|PS2Y5||Ag5||f||(No name, age 74, retired shopkeeper, Interviewee) unspecified|
|PS2Y6||X||m||(No name, age unknown, historian, Interviewer) unspecified|
 [...] really Miss .
 Well I Oh I'll tell you I've got er a a photo [...] a girl.
 [...] a girl.
 And she knew I didn't care for school.
 That I wanted to come from school but they wouldn't all ow me to come from school because me father had signed for four years you see.
 And this was two years.
 And he owned a shop did he?
 Mr 's Mr , yes.
 I had a letter from the daughter yesterday.
 From America.
 And erm then of course she told me about this so my mother went to see him.
 And you know we arranged for that, but I had a bit of a job to come from school.
 To leave after two years.
 You know but we man I I got out at any rate.
 How how old were you then Miss ?
 Fifteen and a half.
 And then my erm my mother saw him and then I went to see him and Then I started the last week in July with him after the school closed.
 And then I was with him for five years till nineteen The same week, nineteen thirty, I took over the business from him in Valley.
 But I was in Holyhead.
 He had a shop in Holyhead and in Valley.
 Why did you want to leave school?
 I dunno.
 I wanted to go work.
 You know.
 Wasn't interested in sc Well I mean interest I suppose But I think what it was to start with I I missed the first term, you know after passing for the county, I missed the first term.
 We had diphtheria see.
 I had it first.
 And we must have caught it from there.
 [laugh] Because er my mother was fair and she must have carried it or something and then I I'd just started I think a week of two or three weeks and my sister got it and the boys never got it.
 So I suppose if you don't get the first term in in county school, they don't bother with you.
 You you miss the counting don't you because it was different to a school like in the Valley school.
 And then er I suppose the interest Well I did well there two year really.
 I mean [...] I saw a [...] came and I started with him and I liked it.
 And I kept to it.
 And then they were giving up and going to America, they were going They had a sister.
 Mrs had a sister and er a brother.
 And his sister was in Texas and the brother was in Philadelphia.
 So they were joining them, they came over The Texas sister came over for twelve months and they must have persuaded them to go back or something.
 So they went.
 So I didn't know anything about it you know, till somebody asked me Well asked me really, Mr 's going away isn't he?
 I said, No I don't think so, I said, I haven't heard.
 Oh he is, he's going to America, they said to me, you see, somebody, one of the customers I suppose.
 Ooh, I said, I haven't heard.
 So next morning I approached him.
 I said, [...] , I said, I heard last night, I said, that you're going to America, is it true.
 Oh yes, he said, like that.
 But we weren't going to tell you anything jut yet.
 We had something else in mind for you.
 So that's it.
 I knew then they were going.
 So when they did say they were definitely going, he said, what he [...] you see, he wanted me to take the Valley shop over.
 And of course he came to see my father, and my father thought I was a bit young.
 H how how old
 Fifteen and a half Er well no I was nineteen and a half then you see, five years isn't it.
 And he thought I was a bit young.
 Well I hadn't got a chance to [...] .
 So er Mr , he told my father, Oh no, she'll be able to do it all right.
 She's sure to get on, Mr , he said like that.
 I remember him saying this.
 He said, You're su She's sure to get on.
 So my father didn't know what to do, because he'd only just started on his own, so he was tight for money as well wasn't he.
 And of course in the old days, they didn't have money like they have now.
 And you couldn't get any money in the old days.
 No the same as you can now.
 Well they get money now a and somebody else had got [...] these days.
 So erm Still so he said to me, What'll do?
 Well, I said, I'll give it a chance, I said, and if it doesn't pay, Cos he was better off than I was because he had the two shops.
 If he couldn't get rid of fruit here, he could get it in Holy rid of it in Holyhead because the country place weren't so fond of fruit in them days as the English people you know.
 Welsh people didn't sort of eat fruit like the the English you know.
 The not the same.
 And of course they have gardens and then they have apple trees and things like that.
 Well, I said, I'll give it a chance.
 Well so I went and then they came on the Friday night it must have been the twenty twenty fifth of July ninete nineteen thirty.
 They came the Friday night to go for the midnight mail you know the one that comes to meet the boat.
 Or the boat meet meets the boat.
 S so they came with the keys for me, the shop keys, and to say goodbye to us.
 And then I opened up on Saturday morning, first thing and there I was standing in the shop.
 [...] this is all mine now.
 And it's funny how you get used to a thing.
 You're afraid of doing this and afraid of going into this and afraid of going into that thinking it's not yours.
 Isn't it?
 But I soon got into it.
 So that's the way it started for me.
 So I carried on and carried on and of course, the travellers I knew l most of the travellers I knew.
 A lot of them I Some I was told not to bother with.
 By him.
 I knew myself.
 I had a lot of trouble with them in Holyhead.
 [laugh] You know.
 Yeah, some of them.
 Some of the wholesalers you know.
 Especially the fruiterers.
 Short weight and things like that .
 So he told me to keep clear of them.
 Just to go to so and so.
 So that's what I did.
 Then I found my way, you know, you you learn as you go along really don't you, a lot.
 And of course I carried on, carried on.
 Oh we used to do very well there.
 And we used to have a very good erm fruit and confectionery business.
 And cigarettes you know, that sort of thing.
