Some years later their front room was converted and ‘HInsby’s’ corner shop emerged. On offer was a wide range of sweets, cigarettes, loose and tinned tobacco. Push open the door and a bell would ring as you entered, duly summoning assistance. Stock was arranged in highly polished wood and glass cabinets. There were no self-service arrangements. Maud was happy to assist, invariably wearing ‘her pearls’. She was a kindly woman and very compassionate, happily dispensing milk puddings and egg custards to villagers in poor health. She was, however, irksomely nosey. Adjacent to the counter was a chair for customers’ comfort. For those uninitiated ‘sit down at your peril’ for you were unwittingly exposing yourself to a torrent of probing questions. Children were equally subject to a quizzing from Maud and no matter where they featured in the queue, they would always have to wait for all the adults to be served first.
Ernest set himself up as a coal merchant and had a sign pasted up accordingly. Charlie Richardson took to the wheel of the delivery van. With households entirely dependent upon solid fuel at this time, demand was high, and Charlie, always cheery, was kept busy.
Behind the scenes Ivy, the live-in housekeeper, kept hens to provide fresh eggs and busied herself ensuring the home was spick and span. Next door The Manns set up a bakery. A lovely jolly couple, their fresh bread was hugely popular with villagers and smelled delightful as you passed by.
Left, 3 Silver Street, Hinsby's Corner