Mr George Jackson
A Tale of a Florist.
My Grandad was Mr George Jackson. He ran his florist business for about thirty years from his home in Auckland Close, making wedding bouquets, funeral and Christmas wreaths for many Tilbury people…He and my gran, Rene would usually start thier day around 3.30 a.m when my nan would get up and push the ‘barrow’ (an old door screwed on to a set of old pram wheels) along Dock Road and on to Tilbury Town Station, she would then cross the train lines, as you could back then and get the first train into London,making her journey to either Covent Garden, or Spital fields flower Markets. .They never had a car so this was the only way to get stock, and the flower markets were only open from around 2a.m until 7am. . . Nan would buy the stock needed bring it back on the train, load it all on to the barrow and push it back home calling in to ‘Elvins’ a grocery shop which was just along from what is now the Rainbow fish bar. She would buy 2 rashers of bacon for grandads breakfast and sometimes a bit of cheese for his lunch.(which Mr Elvin would weigh and wrap in greaseproof paper). Whilst nan was ‘at market’, Grandad would be at home missing frames, taking orders and sorting out the work that needed doing for that day. When nan got home Grandad would sort the stock while nan cooked his breakfast, all this being done before 9.30a.m!. . They would then work until midday when nan would get ready to take grandads ‘bet’ (his daily treat) to the bookies in Civic Square. On a Friday she would call in to Webbs fish shop along Calcutta road for grandads lunch via the Co Op that then stood on the corner of Calcutta/St Chads Road by the traffic lights. . . Sometimes when I was with her, we would have a quick look round in Larkins, he sold almost everything in that shop! and I would get 6pence to spend across the road in ‘Moer’s’, the little shop on the corner of the Railway Club Or in Waites.
On the days that nan grandad were very busy it was my job to run errands for them. Nan would give me a list that would always start with getting vegetables from ‘Beasleys’, a big double fronted shop on Commonwealth house. Then into Greens pet shop for the dogs meat then into Bill Briggs on the corner. . . My favorite time would be when I would stay with them at weekends and we would take bottles back for a refund to the Diamond Jubilee on the corner of Montreal Road, Grandad would have a bottle of beer, nsn would get a Babycham or a ‘Cherry B’ and i would have the refund in the bottles to spend on whatever took my fancy, which was usually a bar of chocolate!!.