 Used to do well with cigarettes.
 And of course the firms used to call themselves you know, the I used to but direct, not from the wholesaler.
 C er cigarettes and things like that.
 Was that er,
 Wills, Players, [...] and er Craven A isn't it.
 And erm what were the others?
 Er Benson and Hedges isn't it.
 We used to deal direct from all those.
 So It was worth it for the w for the when the war came.
 It was worth it because you had a good erm quota from them.
 During they were a We were put on quotas with everything.
 And when I first went to the business, they didn't have fruit like they have now, everyday you know.
 And round the year.
 Oranges only came in in October for Christmas.
 Er they started coming in the Christmas oranges.
 You wouldn't see perhaps and orange during the Summer.
 But now you can get them from different places, but then they were Spanish.
 Spanish oranges.
 And the Jaffa oranges and things like that.
 And we used to get a lot of Californian fruit.
 Apples and things like that.
 [...] , Oregons and another sort of.
 And a lovely Jonathan they had too.
 Cali Californian fruit is lovely fruit you know.
 Is it?
 Nicer than any really.
 But we don't get that now, they get South African's now don't they and they get Italians and French and there's all sorts of things but they're not as nice as the Californian fruit.
 So that's they way I started and then of course, when the war came in nineteen thirty nine isn't it?
 Well we used to er get Jersey potatoes and things like that and then new potatoes.
 Everything like that, vegetables and everything like that.
 And when the war came you see we were rationed for nearly everything.
 So the more you bought, during the time you were in business, the m more quota you got you see, according to what you'd been buying.
 And of course some you used to have points to get sweets and things like that.
 And I carried a very very big stock of sweets because there was such a variety.
 And everybody, you had to keep to suit every customer if you wanted to make a business.
 You had to do that.
 Or do without isn't it you know, you had to stock for the sake of getting the business.
 Then between that and I was never short of sweets, during the war.
 I er kept going.
 And they were on points.
 And I remember being called to Caernarfon once, during the time, asking me why did I have such a lot of surplus of points.
 You see, of course, some people didn't take use them all, they say, oh you might as well keep them.
 Then other people couldn't get enough again you see, so if they were giving you er points well naturally you had the sweets to give them, you're not diddling anybody or anything like that.
 You were having points for them.
 And er I was called there so I told them.
 I said, we is a family, I said, we're a big family, I said, We don't eat sweets, I said, Well we've got those I said, it's no use throwing them, we just put them in.
 And it nothing happened.
 You know, but they were very keen on er with the points.
 And then rations.
 And that's how I started to go into grocery, because you couldn't get fruit.
 And during the war years, like s perhaps we were allocated a according to what we were.
 If we were a fruiterer. we had more more quote like er wh what did they call them?
 Points was it?
 Or Quota at any rate you know.
 To No units they called them.
 Units, two units, four units or six units whatever according to your trade and where you were.
 Well they's a allocated me as a grocer you see and the fruiterer I dealt with the, the wholesaler, the I dealt most of with in was He said to me, you're not getting enough for what you are, he said to me.
 Well no, I said, I don't know why.
 Well they've allocated you as a grocer, he said, but you're not a grocer.
 Only I just turned into grocery because you couldn't get fruit, when you want Well you had a bit but not much.
 You couldn't keep going without [...] something isn't it so.
 They had a committee somewhere, I think in Caernarfon I think they had their committee.
 And he brought this up about the units I had and he he rang me up on the Friday night isn't it?
 This was for tomatoes I think the quota of tomatoes.
 I couldn't understand them neither really.
 Because, they could afford to give me my back back ration and yet, they said they were short of things.
 Well at any rate he gave me a ring about erm sometime about four o'clock I think.
 He said they've changed your units, and he said there's an allocation a back allocation for you of forty baskets of tomatoes he said to me.
 I don't know if you want them, he said to me like that you see.
 Well, I said, I'll have them, I'll chance them, I said like that to him.
 I'll have them, I said like that.
 Well, he said, I'm putting them on the train and they'll be in Valley on the seven o'clock train for you On Friday night this was.
 Right, I said like that.
 So the porter in the Valley station here came, brought them on the hand cart he had.
 Not the lorry.
 And he brought me these forty baskets of tomatoes this Friday night.
 Right, I said, I'll clear the window, I said, I'll put them all in the window.
 Because they were perishable goods, it was no use keeping them you see.
 And there was twelve pounds in each basket.
 Clear them all except six baskets on Saturday.
 Good heavens.
 But mind you I used to give them six, whatever they wanted you know.
 And of course there was market in Holyhead and people passing and things like that in it.
 And I cleared the lot except six baskets and they were all in good condition, so I was glad of these six baskets really because it helped you to give them one or two more.
 Because you'd only get half a pound perhaps and perhaps you'd only get perhaps, this unit'd only get two, According to what came into the country, or what was on the market.
 And then perhaps the next u erm lot that came, perhaps you'd get six to a unit, so you had twelve baskets, That's the way they used to work them.
 I see.
 And the same with oranges.
 I remember getting one lot of oranges though that half of them were bad.
 So we had a lot of waste on them.
 And then of course the boats were sunk during the war.
 And then every boat that came in, it depended how many cases of oranges or whatever it was apples or whatever it.
