Yes we have no bananas

How a local greengrocer helped save a child's life.

I was born in Christchurch Road, Tilbury and lived there with my family until I married.  I have fond memories of Tilbury, although times were hard for every one, it was a friendly place.  My father was a merchant seaman on the Orient Line and was away a lot, but my mother was well known in the area and was always ready to help a neighbour who needs a hand.  I recall how she was called upon when there was a death, she would lay out the body in in their home.  There was no being taken to the funeral parlour then, the person would be kept in the house until the funeral.

In 1948 the last of my parents children was born.  I was the eldest of 6 children, but was the only one to survive until my baby sister arrived.  She was a sickly baby and during her early years was often taken into Tilbury Hospital.  She was eventually diagnosed as having ‘Wasting Disease’.  The doctor told my mother to feed her a banana each day.  Well this was 1948 and the austerity suffered during the war years had not improved that much and there were lots of shortages of ordinary things, let alone bananas which would have been considered a real luxury then.  Well my poor mum was desparate to get these bananas in an effort to save the life of her little daughter. 

So mum had the task of looking for bananas.  She went to the local green grocer in St. Chads Road, (she thinks the shop was called Georges) and explained how important it was that she should have this fruit.  The owners were very supportive, and did their very best to get the much needed bananas when ever they could, and always put them to one side so they weren’t sold.  Slowly the baby began to thrive and by school age was doing very well and eating normally.  It was only when the child reached adulthood, and became ill again was she finally diagnosed as having Celiacs an alergic condition to Gluten.

So because of the kindness and understanding of that local family green grocer that went out of their way to supply this desparate mum with bananas, the child lived and thrived and is still alive today.


Memory of Merlyn Judd told to Daphne Carpenter

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  • I am the Grandaughter of Thomas Arthur George and Daughter of his only son Thomas Frederick George (deceased 1991). The Greengrocers shop’s name was T A George & Son but my father never took over the business.

    By Wendy Beard (nee George) (11/11/2018)
  • George’s greengrocers was run by my uncle Thomas Arthur George. When his wife committed suicide my mum and dad, Nellie and Ernie Tyler, took over the shop until the council compulsorily purchased it and the other shops in the row and the row opposite several years later, to make way for housing. The Georges were a family of fourteen children and several of them had shops in Tilbury – a fish and chip shop in Sydney Road,  a wet fish stall on the market, and a shoemaker’s somewhere near Calcutta Road.

    By Mary Tyler (18/10/2016)
  • By William (Billy) Gill (09/02/2014)
  • Reading the comments below make me feel I was still there. I well remember the shops in St.chads road and reading Harry o’ Neils comments I intend to post a picture soon of 5th Tilbury scouts which features Harry. I remember the Malthouse and Richard families and posted comments about Jack Richards who was the first manager of the cycle speedway in Tilbury.

    In the 1930’s my uncle Eric Gill worked for Tom George and I will post a photo shortly of him. He went to Aussie after the war and never returned and died a few years ago.

    By william(billy) gill (08/02/2014)
  • Hi Sammy, it was lovely knowing that you remember the Malthouse family. I loved living in Christchurch Road. I will mention to my mum that i have been in touch. As you probably know my nan, grandad and dad are no longer with us but my Uncles Bob, Jim and Malcolm are. I love this website. by Susan McCrory nee Malthouse

    By susan mccrory nee Malthouse (01/04/2013)
  • I remember Georges Greengrocers. Sadly Mr Georges wife May George (nee Gibson) committed suicide in 1953. Her sister Alice Moss (nee Gibson) lived in Stephenson Avenue and her brother Wally Gibson used to run a bookmakers from the same address.

    By Joan Cowin (04/11/2012)
  • Hello Susan. I knew Iris Malthouse very well and she was a bridesmaid at my wedding in 1945. See photograph on Listed under Joan Cowin memories of Tilbury

    By Joan Cowin (04/11/2012)
  • Yes I know the familly well I lived at 66 Christchurch Rd I remember your dad well Jim and I were good mates also my sister Audrey married one of the sons of the Richards family who lived the other at 62

    By Sammy Carter (02/11/2012)
  • i my dad and his family lived in Christchurch Road number 64 and at some point in the 1960s i lived at 37 i think. My dad had a bike shop where we lived over the top. Do you remember my family my dads name was Michael Malthouse and his parents were Iris and Fred Malthouse.

    By Susan McCrory nee Malthouse (01/10/2012)
  • The name of the greengrocer was definitely George’s. On the left,just south of the junction of Christchurch Road and St. Chads Road were four shops. Beckley’s, the Grocer, Scoffin the Newsagent, Barber’s, the Butcher and George’s the Greengrocer. Opposite was Digby’s garage, Hammond’s Fish Shop, Stan Brown’s the Barbers, Berry’s the Cobbler, Davies (?) the Chemist, Chopin’s the Haberdasher and Larkins the Hardware Shop. In the early 1940’s I was a paperboy for Scoffins and I did a Sunday round for Orman’s (Newsagents in Calcutta Road).

    By harry o'neill (23/08/2012)

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