6 thoughts on “Jacob Smiths Glazier, Thornaby c1904

  1. Bob, 14958, how could we ever forget the Co-op number. The store on the High Street Norton across from the Doctors Surgery had the magical cash system where your money disappeared up a pipe then came back with your change and the little receipt that was so important to your mother. Sawdust on the floor fresh daily pre-war then Lino washed and polished later. Paraffin one end of the long wooden counter and unwrapped block of cheese and also butter at the other end, the butter patted between paddles and wrapped in grease proof paper to take home. The butcher a bit further along the High Street Norton with its window displays of meat Rabbits and Birds, Mother would skin the rabbits herself and she also dressed the birds, the Butcher had a small charge for doing that. Also the Co-op milk delivered daily and Coal weekly, no H&S then and I am still here at 90, methinks we worry too much.
    Miss Foster ran the Newsagent sweet shop on the Green Norton, two ladies ran the cake and sweet shop half way down the High Street and Mrs Hunton (Hunter) the sweet shop next to the Norton Board School entrance, was it something Ladies did back then. I have no idea how they kept going during the war with sweets rationed to two ounces a week. I suppose cigarettes Papers and Magazines filled the gap, we could never get enough news in wartime but I never took to smoking when everyone and the dog smoked. In my dancing years the smell of smoke on a girls clothes was along with the smell of mothballs a total passion killer for me.
    I put many a window in myself a piece of glass cut to size from the Glaciers a hand full of puttee and a few cut fingers job done now it would be a Major operation and not many knowing how to go about it, along with fitting your own electric plugs stopping leaks and fixing your own TV Aerial on the roof something I did more than once.
    So many shops and so many different usages during their lifetime the stories they could tell, what memories will rise from supermarkets? The way they rapidly change hands and names these days not many I suspect. Life moves on.


    • Frank and those window cords. As an apprentice joiner they taught me how to re-cord windows and after that did hundreds, the last were at an old peoples care home in Imperial Avenue in about the late 90’s. All are now Upvc or not many corded windows left.


      • Bob, one thing about those lift or drop old style windows was they were easy to remove.
        Dad prewar was a Haulage and Removal man a lot of the work was removals before the building of Aerodromes got well underway. many a time the heavy upstairs furniture had to be lowered from windows as the narrow stairways were impossible. Dad was a dab hand at removing those windows and rigging up ropes to drop a wardrobe. A few houses even had hooks above the window so that could be done.
        Some were moonlight flits quite prevalent in those days of unemployment and Landlords wanting their pound of flesh, the problem being they could not pay my Father either so I got a very good Piano and Accordion, a Banjo a model steam train that actually steamed and additions to my Mechano all payment in kind for a quick move and keeping our mouths shut as to where the people had gone.
        When people talk about poverty today I wonder how they would have managed back then, no dole or other handouts, no free medical attention and often only the kindness of neighbours helping out to keep them afloat.
        Those reality shows should take complainers back to what it was actually like living hand to mouth in unheated houses, one cold water tap to each house and the make do and mend of the parents, what an eye opener that would be.


  2. In the mid 1940s this glazier shop was a “Sweet shop,” the lady who ran it was very slow, infirm and almost blind. I can remember her quite well, and always felt so sorry for her. I doubt if her takings were sufficient to cover her overheads, rent, rates and utility bills. None of us were aware then of the shopping revolution that had occurred in 1916 in the USA, with the Piggly Wiggly Supermarket stores, Memphis. Tennessee, a revolution which would arrive here in 1948 under the Express Dairies banner, followed by collectively the Co-op, Sainsburys, Fine Fare and Tesco Supermarkets.

    Very few young people today are aware how important the Co-operative Stores movement was in out g. gt great grand-parents and grand-parents lives, the Co-op movement commenced in In August 1844 in Rochdale, Lancashire, when a group of Rochdale workers met to form a co-operative society. The 28 original founder members saw co-operation and profit sharing as the best way forward to give ordinary people control of their own finances, spending and food bills with all members having an equal share in the decision making and receiving a fair share of the profits. They named their co-operative ‘The Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers (the Co-op). which eventually had branches in every town and city in the UK. My mothers Co-op number was 38540, and, I am certain, most of us oldies can remember their families Co-op number with little difficulty.


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.