 But I remember one time one week, I had fifty cases of oranges in.
 Big ones, you know, three three sectioned er boxes.
 Not er like they bring them in these cardboard boxes you know, wooden boxes.
 Remember they used to used they used to get these, the farmers used to ask for these boxes because they made er hen's nests, you know that type you know where they Oh they were good boxes.
 But I think fruit was better in them than in these bo cardboard boxes too.
 But er I w I had fifty of them.
 Well I'd no room in this shop, there was no erm anywhere to store them expect the man just here see, where the g where they used to keep his car.
 Just there.
 Oh yes.
 For the storage.
 So I said, My brother was in the army then and my father was there on his own, so I asked him, I said, Can we put them in the workshop?
 I said like that.
 And he said, Yes, he said like that.
 So they brought them down here and they had fifty cases of oranges in here.
 In the not this one, the old workshop.
 And I used to take them as I wanted them and I cleared the lot.
 I didn't get any waste, they were in lovely c condition.
 But mind you they went quicker then because they were hard to get.
 You know, people And I didn't, well you were suppose Well we did mark the book at perhaps a p a pound to a book you know, like they were in those days.
 But of course with them coming like that and perishable goods, we let them go as they wanted them, to clear the lot like that.
 And perhaps we wouldn't see an orange for a fortnight, three weeks perhaps.
 Perhaps a month.
 We wouldn't get one.
 And the same with all fruit er they were rationed like that.
 But we managed.
 And then the grocery built up and built up like everybody.
 But they used to ask me for things but I thought there were enough s erm shops here really.
 Because this corner shop was here.
 Then the Co-op was where I was this one.
 And then further on there was a little shop like this one, they were grocers.
 Then over the line again there was another shop where Mr A P Jones Do you know, the retired schoolmaster that used to be in Valley, he lives now.
 There was a shop there.
 And was there a shop No I don't think there was a shop anywhere on this road?
 And then I thought to myself.
 They were on Oh and there was the er where the Midland Bank is, there was a cafe there and they sold odd things you know.
 [...] there was enough there and people used to tell me used to ask for things.
 Well, I said, there's plenty of shops here selling that.
 I said, I'll Well they sell fruit and they sell this and they Well, I said, the I i that's my trade I said, the fruit and the sweets like you know more.
 But oh I don't [...] and then of course the war came didn't it.
 So that changed me and after that it went from you know, higher and higher all the time, the more and we used to get [...] .
 We have used to quite c quite a lot of the [...] coming round here.
 [...] and that way.
 Oh we used to get a lot of them.
 And er when I first came to the shop, the mo m A lot of them used to come by train and you know taxis or meeting and at the station and and away from Holyhead they used to stop by the shop for fruit.
 And I don't know what it was but they all seemed to say the same, the visitors, they all used to say, you've got lovely fruit here.
 Well, I said, it's only the same as everywhere else.
 [...] but yours is much nicer.
 But I think the building you see, was a warmer place in the Summer.
 You see.
 Corrugated and wood.
 Draws the heat doesn't it?
 Yes [...]
 And I think it sort of sort of ripened the fruit better than if it was in a cool shop.
 I used to but mine under-ripe you know.
 All my fruit.
 Did you?
 Because of that.
 But i It's obvious that you've always y gone in for quite stylish displays of your fruit too haven't you?
 Oh yes, yes I I I I we us always used to do that.
 We had baskets, special baskets for it.
 And I kept it the same and that's When we bought this in nineteen fifty four, there was a lot of alterations to be done.
 To suit me you s Yes.
 To suit me.
 Because, you remember that er picture o you saw with the fruit in?
 Behind the counter?
 Yes, well in well I've got some photos of this to be inside somewhere.
 I'll try and find them sometime for you to see [...] sometime.
 But this used to be a bicycle shop, the first world war.
 This this one.
 The w the corrugated iron one ?
 Th th Yes that's what [...] That's why it's got a window like that you see.
 I see.
 And then it's the window's high from the f floor.
 And I had to get a box and many a time I've fallen on my back from that so Cos somebody had moved [laughing] the boxes I think  .
 I've had a lot of falls in my time. [laugh]
 [...] .
 And then that was erm a cobbler's place.
 That's next door ?
 Yes, just a little place and that's where Mr started in that one and then he moved into there when that went empty.
 That's h how he started there.
 And the bungalow's next door isn't it.
 The that came after.
 And er I dunno it went from that and and I'm sorry I I had to leave it really.
 [...] . I enjoyed it.
 I feel sometimes I could go back.
 you know, but things are different they say, now.
 Why did you er did you leave the business in the end?
 Well because of my mother see, I came home to my mother.
 Because my brother was here, and he couldn't go out with mother being here old.
 You see my mother was eighty nine when she died.
 And then she couldn't cope with going out to the people there.
 And of course I was the only one that was single.
 And er really I'd [...] Well I mean, I had my pleasure in the shop.
 it was a pleasure to I liked it.
 But I couldn't let my mother be here, and then it was more for my brother because he had a wife and he it was more for him to be working than er for me really, cos I come to pension age then you see.
 When I was leaving for my mother.
 I was sixty one you see when I left the shop.
 And then after that but er many a time I wish I was back you know.
 But my mother came first isn't it and it was easier for me.
 To come home than for anybody else.
