Golden memories of my father's shop

J Umfreville - provisions, groceries and dairy

J Umfreville's shop
Betty Hume
The shop from the rear
Betty Hume
In the 1950s, the shop was run down
Betty Hume

My father’s shop stood in the middle of Sydney Road, Tilbury – no 22.

It sold groceries and provisions, and also bottled milk to take out on the horse and cart – which my father did. As a young girl I used to help in the back yard – to put the tops on the milk ready to be sold.

The shop was pulled down in 1953 to make way for new housing. It was rented from Porters and run down.

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  • We moved into the Diamond Jubilee on 31st January, 1953 when I was nearly six.  Our living accommodation was mostly upstairs luckily because that night the floods came.  I remember my Mum lifting me up to the window to see a man going past in a rowing boat.  That day my parents had to open for business as they were hired as the managers.  I always thought the people opposite were the Bellinghams but I understand now that they were Holmes so don’t know where that came from.  I used to watch them bringing the horse out of the double gates in the mornings to start their round with what my father called the Jox Box for some reason.  In winter, the horse had sacking around its hooves and still slipping.  I used to be so upset watching him.  The mother worked in the shop.  Ormans was on the opposite corner and our garden was on the fourth corner across the other side of Sidney Road.

    By Margaret Crockett/Kempton (07/06/2017)
  • My father and mother lived in the flat above the dairy which they had in the 1950s where I lived when I was born we moved to Stifford Clays when they was building the new estate.I can remember living there in 1953 when the floods occured

    By christopher stephen fry (12/09/2016)
  • mr Holmes Did with a horse drawn wagon I remember him back in the forties He also had shop ,it was on the corner of Sydney Road and Montreal Road opposite the Diamond Jubilee off licence On the opposite corner to Holmes was a fish shop

    By Terry Clark (29/01/2014)
  • I remember “holmsey” coming into Burns Place with his horse pulled shop on wheels and while the old man served his customers, the horse would be munching on his nosebag. I think the old man retired and his 2 sons took over and upgraded to an old converted coach, which had the back opened up and the younger son sat on a seat and sold penny sweets and the like to us kids, while the adults went to the front of the coach to buy groceries.

    By kathryn opie nee Hollands (07/12/2013)
  • Elaine, did your dad or any members of your family run a mobile shop around poets corner area. As I recall a mobile shop and we always called it holmeses :0) I was born 1960 and I can remember the van when I was about 7 ish. There were two brothers I think? Definatley two men were on the van.

    By Linda Tucker (31/10/2013)
  • I can remember Jack Unfreville ‘s dairy and shop.My father and mother’s shop was on the other side at number 1 sydney road it was a dairy and groceries there was around five dairy’s in tilbury at the time

    By Elaine Holmes (15/03/2013)
  • I was a paper boy for Alf Orman’s shop next to Vera Unfreville’s shop in Calcutta Road. I used to take the trade bike down to Tilbury Town station to meet the paper train which arrived at about 5.15am and then after sorting the papers and helping to sell cigarettes (Woodbines and Weiights) some in packets of 5, I headed out to deliver papers and ‘books’ as magazines were called around Tilbury starting in Ottawa Road then Quebec and Toronto Road before going through Bermuda Road and Malta Road, the Gem and after that Stills dining rooms and the’Blue House’ then back along dock road and finishing at the St Johns vicars house with the only copy of The Times that I delivered . I then got an early 37A bus back to Feenan HIghway and home for breakfast before going to school………….and all for 7/6d (37 and 1/2pence) plus tips a week.. I was so rich!!

    By Duncan Grant (14/09/2012)

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