For some years I have had a photograph of a shop my parents worked in and the property they lived in which was attached to it, in Shurlock Row. We think, because of the angle of the shot, it was taken from an upstairs room over the road from the property, maybe Mortimore’s Stores.
My parents, Edwin (Ted) and Peggy Henry ran The Candy Stores newsagents in the mid 1960s when I was just a young lad of 10 or 11.
I remember the home quite well and around the back there was a large deep pond. My brother and I used to trawl the pond with a rope and hook and occasionally we would bring up cow skulls, which we hung in the tree… children, eh!
The shop was attached to Boveny Cottages, a row of three or four houses. They were quite small homes to live in, but I never realised that at the time.
When my mother passed away last year, I took the photograph of The Candy Stores out of its frame and saw that my mother had written on the back of it. “Our Newsagents at Shurlock Row. Our house on left, Mr Vernon in rear through the gate. Ken Northway worked in the butchers next door called Yoxals.” Mum reckoned the houses were built in the 1500s, but I’m not sure about that.
Anyway, I have looked at this photograph for some while and wondered if I could read the notices to the left of the “Ice Cream” sign and from these I realised the date it was taken.
So, I wrote down what I could see and waited for an opportunity to visit the Berkshire Record Office in Reading… it did not happen.
But then I had another thought, on the far left of the picture there is a rack of daily newspapers and you can just about read what the headline was on the bottom paper, “US Slams out at Six” and it is quite obviously a copy of the Daily Express. The Daily Express archive is accessible at www.ukpressonline.co.uk, so I put in the headline and up came the date with the headline as Wednesday 7th August 1963.
I have never seen any other pictures of The Candy Stores in Shurlock Row, so this photograph could be unique, but if any of your readers know differently, then please do contact me, as I’d be interested to know [Ed: Please use the contact form on the Help menu]
There cannot be many who have extracted an exact date for such a photograph, unless it is a wedding or funeral, I guess!