 So that's why I came home, not that I wanted to come you know, to give it up.
 And then we And my brother wouldn't carry it on.
 I had my brother with me and his niece and they wouldn't carry on.
 He wasn't keep on being inside you see, it's alright going out.
 With a van.
 [laugh] . So he wasn't keen on being inside so he wouldn't carry on.
 Well he had a job to go to in the council too really.
 Because he was looking after the council offices.
 And then he had a job, they had a job for him you know, and of course I he didn't want to leave me, Well I said, You can go, I said, it's alright if I'm going to sell, I said, that would be alright.
 And but he didn't leave until after I'd sold you know.
 What er encouraged you to move from your first shop t t t t t t t to Valley Stores?
 Well because I hadn't got the place to keep things, that's why.
 It wasn't suitable for bacon, butter, Cos it a hot place you see, and there was no room for putting any fridges or any Well I did [...] have an ice-cream fridge there.
 Eventually, like, when we had ele electricity.
 We didn't get that then till nineteen fifty.
 Didn't you?
 We had lamps you know.
 Erm Aladdin lamps we had erm lighting up the place.
 Hanging from the roof ?
 From the roof, yeah.
 So there wasn't er the space for storage really.
 And er of course the co-op went.
 And of course it was up for sale so I don't know who said, Are you going to try?
 Ooh I don't know, I said, like that because I was in a g in a good spot there you know, it was a very good spot.
 I was there If I'd have been there to July, that year that I moved there, I would have been there twenty five years, on that road.
 But of course it went, you see with the traffic and things like that I'd perhaps it wouldn't have been s quite so handy for me because I'd no parking room there because there was a big back to there.
 You know parking space.
 And er so Mr was where Mr is now, then.
 So we asked him if he'd come to the sale just and I told my father, cos my father wasn't keen you know.
 Er I told him I was going to try for the Co-op.
 Well you're very silly, he said to me, trying.
 Well I said, I'm going, I said, I'm going to give it a try.
 I said, But I won't pay more than I can afford to pay for it.
 So we went, it was on a Friday afternoon I think, in June.
 I don't remember the date.
 And er we went in, there were quite a crowd there you know.
 And er there was four I think, there was a a Mr from Holyhead, and there was a Mr he he lived in Bangor but he was running the ironmongers that was by the station in the old days.
 There was an ironmongers shop by the station, in the [...]
 And he was from Bangor.
 Erm what was the name of the place in Bangor.
 He was there.
 And I can't remember who the other was that was there.
 there was four of us and we started bidding and somebody in the crowd started bidding four thousand.
 Everybody went everybody went like [...] [...] there nobody saying a thing.
 So of course I g I was not bidding myself, Mr went to the auctioneer, Mr , he's dead.
 Mr now [...] .
 And er he went to him so he went to speak to this woman about the thing and she was member of the Co-op see.
 And I suppose she had money there, must have been [...] .
 It was a sort of like a I don't know what i whether it was erm some sort of a private or it belonged to this Manchester Co-op or something I think it was.
 There were memberships I suppose that would keep it.
 Oh at any rate, he they started rebidding and then of course it went and went and it fell and then this Mr gave up and whoever the other one was, Don't remember who he was.
 And er somebody asked him why he'd stopped bidding, Well, he said, I could see there was nobody in my line trying for it.
 When he saw who was trying you see.
 And then this Mr he had a grocery shop in Holyhead.
 But he wanted the living place more than he wanted the shop.
 I knew this Mr , William .
 He was friendly with my erm uncle they'd b both been in [...] starting when they started in business.
 So he stopped and then it fell, and it fell short of the hundred pound they wanted.
 They had a reserve price on it.
 So we paid that because they wanted and then we had to pay for stock.
 There wasn't much stock there though.
 All rubbish, we had to throw it .
 But I paid about four hundred for it Oh but you had to if you wanted it.
 So er that's the way I er had it and s and somebody else asked Mr why did he stop bidding?
 Oh, he said, if we had carried on it would have been dear for somebody.
 But it fell for one one thousand five hundred then in nineteen fifty four.
 So it wasn't a bad price really, but I was able to pay for it.
 That was the main thing.
 You know, I didn't want to [...] .
 The auctioneer came to me, Oh I suppose you'll want to borrow some money now.
 I said, No thank you.
 I said, Everything's all arranged. [laugh]
 Was that er would that have been considered unusual to have had the money to pay that amount in those days?
 No I don't think so, no .
 Well er it would in a way because you'd have to pay interest on what you were borrowing wouldn't you?
 Oh yes you have to pay now a mortgage won't you.
 You have to pay interest on what you b you borrow now.
 So it was better for me if I was able to pay.
 I was free then, I could do you know.
 And then I came home after the sale.
 I told my father.
 I teased him for a bit that I didn't get it, it went for so much.
 And he said to me, Er, and then I said, No, I said, we've been lucky.
 I said about it.
 And I told him all about it.
 He was glad in the end too.
 There was nobody more glad than him really but I suppose he thought I'd go into debt or something but I d wouldn't do that.
 I'd rather be without.
 Oh and the er er one of the Co-op members, he was a big noise there I think, I don't know if he was the chairman of the committee or what.
 But he s he met me on the road one day and he said to me, Miss , it would pay you to give a decent price for it, he said to me.
