Mr Udell discusses the grocer Lawrence Guard and his mobile shop [Text only]

'Now of course there was a grocer who had a shop in Albert Street called Lawrence Guard that had a like a little travelling shop...'

Stevenage Museum

Now of course there was a grocer who had a shop in Albert Street called Lawrence Guard that had a like a little travelling shop. There may have been I think the co-op came along later, there may have been one or two other people that tried it. But Lawrence Guard in particular. And when Lawrence Guard eventually acquired a shop, he shared the shop with Shepherds the butchers Rockingham Way. Lawrence Guard a lot of people didn’t appreciate was the first social security officer in Stevenage because he was very kind to people in as much that you could have things on the slate. Now having things on the slate you was given a little book, little memo book, little red book and you could go in there and have packet of tea, pound of sugar, some biscuits or whatever it was, you’d write it down in the book and the idea was you paid it up at the end of the week. Of course quite a lot of people didn’t and perhaps left 2 or 3 weeks before he got his money, but the fact is he kept a lot of families ticking over.

It may be that he charge a little more than perhaps you might have had to have paid elsewhere, but anyway that was the service and it kept a lot of chaps particularly in the winter months when we was frosted off, that sort of thing going. I think probably Shepherd did as well, if the truth is known. Because in those days it’s not the cut and thrust business that you got today, there was more the personable relationship between the shopkeeper and the person that was coming in there.

This page was added on 16/04/2018.

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