.

A Socket Top?

On 20 August 1956, mum took grandad to Walkers (see Chapter 31) in Mansfield for what looks like a “socket top”. Walkers were builders’ merchants so this was probably something hardware related but I am not sure.

Grandad’s diary entry for 20 August 1956. It appears to read, “In the afternoon went to Walkers Mansfield for a socket top. Sheila took me in the car. In the evening we all went to Bolsover illuminations“.

Things for the Garden

During this period, grandma and grandad, and to a lesser extent mum, also bought a number of things for the garden.

Lawn Mower Belt

In April 1957, after the lawn mower belt broke (see Chapter 67), mum, grandma and grandad went into Carlton and Nottingham and grandad ordered a new belt for the mower from T Danks.

Thomas Danks

The 1941 Kelly’s Directory has an advert for Thomas Danks & Co Ltd based at 11-13 Thurland Street. They are described as ironmongers. It seems the company dates back to at least 1881. I also found press adverts for them from the 1930s and the 1950s. There is a detailed account of the company on the NottinghamshireHistory website and an image of their shop from the early 1900s on the NottinghamshireLive website. There is also an image of the family grave on Flickr. The site on Thurland Street appears to have new buildings on it.

Thomas Danks store in Thurland Street in Nottingham – image licenced for re-use from Picture Nottingham
Advert for church heating systems by Thomas Danks and Co – public domain image sourced from Church Congress 1897

A New Mower

But, that same month, in April 1957, grandad decided to buy a new mower and ordered a Qualcast Duel Drive Motor Mower for £38 5 0 from Reg Edwards. This was delivered in May 1957. A week later, grandad sent the guarantee to Qualcast backdated by a few days. He paid for the mower in June 1957. He only paid £33 as he got a discount of £5 8 0.

Grass Seed

In March 1959, mum bought treated seed for the lawn from Wilbourns. This cost seven shillings per pound. She bought four pounds and noted that it cost £1 8 0 and that it had no rye grass in it.

Items for the Shoe Shop

At the beginning of this period, grandad was still running the shoe shop (see Chapter 60) and, although he decided to retire before the end of this period, he still bought some items for the shop.

A Coal Stove

For example, in September 1956, grandad bought a coal stove for the shop from Pearson’s in Nottingham for £19. This was delivered two days later. But, three days after delivery, mum and grandad went to Walkers to change the bend as grandad considered that it was too big. So he had a 4½” instead. I don’t know what the original size was.

A Deed Box

In February 1958, grandad got a deed box from B Seville (Bert). I don’t know if this was for the shop or home. What I do know is that at some point he stored important documents in a safe at the shop but perhaps with retirement looming he needed somewhere to store such documents at home. I don’t know if it is the same box or not but mum had a black metal box in which she used to keep important documents . This came to me when she died and I currently keep grandad’s early diaries in it, that is from 1914 to 1958. The reason I store those there and not the later ones is that they are small. The box is approximately 40cm by 25cm by 14cm.

Mum’s black “deed” box that she used for storing important papers. This passed to me when she died and I currently use it to store grandad’s diaries (below). I don’t know if this is the deed box grandad bought from Bert but it could have been

A Portable Typewriter

During this period, grandma and grandad bought mum a portable typewriter. In September 1959, mum went into Nottingham to look at typewriters. In October, mum, grandma and Tricia went into Mansfield and bought an Imperial Portable Typewriter for £25. Mum was paying £10 towards it and she was allowed £3 10 0 on the old one. I don’t know if this was the Remington Standard grandma and grandad had bought in 1947 (see Chapter 37) but it could have been.

Imperial Typewriter Company

The Imperial Typewriter Company was a British manufacturer of typewriters based in Leicester from the early twentieth century to the 1970s. Imperial made portable typewriters from 1908 to 1978. These included the Good Companion range.  

Example of Imperial Companion 4 portable typewriter in carrying case (below)
Advert for Imperial Good Companion portable typewriter


In January 1955, mum went with Pearl Hodges to Nottingham for some chocolate.

Woolworths and Burtons

In January 1959, mum noted going to Woolworths and Burtons supermarket.

Selling a Wedding Ring

In June 1959, mum, grandma and Tricia went to Mansfield. Grandma sold her mother’s wedding ring to Brittains for £2 11 6.


In the 1941 Kelly’s Directory, Brittain and Sons Limited are listed as watch makers in 12 Church Street, Mansfield. I found company information for Brittain and Sons. They were incorporated in 1927 but were based in Portland Square in Sutton. They were jewellers and watchmakers.