 Oh why?
 I said.
 Well to keep somebody else from coming out.
 I said, It makes no difference to me, I said.
 I'll only bid as far as I can pay Mr [...] .
 His name was Mr [...] .
 Mr [...] I said like that.
 And if it goes more than that, I said, it can go, I said.
 It makes no d difference to me.
 I said, It's up to you to make your business.
 You don't want to keep anybody else [...] er er space for everybody if they want to try.
 It's er up to you, I said, you've to make your business.
 And er I don't know what he said after, I don't know.
 But I think Oh he was a all nice and everything er you know.
 But you see, the more money they had, the more they had to share I suppose with M
 [laugh] I don't know.
 We to my w way of thinking like that isn't it.
 I suppose they was. [break in recording]
 [...] he owned the place you know, the It was a good place.
 So we were lucky and then we opened up on January the fourth nineteen fifty five.
 On the the day of my birthday.
 When I was forty five.
 Getting old.
 [laugh] Why worry isn't it.
 It's just how you feel.
 And er w Of course with that one, I owned the ground.
 In the old place but I didn't own the shop.
 So nobody could I kept that shop, I paid the rent on the shop for twelve months, I kept it closed for twelve months, to get that place going.
 You know to get the people used to coming.
 Not that it would have made any difference because I mean, people used to go into shops on that side, which never came up our way and the same with us, coming up there and not going that way isn't it.
 So We managed and we opened up [...] see how quick they came.
 They soon got into it though.
 Did they?
 Y oh yes.
 Well I suppose they'd have been used to going there before you see.
 And near the Post Office, opposite the Post Office, so they were But the only thing I didn't like there was the houses opposite me [laughing] [...] They all seemed to be in their windows watching everything  .
 That's the only thing because n the other place you see, it's quite open.
 Oh you can't see it can you.
 I i across the road you see, er There was a road er opposite.
 That it was very nice there too on the main road.
 But we soon got used to the place.
 You had your work and then you just don't didn't bother.
 But er you could see them [laughing] [...]  you know.
 We were a bit from the road and then you see a bit higher.
 And then of course, we carried on from there and we just I was going to do a lot of things you know.
 But I never got to do them.
 If ever I'd lost my mother, Of course, we were lucky we had our father and mother.
 You know [...] you know some people they lose them a bit young don't they.
 When they're young and they've got the chance.
 But we had our father and mother for years.
 Actually for that.
 Er and then er I was going to make a v nice flat and I was going to build a warehouse and things to [laughing] But I didn't got to do it  .
 I came home.
 And had to settle home.
 Don't know if there's anything else you want to know.
 You would have liked to have extended the business a little m more then, would you?
 Oh well yes, I'd carry on Oh mind you, we stocked everything then.
 We had everything.
 O=only the the only thing was that you hadn't got enough room to display everything that you could stock, isn't it.
 You know what I mean.
 They had to ask if they wanted.
 But it didn't matter what they asked for they had, we had it.
 Because they used to say, Oh go to so and so's you're sure to get it.
 [laugh] You know and word goes round.
 I never advertised you know.
 Never advertised.
 My own advertising was giving them the the service and the quality.
 And the attention.
 But I ne erm advertised in papers, anything like that.
 So if someone w w w wanted something s specially,
 you would order it for them ?
 Yes Yes.
 If they wanted And during the Summer months, we had the same people coming every year.
 Since a some of them c came when I was with Mr .
 And they kept coming and coming to me just the same.
 And when I was there and they used to send their orders they used to come holiday times, some people had houses in [...] and [...] .
 They used to send me their orders perhaps three weeks before they were coming, either for us to deliver or for us to erm have them ready for them to collect on their way up.
 Some used to stay in farms and things like that.
 And they used to send orders isn't it It was nothing to see fifty items on an order.
 isn't it, different things.
 And we were always able to supply them.
 W Yeah.
 And they used to say, some of them used to say er, If there's anything you can't get, if you haven you can't get for us or haven't got, er just let us know and we'll bring it with us.
 But they didn't have to.
 We always had them.
 And er my father used to do the garden then.
 We used to have a lot of lettuce and of course Summer Summertime, we didn't see so many because everybody had a garden here and everybody er you know, grew lettuce.
 And I remember one year, we'd had some Webbs Curly lettuce and I was We had a good crop and I remember one lady who stayed in [...] and she come used to come Well practically every other days for six of these.
 And they were like cabbage.
 Oh they were lovely too, that year.
 They were nice.
 And we hadn't got any more of those nice lettuce you know.
 Crisp nice and crisp they were, lovely lettuce.
 And er we used to try and [...] them in the garden just to get the odd one or two for somebody you know.
 Oh yes we had a we had a lovely time.
 They were nice though.
 Nice people.
 We had very good customers really.
 They were.
 And a lot of them have gone now you know, passed away.
 A lot of the old ones.
 And we used to have one gentleman come in from the country.
 And he's g he's dead now though.
 And he used to come regular every Friday.
 When this was with Mr .
 And I was there.
 And he wouldn't allow anybody else t anybody to serve him except Mrs .
 I couldn't serve him.
 Cos I was only young yet.
 He obviously though I didn't know what to [...] .
