Clarkes cycle and wool shop

My mum (Doris) used to run the wool shop and my uncle (Arch) ran the cycle shop and yes Doris (nee Clarke) and Roy St George did move to Reedham in 1966 to run a food and gift shop. Before them my Nan and Grandad Mr Archer Clarke and Mrs Clara Clarke ran the shops. They also taught old Time Dancing at the Laindon Community Centre around the early 60’s.

My aunt Audrey still lives in the area.

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  • Clarkes window on the left hand side was crammed full of goodies for the 10 year old schoolboy. I was 10 when we moved to Laindon in August 1957. At the front of the window were rows and rows of gleaming Dinky Toys, I would stand staring at them hoping for a Christmas or birthday gift. Behind them were Hornby clockwork trains and then the ultimate prize, Hornby Dublo electric trains. In the shop, just on the left hand side would be my monthly Meccano Magazine and at the back on the right hand side in racks the yellow boxes containing the prized Dinky Toys, a new one or perhaps two every month. Mr Clarke also dealt in Raleigh Bicycles and he was often seen tightening up a bike chain or adjusting someones brakes. I bought my first Hornby Dublo train set in there in June 1958, my eleventh birthday, I still dont know to this day how my mum afforded it. Happy times, bless her, she was 86 this year.

    By Richard Haines (01/12/2012)
  • I remember Old Time Dancing at Laindon Community Centre around 1960/61. It took place on Thursday evening and cost 1/6d entrance. The classes were always well attended and there was a fairly even mix of boys and girls. Archer and Clara Clarke were always impeccably dressed in formal dance wear.

    By Bob Connell (27/07/2012)

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