The Village Shop.

By Jabo
@jaboUK (54517)
United Kingdom
January 17, 2018 2:06pm CST
When I was a teenager I went to work on a stud farm in a fairly remote location in the West of England. In this village was a small general shop which seemed to exist in a time warp. It was old-fashioned even then, and I'm talking about over 60 years ago. Above the door was a battered sign which said 'Edward Mapledoram - Grocer and Confectioner, Est. 1901'. He had been the father of the present inhabitants, the Misses Mapledoram, Agnes and Elizabeth. I never knew which was which, but it didn't really matter as I never heard them addressed as other than 'Miss Mapledoram'. They knew all of their customers' names, but they always addressed me as 'young lady', as I was a stranger to the village (not having been born there). These two sisters were very alike, both small and wizened and very ancient. The shop itself was a bit of an Aladdin's Cave, and when anyone entered the dim interior a bell rang to alert the sisters. Customers would often have to wait quite a while before one of the old ladies emerged from the murky depths of their back room. The first thing that struck the eyes on entering the shop were the rows and rows of sweet jars, each containing something like bullseyes, barley sugar, aniseed balls, dolly mixture, peardrops or liquorice sticks. Some of these jars had obviously been undisturbed for many years as their lids were covered with dust. There was always an opened sack of potatoes on the floor, and boxes of various fruit and vegetables scattered about. When you wanted to buy some of them, one of the sisters would weigh out the exact quantity you wanted. I was only in that area for a year, so I don't know what happened to them. I like to think that they curled up like sleepy dormice and just faded away. Do you remember shops like these? The photo is from Wikimedia, but it looks similar to the one I knew.
60 people like this
55 responses
@xFiacre (4592)
• Ireland
17 Jan
@jabouk Goodness, there was a shop like that when I was growing up. It sold everything, and the lady who owned it was very old. Then I left Belfast at 6 years old and by the time I was back in these parts at age 35 ish there she was in my place of work and I had responsibility for her (you’ll remember what my job is) and I was at her 100th birthday on Christmas Day about 20 years ago. At 100 she still lived alone, played the piano and refused to install central heating even though she was a millionaire. She showed me a photo once of herself in the church choir when she was 70 and I noticed that she was still wearing the same dress 30 years later. She just wouldn’t spend money!! Goodness, that was a lengthy response.
8 people like this
@jaboUK (54517)
• United Kingdom
18 Jan
Yes, it was a lengthy reponse but very interesting. It sounds like you could make a post about that lady.. She sounds quite a character.
5 people like this
@WriterAI (5221)
• Bulgaria
18 Jan
So interesting!
1 person likes this
@vandana7 (66158)
• India
17 Jan
This one is clearly from India. Parle is an Indian company. lol. I was wondering how you all had something similar. lol
7 people like this
@jaboUK (54517)
• United Kingdom
17 Jan
Well apart from that name it really is similar, even down to having a cat on the premises
5 people like this
@rebelann (42007)
• El Paso, Texas
17 Jan
I have never been in an old store like that one. In fact the only places I've ever heard of that might be about 50 years old have undergone renovations to meet whatever building codes the city has implemented.
5 people like this
@jaboUK (54517)
• United Kingdom
17 Jan
Yes, that's what I was talking about in my last post about shops being all the same now. I doubt that the shop I'm posting about is even there now, but haven't been back to see.
2 people like this
@rebelann (42007)
• El Paso, Texas
17 Jan
I sometimes wonder what those who lived in the 1700s would think @jaboUK didn't they usually stay in the same homes as their parents or at least one of the kids would? These days a house is no longer a real home, too often kids move away and have no desire to keep the homes their parents raised them in.
2 people like this
@jaboUK (54517)
• United Kingdom
18 Jan
@rebelann You'reright - families in general were more tightly-knit then.
2 people like this
@JudyEv (126340)
• Bunbury, Australia
17 Jan
In my hometown there was a store that sold everything bar food. The elderly man was especially into fixing and supplying bicycles and parts but there were toys and kitchen paraphenalia everywhere. Anything you wanted that might be a bit unusual he seemed to have. I remember stores where everything was measured out and put into paper bags. Sugar, flour, etc - all weighed out of big sacks.