 [laugh] Well and he used to come regular every Friday afternoon, and he used to go the s a ch lower down you know, after you pass the police station on the left there, there used to be a butcher's place there.
 Lovely lovely meat they had too.
 And er he used to go there for meat but he used to buy two lots, one for his o his own place and one for the farm he had you see.
 For the one that was in the farm.
 He used to buy two lots of things.
 So if he three apples of apples, he'd have two lots like that.
 And of course this Friday, one Friday, Mrs said to me [...] said, If Mr comes, tell him I'm not here.
 She said to me.
 I knew I was telling a lie.
 I'm sure he could see on my face.
 I'll stay in the back she said.
 So she stayed in the back.
 So Mr came in, he said, Is Mrs in?
 I'm sorry I said, she hasn't come.
 Expecting her any minute.
 And then of course, he allowed me to serve him [laughing] then  .
 And then after that, he never asked [laughing] for her  .
 [laughing] No. 
 I suppose he thought I didn't know the different you see.
 But that's one thing I did, I used to tell the girls I said, Give them decent things, I said like that.
 If you want them to come back, I said.
 I'd rather take the loss myself than for people to get you know rotten stuff.
 Or to bring anything back.
 But some don't bother do they?
 You know I get things now, I just have to throw them some of them.
 But er at any rate, we managed and he never asked after that.
 Whoever was there served him then.
 It's funny how you get into A lot of people are like that.
 In business Till they get to know and things like that.
 [...] some nice customers too.
 but the only thing was, sometimes you know, the the visitors [...] in the mornings they used to come out, the visitors.
 During the Summer.
 Some people, Oh these [...] visitors and people used to say to me, Well now look, I said like that, visitors, I said like that, there's enough stuff for everybody.
 We cater for them, I said, We buy extra.
 For visitors and they want things that the locals don't want, I said.
 They buy things that the local people don't want.
 And I said, another thing, I said, some visitors I get here, I said, they buy more from me in a month than some of the locals buy in a week.
 ... More er and more in a month some of them than the others did in a year.
 And those were the ones that grumbled.
 Of course it's extra isn't it you see when you think of it.
 You buy, you're not doing the locals they we they weren't going short of anything.
 And if you had your regulars and things were in short supply, you wouldn't put those on the shelves, you'd keep them back for when they came in.
 You know.
 That's the way I used to do it at any rate.
 Well what sort of proportion would you say, of your trade was purely visitors?
 Well ... what I used to always say it was pretty steady all the year round.
 On the average.
 You do get a bit extra because you get passers by in Summer don't
 You know, stop for things.
 You see, the locals have their own things in the garden in Summer.
 Their potatoes and their vegetables and well fruits and apples, plums things like that isn't it.
 If they want.
 And then they used to keep you in the Winter more or less and the visitors making up So it was s a steady trade all round.
 I used to think mine was pretty steady all the year round.
 If you missed your k [...] certain things, you were gaining by the visitors.
 Stuff that they wanted you know like the erm sugar and the tea and things like that.
 But other things, they had in the garden like vegetables and like gooseberries, things like you know, the fruit.
 [...] . I I mine was pretty steady.
 I c you know.
 Of course you do make extra, holiday time.
 Like you you have Easter eggs don't you, and you have Christmas goods.
 We used to run a Christmas Club as well.
 And then I used to bank I used to post put that in the post office in a separate account, I didn't use it you see.
 I used to keep that separate see t till Christmas time.
 I never used it in the like people put it in the till.
 I never did that.
 No I kept it on its own.
 Because it wasn't mine till they had had the stuff.
 You know at Christmas and then I I managed to save a bit in the Post Office with that.
 For my old age.
 [laugh] [...] you do [...] just do these things.
 You've got to work for yourself really haven't you.
 You can't expect people to tell you this, tell you that.
 You've got to according to what you think.
 Is that is that o o one of the reasons that you went into business in the first place?
 In order to be independent?
 Well I don't know.
 Er you know when we were children wasn't it.
 People used to ask they do with their children no don't they, What are you going to do when you grow up.
 I said, Shop owners.
 Well you couldn't go nursing till you were about eighteen or nineteen or something, if not more.
 In those days.
 Isn't it.
 My sister again, she was asked.
 Oh she was going to be a [...] , that's what she said.
 Well she was [...] .
 Well she went nursing again.
 Quite the opposite to what she was going to go.
 But she stayed in school four years you know.
 She did.
 Did she?
 But er she went nursing, and she's still nursing.
 She does two days in [...] Nursing Home in Bangor.
 And er she Oh I was going to go Well I like the shop so much I wasn't going to change.
 I liked it.
 And meeting people and that's what I like too.
 I liked serving people.
 Did you?
 I used to I used to love being by the counter.
 Not that I'm one for erm like talking like some people do and wanting this and er you know.
 But I liked serving and I liked to feel that I was able to have sold somebody something.
 And not to go out w empty handed.
 It was you know, I did like that.
 I enjoyed serving better than anything.
 I I I had to do the other jobs as I know, but I used to like serving people because I used to like meeting people and sort of study people.
 You know their characters and things like that.
 And knowing how to please them.
 That's what I one thing I liked.
 Was able to please a customer.
 Which touchwood, I think I managed.
 I don't think I turned anybody away I don't think.
