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Busy stores at the heart of community

PUBLISHED: 10:21 08 May 2009 | UPDATED: 09:24 06 July 2010

THE community spirit of Pakefield is recalled by historian and author John Holmes with the help of Desmond Gosling's delightful account used in one of his books now no longer in print.

THE community spirit of Pakefield is recalled by historian and author John Holmes with the help of Desmond Gosling's delightful account used in one of his books now no longer in print.

When Des was born on January 31, 1924, at Wellington Road, Pakefield, the road was unmade and holes were filled with water about during the winter which us children to sail our boats in the puddles. Hill Green was our main playing area. On the site where the Seventh Day Adventist Church is now was a large house own by Mr Woodgreaves, who owned several fishing boats. The built up area now called Witney Green was formerly the site of the LSD, (Lowestoft Steam Herring Drifters) who had a net store, and beating chamber in which nets were made, and a net drying area.

Further up the London Road from Pakefield school to Grand Avenue was Morton's Sports Club and football ground. The land on which Grand Avenue was built was previously a field where we played, it was known locally as 'The Butterfield's' as it belonged to a Mr. Butterfield who lived on the corner of Saxon and London Road.

Glendower buildings consisted of a row of shops which were used by the following business people. On the corner of Wellington Road and London Road was Mr. White's bakery office, then Mr McKenzie had a needle, cotton and wool shop. Next was Mr Downe's (grocer), then Mr Fiddy (cycle repairs) the end shop was a Post Office run by Mr and Mrs Reeve.

Every evening I can remember a horse drawn mobile fish and chip cart coming round. He had coal fired pans of course and it was all made of wood, what a fire hazard! When the new buildings were erected at the end of Stradbroke Road they were owned as follows: Mr Stanley Harvey (fish shop), Mr and Mrs Blowers (drapery), Mr Ellis (fruit and veg), and Mr and Mrs Owen Gray who built the shops took over the Post Office which was also a hairdressers. A Mr Dudley Lincoln was employed to run the hairdressing business. The last shop that faced London Road South sold tobacco, sweets and some groceries and was run by Bartrum & Holt. I also remember Mrs Foreman's shop where she sold general groceries and served teas to the bus drivers and conductors.

On the opposite end to Mrs Foreman's was a shoe repair shop run by a Mr Claxton.

Thankfully there is still a great sense of community in Pakefield and Janet Ellis recently informed me that the village is holding their Annual Fete on Sunday, June 21, on the green behind the Trowel and Hammer which extends to the Jolly Sailors. There will be a range of activities that will include brass band, children's activities, clown, teas and coffee plus eats, a hog roast and an ice cream van. Visitors will be welcome from 1pm onwards and the fete will be official opened at 2pm by Michael Foreman the famous author of children's books. Michael was born and brought up in Pakefield and will be selling his books in a marquee. Michael and I went to school together and were paper boys for his 'Mum' Gladys and I have been invited to share the marquee with Michael to sell a selection of my own books. Please come and share in this day with us.

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