Crich Businesses

Memories of Tony Lester, Fritchley

Memories recorded by Tony Lester in 2000

The other week I started thinking about the shops and businesses I could remember through the village when I was a lad.

The first one would be Fred Firth’s shop (now A.Dawes house). He sold newspapers and sweets etc., ran a library and charged accumulators for radios.

Across the road lived Mr. Greenhough, the plumber, who went to work on a bicycle with his tool bags on the handlebars.

Next the Co-op buildings (now Rick's Autos) sold and delivered provisions. Mr Dolman was the manager. Next door, in the butchery dept, Syd was in charge. They also delivered coal. Herbert was in charge of the lorry.

Across the road, The King's Arms public house was run by the Ashley family. At the bottom of the King's Arms car park stood a wooden shed, once a cobblers, then a greengrocers -I think (Did it burn down?) On the same side, in the house above the garages, Mr. And Mrs. J. Wragg ran a newspaper delivery service. Jim also swept chimneys.

Further on, the cinema was owned by Mr. Frank Gill, later a spring factory, then a printers.
At the bottom of Bennets Lane was Gervase Taylor's garage. He sold petrol, delivered coal and ran a bus service to Derby on Fridays and Ripley on Saturdays.

Across the road Mrs. Limb ran a sweet shop etc., handy to call at before the matinee. Further on Edwin Stockton ran a hairdressers shop until war broke out. Across the road Mrs. Sulley had a sweet shop and grocers. Her husband Alf had a smallholding in the field off Bulling Lane. The house has now been demolished.

Across from the parish room Mrs. Wragg had a chip shop (The old Royal Oak pub). Next door, above in the little cottage, Mr. Reeks had a cobblers shop. He was a small man, who always wore a navy blue suit and a large trilby hat. He had no gas or electric, so his light came from candles and as he didn't have any curtains up, when we used to walk past the shop at night time (as he used to work late at night) it was very weird.

Next was the Rising Sun pub, with Mr. Featherstone in charge. Across the road on the 'bottom side' was Dr. Eileen Macdonald's surgery, next to Dr. Twist's car port. It was a small waiting room with bottles of medicine etc. in the window awaiting collection. The surgery was even smaller. The doctor seemed a strict woman to us children, plasters were removed at speed, " better one sharp pain" was her maxim. In winter she wore a long leather coat and a felt hat pulled low down, a very intimidating lady.

Down the Dimple on the right was Roger Haynes building yard. Near the market place on the left was Allsops bakery, one of only two original family concerns still going. Across the road used to be a chip shop, later Lester' s greengrocery shop.

On the market was the chemists, run by Mr. and Mrs. Wilkins who also sold petrol, paraffin
and also charged accumulators.

Crossing over Sandy Lane was the Post Office, run by Miss Jolly, who came from London. She lodged with the Brumwells where Ron Holtham now lives. Next door was Mrs. Lynam's shop, selling groceries and sweets etc. They also sold milk and dairy produce. I used to watch her making the butter.

Across the road was the Westminster Bank, looked after by Mr. and Mrs. Hutchinson. Up the lane to the rec. my father and uncle (Ivor and Ewart) used to garage their lorry at the top and kept coal in the sheds. They delivered Monday to Thursday and greengroceries Friday and Saturday round Crich, Whatstandwell and Fritchley.

Back across the market, to the chip shop (where it is now), then run by Mr. and Mrs. Jackson. Next door was Jack Smith's butchers shop. He had a slaughterhouse down the pottery yard. Then to my grandfather's greengrocery shop at the top of school yard, now Heather Janes.
Down past the bottom (council) school Mrs. Exton gave piano lessons in the bottom Hilts cottage. The next shop was. P. P. Taylor's butchers shop (now Bailey's). His wife ran a hardware shop. He had a slaughterhouse across the market where the furniture business is now.
Next door, where Crich News is now, was the main grocery shop run by the Dawes family. I can still see Peter, number three son, riding down to the market place with his feet on the handlebars of the old delivery bike, much to the concern of the Archway cottage residents.

Two doors further on (now S. Harrison's house) was my Great Uncle's, (Eddie Martin) barber's shop. He was for many years caretaker of the bottom school. His wife Beatty sold drapery etc.
Next door (now the Post Office) was Mr. Cooper’s sweet shop. He was a tall, serious man who looked down at you and said "Now my lad, what would you like?". He never varied.

Across the road (now the tea rooms) was F. Lees, later Daniels, chip shop. At the top of the back lane Mr. Cooper (no relation to the previous one) had a cobblers shop. A nice old man who would always put a new spike (hob- nail) in our tops when the old one wore out (in the days of whips and tops). Across the road (where C. Gration lives) Mr. Stanley, an old soldier, had a notice board where he put up posters of soldiers in dress uniform etc. A bit of early army recruiting. Up Bowns Hill to the Black Swan (Mrs. Ball or Mrs. Burton?) the landlady. Higher up, the top (C. of E.) school, across the road, George Haslam, the village blacksmith had his forge. We used to watch him shoeing horses etc. He also sold milk etc. His eldest daughter Nancy, now Mrs. Groome, used to go round delivering milk in a milk float. I think the very docile horse's name was Dolly. You could tell when Nancy was about, she was always singing. Up to the cross and Abbot's stores, managed by Harry Fantom, later Dawson Longdon's shop.

Across the road, now a flower shop, was a sweet shop one side and a furniture shop the other, belonging to Luke Housley who made his own ice cream. Next door, Mrs. L. Brumwell's chip shop, without doubt the best chips I have ever tasted. A definite way of her own. Down Roes Lane was Smith Bros, building firm and undertakers. They also had trees delivered in and then cut them into planks on the log saw.

The Jovial Dutchman pub near the cross was run by Mr. Jim Nadin. Sam Holmes also had a cobblers shop near the cross next to Joe Smith's farm, whose son John is still there.
Up past the church (the Rev. H. Jones was the vicar then) we come to the Bulls Head pub, run by Cyril Booth, now a private house.

On to the town end where the Harrison family had, and still have, a grocers and sweet shop, who also still make their own ice cream. (The other shop with original owners.) On the car park Dennis and Ruby Harrison had a fish and chip shop in the wooden shed that is still there.

Mr. Clarence Hartshorn lived at the town end, who, with his brother Herbert, ran Furnace Hill colliery. Round the corner, the Cliff Inn public house was run by the Lynam family. Next door, below, Bown and Berrisfords ran a haulage business (now Ram Furniture). The Council later used it to garage the refuse lorries.

Des Sellors also had a haulage firm run from upper Coast Hill. Going on Coddington Lane is where the Yeomans family lived. Mr. Yeomans used to travel round in a big red van selling hardware and paraffin etc. Mr. Tomlinson from Moorwood Moor also had a similar outfit.

These then are the ones I remember when I was at school (there could be more as it is all from memory). Some dates may overlap. I know of some after this date and have heard of some before.

P.S. One I have just thought of, Mrs. Maisey who travelled about on her bicycle with cases, bags and her dog


More memories

(This was also recorded in an article for the Derby Evening Telegraph Bysgones section in 2013)