5 people like this
@jaboUK (54517)
• United Kingdom
18 Jan
That sounds an interesting shop the old man had. The weighing out of sugar and flour etc. happened in this shop too - nothing was packaged up as it is today. Of course, it's a lot more hygienic now, but I don't remember too many people going down with food poisoning
3 people like this
@JudyEv (126340)
• Bunbury, Australia
18 Jan
@jaboUK When I was small I went to pinch some icing sugar from a paper bag in the cupboard but got a mouthful of baking soda instead. I didn't steal anything else for a very long time!
4 people like this
@jaboUK (54517)
• United Kingdom
18 Jan
2 people like this
@Lucky15 (33750)
• Philippines
17 Jan
haven't seen one around here :(
5 people like this
@jaboUK (54517)
• United Kingdom
17 Jan
Hi Reine, good to see you. There aren't any shops like that any more in this country either.
3 people like this
@Lucky15 (33750)
• Philippines
17 Jan
@jaboUK hello there janet, am happy to be back
3 people like this
@josie_ (7410)
• Philippines
19 Jan
We have a lot of neighborhood "sari-sari" stores.
1 person likes this
@allknowing (66720)
• India
18 Jan
What a beautiful description. I almost felt I was there in that shop and eyeing all those candies. I do remember a small shop not so far away from where I lived. It was just a 5 minute walk. Whenever money came into my hands mostly a few pice I would run there and would buy roasted peanuts. We never had all those candies that I see in your image. There were hard sugar candies that looked like orange slices which I would buy sometimes.
5 people like this
@jaboUK (54517)
• United Kingdom
18 Jan
When I was a child sweets were few and far between - during the war and for a few years afterwards there weren't many around, What there was, was rationed. They came off ration when I was about 13. Love your pic.
3 people like this
@much2say (39824)
• United States
17 Jan
That is truly old fashioned - even beyond a mom and pop type shop! I can't think of such a shop out here . . . I guess I grew up at a time when there were mainly commercialized stores were around.
4 people like this
@jaboUK (54517)
• United Kingdom
17 Jan
This would have been in the late 1950s, and it was old fashioned even then.
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (163966)
• Switzerland
18 Jan
Yes, I remember shops like this Janet and not only in the countryside. We had something like this in the small street behind the apartment complex where we lived in Milan. Now nothing has left. There are only restaurants, bars and supermarkets. Nothing is the same, but I sill can see those shops in my mind walking through that little lane.
3 people like this
@jaboUK (54517)
• United Kingdom
18 Jan
Yes, shops like this don't exist anymore, at least not in the more developed countries.
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (163966)
• Switzerland
18 Jan
@jaboUK I think that they still exist in some French country villages. I used to see those old shops living there.
2 people like this
@Kandae11 (38753)
18 Jan
There are still shops like those in the very rural districts.
3 people like this
@jaboUK (54517)
• United Kingdom
18 Jan
Are there really? I don't think there is anything anymore quite like the one I'm talking about here. There are village shops, ( as we spoke about in my previous post), but even they have moved with the times and sell modern packaged goods.
2 people like this
@Kandae11 (38753)
18 Jan
@jaboUK These are little shops in the very rural areas. You can buy a very small portion of certain items instead of the standard amount compulsory in the larger shops and supermarkets.
2 people like this
@snowy22315 (49119)
• United States
18 Jan
It sounds fascinating..there is a store here that dates from the 1950's..I guess that is what passes for old around here lol...although some of the buildings in town are from the 1800's.I can attest to that..as one seems to have ancient plumbing!!
3 people like this
@jaboUK (54517)
• United Kingdom
18 Jan
It was already the 1950s when I was in that shop, so it must already have been about 50 years old then. Lol about the plumbing
2 people like this
@snowy22315 (49119)
• United States
18 Jan
@jaboUK Yeah, everything's relative!