 What do you w w w what would be the im important ways that you would think you used in order t t t to please them?
 Oh well I suppose, put all your attention to their needs isn't it.
 You see, you go into some shops, you se I'm serving you.
 You'll see them talking to somebody else somewhere else and you're serving this person.
 Well that's wrong, to me.
 If you're er serving this lady or gentleman whoever it is, you should put your whole mind with this person, not er wait for them to ask what they want, and talk with somebody else like that, and that's done i in a lot of these shops.
 Well they [...] used to but it's self service isn't it and that's a another thing.
 I couldn't join.
 No no erm Spar no what was it?
 Nothing like that.
 I didn't join any of them, I kept independent the whole time I was there.
 Because after all they were having the cream of the shop people and some of them found out that the hard way.
 And I said [...] oh it's so and so that gets all the profit.
 I know, I said, I haven't joined them, because er they e they tell you what to sell everything.
 Well you see now, say tea Say for instance it was a shilling.
 Well perhaps if you bought it direct yourself, you'd perhaps get fourpence on it.
 I'm not saying it was fourpence but perhaps you'd get fourpence.
 Well if you bought it through that Mace, they tell you to sell and you'd only get [...] on it.
 So I didn't join any of them I kept independent while I could at any rate and then [...] .
 So you maintained a direct link between you and the manufacturer or or the distributor .
 Yes more of them yes.
 We had a wholesalers of course we had to get wholesalers for some things.
 More or less, but I used to buy my bacon from 's.
 I used to get that direct from them.
 And then I used to get from [...] we used to get our sausage and things like that.
 Pies and then frozen stuff, Bird's Eye, [...] we used to deal with.
 [...] came there weren't many then when I was there, there's more now frozen stuff.
 And then er Cadburys all them.
 The main all the biscuit firms we used to deal with.
 And how many biscuit firms came and we still bought from every one of them.
 But they've all got their good lines you see.
 See Jacobs were noted for their crackers, more than anybody else's.
 So between them all we were able to b buy the best sellers from you know.
 Christmas cakes.
 I was looking the other day, when I was looking for some of these things.
 The price of Christmas cakes in the old days.
 Twelve and six, the cheapest, the smallest.
 Honestly, now it's price they are now.
 And they were nicer then than now.
 They were lovely.
 W wasn't there a an enormous amount of erm work involved?
 In ordering all this stuff?
 Well I don't know.
 E w It never worried me.
 I knew what I had and I knew what I wanted.
 And it's funny things some of these travellers Oh you get some awful travellers you know, Southern [...] some of them.
 They're pushing stuff to you.
 And er they used to say, Don't you want to go and see what you've got?
 I said, No, I said, I know what I've got.
 I know what I want.
 [...] They'd go, I've never seen anybody like you.
 [laughing] They always seemed to want to go and look or what they haven't but I never used to do that.
 I was ready f if a traveller came in, I'd be ready for him.
 I knew what I had.
 See if I was fetching anything or anything like that Oh we had an awfu we we had a big stock er big stock you know.
 But we used to turn it over, not like they push it in front, new stuff in front of old, we never had that, we never did that.
 We always used to have the old ones out.
 And before Easter, after Christmas, I used to start buying extra of [...] things that kept.
 Ready for the season so that I wouldn't have to buy a lot of things when you were busy.
 I'd have them in stock ready.
 And that's what we used to do.
 And er then there was a traveller used to say, Oh you're not afraid of buying.
 Well I said, If I don't buy, I don't get a chance of selling.
 [laugh] You know.
 And sometimes you used to [...] things had gone up, you were lucky in that way.
 Other times, perhaps things had come down, but not so much then.
 If things were dear, not by so much.
 [laugh] But if they were cheap, that's the time to buy.
 You h you learn these things as you go along.
 But we had some there were some good travellers then though.
 In in the old the old travellers.
 They were good.
 Used to deal with erm ... er fruits Well they were er I suppose.
 Liverpool he used to come.
 As I was saying we didn't get we were buying in October ready for Christmas, buying them in.
 And this Mr he was, he used to c he well he was collec calling f with Mr and he kept calling with me the same so I used to order my bulk in October to come in for Christmas goods.
 And he used to come regular.
 He used to come in Oct October and he used to drop off the ten o'clock train here.
 He came by train.
 And then he used to have the bus on from here to Holyhead to see the other people in Holyhead.
 And we
 Did he?
 And you know [...] I don't know if they're still in Caernarfon are they?
 Daniel and son are they?
 No I don't think so?
 No have they gone.
 Well they used to call too. [...] [laugh]
 They used to come round with cheap stuff, getting rid of their rubbish. [laugh]
 I remember them coming through the shop once, want any cheap bananas?
 Yeah, what sort of bananas?
 And they were noted weren't they for rubbish.
 What are they like?
 Oh so and so, Oh they [...] [break in recording]
 Have I done anything?
 Er I said
 Carry on.
 I said, Oh, I said, Yes what are they like.
 And he'd say, Oh they're like this.
 So like alright, bring them in to see, I said like that.
 You know he knew [...] I didn't want them.
 And then he guessed I didn't want to start with them.
 Erm he brought them in.
 Nice ones er one or two nice ones on top you see, [...] rubbish underneath.
