Thursday, 2 December 2010

Mystery Shop

Roy asks:

"Back in the early 60’s when I was in my adolescent teens I had a job as a grocery boy working a few late afternoons and Saturday mornings for a privately owned grocery shop in Church Road at the junction with Strouds Close, Worcester Park. 

I recall the neighbourhood being known locally as Old Malden or The Plough -a local pub- although sadly the shop has long gone to be replaced, I think, by an Italian restaurant but I guess readers will already know all this!

To this day I don’t know the name of the shop as everyone knew the grocers by the name of the proprietor, a Mrs Mac (possibly Mc Donald) who with her husband and staff were a delight to work for.

I would be really grateful if anyone can tell me the name of the shop with any additional information, photos etc."

Can you help Roy with any information?

4 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

Anonymous said...

my husbands late brother who went to the parochial school in 1930's talked of a "tubby hide" who ran the shop. my husbands much younger sister who went to the parochial in the "50's and early 60's thinks she remembers the shop being called "sindons". my husband who remembers clearly buying sweets from the shop has sadly no memory of the name....maybe this might help or jog someones memory

Lord Cynic of Lindsay said...

I remember this shop. It was there for a very short time after I moved to the area in late 1967. I used to buy sweets there.
It was taken over I believe in the late 60s by the Selby family who not only opened an Italian restaurant but also added some hideous extensions to the listed building !
Allegedly, Mr Selby plonked a fake well in the garden over the fabled tunnel from the house to the old Plough pub over the road, through which various unsavoury highwaymen moved back and forth to evade the authorites. However, NO TUNNEL has ever been located !
The Selbys sold up ages ago and it has been "A Roma" restaurant for many years.
Unfortunately I don't recall the name of the shop.
If a photo turns up we'd love to see it on the Blog.

Ralph Cade said...

I recall the 'shop' was actually known as 'Old Malden Stores' and may have been a post office at one time. I remember purchasing sweets from it after stocking up on Ant and Bee books from the library across the road (A trip to the library was not complete unless you did gymnastic spins around the bicyle? rests outside) There was indeed a tunnel that ran from this buidling. It started up in the top floor behind a secret wall (The Selby family had a cupboard acros it) and went up to a small room -used to hide priests in olden days as well as the highwayman jaunts - the tunnel then circled down the huge chimney down across the road-under the Plough pond and across to the pub. Sadly when the Plough was refurbished the tunnel entrance at the pub was blocked off. I went in the secret room one day when Mr Selby was at 'The works' with Inis his daughter - we were forbidden to go in there and of course nearly got caught just as we went into the room. We jumped out of our skins as it was scary going into this musty old space and when Mr Selby shouted up the stairs you have never seen two kids jump so high in fright.

Ted Finch said...

I believe the name was McCulloch or McCullough. Roy might remember also Mrs Jeffcoate who worked there part-time. She lived a couple of doors away from us in Stroudes Close (why Malden and Coombe named the street Stroudes when it was built on Stroud's field we will never know).
The secret room was discovered by workmen repairing damage to the roof during WW2. The tunnel entrance at the Plough end used to be visible in the off-licence which was at the pond end of the building.
I believe that three tunnels were discovered but that the others had collapsed.
Going back to the history of the shop, my grandfather had a coal business with deliveries in the area. My father remembered drinking lemonade on benches outside the shop - this would have been in the late 1920s or early 30s. No doubt grandad was in the Plough at the time.

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