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Normandy Shops
Station Road, Flexford & Westwood Lane

Normandy Post Office

Normandy Post Office, about 1967Normandy Post Office, about 1967

In the 1950s, the Post Office at the crossroads end of Station Road, (now Glaziers Lane) underwent the first of its three extensions making it possible to offer a wider range of goods. The Normandy Post Office, or more correctly speaking, the sub-post office was extended twice more almost doubling its size. In 1988 it took over the sale of fresh meat, under the supervision of Bob Howard the former manager of Preston House, supplied by Michael Jones who had moved to Yateley, where he continued to trade as 'Normandy Butchers' until 1992. Thus the move across the road from Preston House that began in 1924 was finally completed over 60 years later.

Normandy Postmark 14th October 1966 (900 Anniversary Battle of Hastings)

British Postage Stamp

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One of the most popular uses of the Post Office was "British Postal Orders" as up to about the 1970s most working class villagers did not have bank accounts.
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Another very popular use for the Post Office was the Post Office Savings Accounts and for the younger, Savings Stamps.

Shopkeeping was not without its dangers. Normandy Post Office was several times the target for armed robbers and Dorothy Applebee won two bravery awards in the 1980s for her courage, on one occasion grappling with a raider armed with a sawn-off shotgun. The last attack on the post office, not long before it closed in late 1997, was featured on the Crimewatch TV programme and Hunts Hill Road was closed while the BBC staged a reconstruction of the events.


Normandy Butchers

Preston House, 1987
Preston House, 1987

First established as a butchers shop in the early 1920s in premises previously occupied by the post office, it continued to flourish and was a well-known feature of Normandy for over 60 years. It was run in succession by Frederick Hawkins, Martin Barlow with, in turn, his son by the same name, then Thomas Kirtley and finally Michael Jones. Regretably it was forced to close down in 1988 and Preston House and the adjoining house were converted into four terraced residences. The people are taking part in a Fun Run.

The houses that replaced Preston House in 1988 with the short lived video shop, now also converted to a house.
Video Shop and Adjoining Houses


Wanborough Stores

Wanborough Stores, about 1970Wanborough Stores,
about 1970

At the top end of Station Road the Wanborough Stores had its front rebuilt and modernised in the 1950s. Also in the 1950s the little wool shop and library at Gradeley was replaced by 'Dickie's Pantry'. Run by the Knaptons, it offered teas, snacks and hot lunches. Later on it was granted a drinking licence and some say, became a club with a questionable reputation, although others refute this Wanborough Stores was forced to close in 1976 and was demolished


The Corner Shop

The Corner Shop, 1963The Corner Shop in the very cold winter of 1963

A small grocery, it was started in the 1920s by P A Pepin and his sister Muriel, who ran the tea shop in its early days. They were followed by George Astlet who also sold paraffin and stamps. In the 1930s it was taken over by Mr Little and Alfred Paice. Mr Little left very soon afterwards and Alfred Paice then ran it for nearly 20 years with his sister who was responsible for the off-licence - then the only one in the village. Tom Turner, who had worked for Mr Paice as a boy, took it over with his sister Ethel in the 1950s and they had it until they moved to the Westwood Lane Stores in the mid 1960s. Several other proprietors had it after them. It became a Wavy Line Grocer but eventually closed in about 1983.

The Corner Shop with June Davey
The Corner Shop
with June Davey c1977


Newsagent at Flexford

Newsagent at Flexford, 1955Pinks, newsagent c 1955

It was built by Mr Cull, about 1930/1 and was only a tiny shop, selling papers and sweets, from 1933 to 1945 it was also a Post Office (Wanborough P.O.), In the 1930's listed as doing wirelesses (Tel Normandy 87). Occupied by Perce Pink, newsagent, stationer, confectioner, tobacconist, bookseller from 1945 to 63, the shop closed about 1999 and was converted to a private house.


Westwood Lane Stores

Westwood Lane Stores, about 1991Westwood Lane Stores, about 1991

The shop was started in the 1930s by Mrs James and run by her son Dick James as a 'general emporium'. In the 1950s it was described as 'a little tin shack with greenhouses at the back' and sold mainly salad and vegetables. In the 1960s it was occupied by Stanley and Alice Gray and had a wider range of produce available - grocery, greengrocer, electrical, wallpaper, paints, esso blue and evening papers delivered. About 1970 Tom and Ethel Turner took over the shop and continued to run it for over 30 years.


Downloads
Map of locations of shops in Normandy
(JPG format)
Local shop advertisements - Side 1 (Leaflet 1970) (GIF format)
Local shop advertisements - Side 2 (Leaflet 1970) (GIF format)

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