 Oh, I said, I don't want things like that, I said, take them away. [laugh]
 And they didn't c Oh I didn't used to bother with them.
 They were rubbish the bananas [...] .
 They were coming from Bangor with these things to sell.
 Of course I didn't get rid of them.
 I suppose they always stock [...] you see a lot.
 You said that erm you enjoyed er m meeting people and talking to them ,
 did did do you think you you were able to ... form a judgement of people on the basis of your experience? [...]
 Oh yes.
 Yes I think so.
 You could see through them you know.
 Oh yes, you got to know th That's one thing in business that's one thing you have to do.
 At least I think so at any rate.
 That you have to find your way with people.
 What sort of people they are, some like a lot of chatting, other people don't.
 And you've got to know their ways to be able to serve them properly.
 I think.
 Study them, not to go and rush and push things to them.
 You've got Oh I'm breaking everything now.
 It's alright.
 Erm you've got to go gently you know.
 And then when you got to know your customers and when you know what they like and what they want, it's so much easier to serve.
 Once you get to know the customer.
 If you came in now and asked me for a pound of apples, well in a way I wouldn't know a stranger whether they like them under-ripe, ripe or just ready for eating.
 Well if you're accustomed to serving and studying what they like t cos some will ask you, Oh I'd like some ripe ones.
 Well you'd naturally [...] one or two just to see if they're in what they want.
 Well after that, if they asked for yo a pound of apples, you could get them the pound of apples and you'd se sell a lot quicker.
 And you would remember that would you?
 Yes, oh yes, that's one thing I've got I can remember.
 And during the war you see, we had queues for these things, when they were on ration.
 And [...] one gentleman in the crowd, he said, Are we allowed to shift them?
 [laugh] Well I said, I've got to, I said, I can't I haven't got time to talk to anybody, I said, I've got to shift it.
 You see, you were a lot on your own then, you couldn't get any help.
 You see if the girls were sent to [...] taking them to other work.
 So if I had a queue isn't it, I just used to carry on with whatever was going on.
 And they were outside you know, standing.
 Were they?
 A lot Yes.
 There wasn't enough room in the shop.
 But I used to s shift them and they used to say to me, You know how to shift them.
 But I don't think people, some people like you to chat with them for a long time, other people they just like you to serve the, so they can go.
 Don't like to wait about.
 You know.
 And of course er we used to if we were busy, we used to tell they girls, I say, Look, I said, you can talk any anytime you like.
 I said, like that, but if there's a shop full of people, I said, just serve, carry on and finish and then if you want to chat after.
 And I said, If somebody's serving somebody in the shop and perhaps they you know two of three of them perhaps [...] together, I said, but don't talk in the shop I said, go through to the back if you want to chat.
 Because some people are very very very touchy, they'd think you were talking about them.
 And somebody might laugh or something with something.
 One of the girls saying a something you know, and they laugh.
 I said, Don't so that, I said like that.
 I always says it.
 You've to sit a lot in the shop, go to the back if you want to chat.
 U unless there's somebody else wanting serving isn't it.
 If you happen to be serving, but I used to serve quite a lot myself.
 But I think they make a bit idle because [laughing] they knew what [...] they knew what I w  You know I was able to serve the [...] what they wanted isn't it.
 It was lovely though.
 W was there anyone who came to work for you [...]
 Oh yes.
 Who was who you were able to erm if you like, if you were y who you were able to t t teach and show this sort of enthusiasm.
 Yes they were all there you know, everyone of them you did.
 They only had to be with you.
 Sometimes they'd stand with you while you were doing.
 But e of course they're no e You've got to have an interest I think to a lot.
 But I had some very good girls though.
 They were very very good, very nice, all I had.
 They were all country girls you know.
 No town girls.
 Country girls are much better workers. [laugh]
 Are they?
 Oh yes.
 Is that
 Yes yes.
 that's the difference is it?
 Well for me it was.
 The others were more for dressing and er you know.
 But er country girls they set to it and work, they're good workers.
 I had very good girls really, I w would just just erm lost one of the ones that used to work for me.
 She died, last month is it.
 Yes I think.
 She died of leukaemia.
 She was only forty three.
 Yes she was a nice girl too.
 Very nice, nice clean girl you know.
 Very good.
 My niece used to work for me too.
 There were six of us when I left.
 In the shop?
 Then my brother.
 And I had a a part timer, a friend, and my niece and I had There were six of us altogether, there was another like Two isn't it that's four.
 Yeah and my sister in law used to come M my brother's wife used to come and help us with the cleaning at night.
 But we used to clean the shop ready for the morning.
 Always ready to open.
 Floors done and everything, we didn't have to do jobs as like that in the morning.
 I used to do a lot of the cleaning myself.
 At night and er if there was anything wanted filling up.
 And I used to see to the fruits.
 I used to fill that [...] .
 Yeah we were yeah we was We was like a happy family really, you know, everybody [...] through and through.
 And that's a mistake a lot of shop people do.
 They look down on their staff.
 I think.
 They just want to show who's boss.
 But it doesn't work.
 Not for me.
 I'd rather be one of them, work with them.
 Just put yourself one of them.
 It's so much nicer I think.
 I was treated like that by Mr and Mrs , they treated me like their own daughter.
 And I said to myself, I've been under a boss [recording ends]