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Broadwell, Oliver's Shop, 1932

A shop in Broadwell in 1932.

The proprietor Mr Oliver, a former miner is seen proudly standing in front of his newly opened shop. Mr Oliver like so many of his generation was originally a miner. He contracted Meningitis, usually a fatal disease at this time and was not expected to recover. However, being of Forest stock, he had other ideas and proved the doctors wrong. He was however, unable to return to his previous work "down the pit" so his mother had the shop built for him to run. The shop was built by Heal's the Broadwell builders.

David Morris adds : "I attended Broadwell school, from about 1947 to 1952. I then went to Bells grammer school, until leaving the district. The shop was used as a tuck shop by the school children. The small shed to the right of the shop was a barber's shop, a hair cut, short back and sides, cost I think a shilling. Unfortunately after fifty years names are long gone. I also remember opposite the school was a Hotel where I saw my first television, courtesy of the landlord who was a friend of my fathers. My father, Donald Morris, was the station master at Cannop".

Bernard Kear adds: "Opposite the school ,to the left of 'Olivers' shop is the Broadwell Memorial Hall and Broadwell Working Mens Club. The public house set back from this was the Rising Sun and I believe that Mr Morris was friendly with the then licensee Mr Arthur Bayham.(Arthur drove an ex US army truck at this time)".

Roger Matthews added (May 2008): "The reference to Mr Oliver's shop having a barber's shop next to it may be, I think, mistaken. There was one on
Broadwell Bridge, next to the current post office. It was run by Mr (?) Joe Stafford. It was no more than a little hut - but he gave a very good and cheap haircut! A new road leading to new housing between where his shop was and Heal's has been named 'Stafford Place'".

David Williams added (June 2008): "I remember the barber shop at Broadwell Bridge as stated by Roger Mathews, the barber's name being Mr Horace Green. I went to 'Bells' with David Morris, and I also remember riding in his fathers' motorbike and sidecar. I also remember David coming to my parents' home to say hoo-roo before leaving the district'.

Keith Gunter added (April 2011): "... also attended Broadwell school from approx. 1947 to 1952. I used to have my hair cut by Mr Stafford. He had a small cupboard in his shop and he was a bit of a ventriloquist and convinced us young people that a boy lived in the cupboard. Opposite the school was a shop which sold all sorts of sweets including aniseed balls spanish wood and sherbet. I left England in 1959 and now live in Christchurch New Zealand".

David Evans added (January 2014): "... I also went to Broadwell School Infants and Juniors from about 1945 until I left in 1951 and went to Monmouth. The Club opposite the junior school was a Working Men's Club. I think they called it "The Broadwell Institute" or something like that. I expect many a local miner graduated from the institute! During the war I believe it was run by an uncle of mine Sid Burt who later left and joined British Railways as a guard at Hereford. I remember Joe Stafford and Arthur Baynham too. He bought two American cars off the American army when they left and used them as taxis or hire cars. His lorry was a 4 wheel drive and is mentioned in a book called "Voices of the Forest". He went out to help people who were snowed in, in the winter of 1947. There must have been prisoners of war still at the Wynols Hill camp because my sister and I remember them coming to dig us out at our shop when the snow piled up against our back door. I remember David Morris too! When you were a schoolboy didn't you dig a little coal mine near the railway line on the Speech House Road?".

Phillip Davies added (Feb 2016): "... The name of the barber was, I believe, Ron Stafford. My father, Dennis Davies used to help him out during weekends as a schoolboy. Mr Stafford evidently taught my father a few skills as my brother and I were groomed at home by father".

Terry Morton added (October 2016): "... I remember most of those commenting. We all went to Bells Grammar School. John Haggar, Royston Smith, John Mckenzie, Royston Powell, David Williams, David Morris, John Cooper. Some of the girls; Valerie Baldwin, Gwen Evans, Margaret Lawson, Pat Coombs, Daphne Hawkins. Some teachers at Bells in 1953..Caddy (nickname) Quayle, Mr Margarisson Maths, Miss Evans Chemistry, Pussy Barrett English ... Others in the same class at Bells..I've just remembered are. Paddy Redan, Keith Dowler (Michaels brother), Norman Harper (Lydbrook), Michael Gladden (Redbrook), Douglas Oliver, (Brothers Royston, Dennis and Terry), Colin Smith (Brother Terry..Tufthorn), Marston Parry (Lydbrook) and June Driver".

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