2 people like this
@BelleStarr (39067)
• United States
17 Jan
Yes we had one like that just down the street from our family home in Quebec, I loved to go there in the summer and see what delights that we unknown in the US I could find there and she did have ice cream too!! Now I know that actually the lady that ran it was a cousin of sorts maybe 2nd or third.
3 people like this
@jaboUK (54517)
• United Kingdom
17 Jan
I thought about this shop when I wrote my last post about shops being all the same now, so I thought I might as well put up a post about it. Glad that you had similar when you were young.
2 people like this
@BelleStarr (39067)
• United States
17 Jan
@jaboUK We had a candy store that was on the way we walked to school, after school we loved to stop and buy penny candies.
2 people like this
@just4him (120559)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
17 Jan
It sounds like a wonderful place to visit.
3 people like this
@jaboUK (54517)
• United Kingdom
17 Jan
I took it for granted at the time, but looking back on it, it seems a magical place.
2 people like this
@just4him (120559)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
17 Jan
@jaboUK I'm sure it did seem like a magical place.
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@TRBRocks420 (79627)
• Banks, Oregon
17 Jan
My Grandma used to run her own thrift shop.
3 people like this
@jaboUK (54517)
• United Kingdom
17 Jan
Did she really? Was it similar to what I've described even though she would have sold different things?
2 people like this
@TRBRocks420 (79627)
• Banks, Oregon
17 Jan
@jaboUK It was in a very small town and, old fashioned looking, but big inside.
2 people like this
• United States
18 Jan
@jaboUK I've never been in a shop like that, but I would love to go in one now, and just explore.
3 people like this
@jaboUK (54517)
• United Kingdom
18 Jan
Yes, you never knew what you'd find in them
2 people like this
@Morleyhunt (19888)
• Canada
17 Jan
We had a local candy store/variety store/ restaurant? That would have been similar. The assortment of candy (50 years ago) was mind boggling. 2 for a penny of 5 for a penny. A nickel bought you a small paper bag full of sweet treats...I. The dry goods section of the store you could buy giftware, sewing notions....some clothing items. Funny...just two months ago...we noticed that the "hardware store" in our new community had all of the giftware and sewing notions...not the candy...and some of it had probably been languishing on the shelves for close to 50 years.
3 people like this
@jaboUK (54517)
• United Kingdom
18 Jan
That shop in your new community sounds interesting. You could buy needles and thread and darning wool in the shop I'm talking about, but no clothes.
2 people like this
@db20747 (8484)
• Washington, District Of Columbia
17 Jan
That sounds like the good old fashioned general store, filled with old fashioned treats. You only see them down in the country. Sure used to like those kinds of stores.
3 people like this
@jaboUK (54517)
• United Kingdom
17 Jan
I don't think anything like this shop still exists (in England anyway), even village stores seem to be self service.
1 person likes this
@amadeo (67832)
• United States
17 Jan
I love those village shop.
3 people like this
@jaboUK (54517)
• United Kingdom
17 Jan
Did you have anything similar where you grew up Alfredo?
1 person likes this
@Platespinner (16782)
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
17 Jan
Lovely description! Most time-forgotten shops of that sort have gone the way of the dodo bird.
3 people like this
@jaboUK (54517)
• United Kingdom
17 Jan
Yes, they have in England too.
2 people like this
@JolietJake (51124)
• United States
17 Jan
I remember older, smaller shops when I was a kid. Probably by the time I was 12 or so, they had all been nudged out of existence by larger 'chain' stores like Kroger's, IGA, etc.
3 people like this
@jaboUK (54517)
• United Kingdom
17 Jan
Yes in my last post I wrote about all the bigger chains taking over, that's what prompted me to write this one.
2 people like this
@shaggin (37036)
• United States
17 Jan
Sounds similar to an old store I used to visit as a kid back in the late 80s early 90s that sold penny candy. A bit too dusty for me but those awesome prices and a sweet tooth always had my friend and I returning.
3 people like this
@jaboUK (54517)
• United Kingdom
17 Jan
Yes, I used to buy sweets (candy), but only from the more accessible jars that weren't dusty.
2 people like this