I’ve written about butchers and bakers in Charnwood Street – but there were also several fishmongers selling wet fish, game and seafood such as crabs – four for a shilling, one woman who lived in the street in the 1930s and 1940s remembers, if you could time it right when they were closing on a Saturday night.
Frederick Stone had a fishmonger’s shop at 258-260 Charnwood Street. Ray Massey writes that:
My grandfather E.W. Massey was killed at the Battle of the Somme in July 1916. Louise Massey, my grandmother, then married Mr Fred Stone and moved to 258 Charnwood Street on the corner of Spinney Hill Road which he had established in about 1895 selling wet fish and game. Ice was delivered each day. The fish was packed in ice and stored in a shed in the yard. My grandmother retired around 1948 and moved into the vacant property next door which they owned, no 256. Mr Grimsley (draper) then moved to a new shop in Charnwood Street.
My grandmother served in the shop and Mr Stone prepared the fish and game for sale. The shop never changed over the years – open sash windows, outside gas lighting, steel hooks to hang the game and rabbits, with a long pole to put them up and take them down. The shop was open early morning to late at night. Mr Stone would sit in the off sales of the Belgravia public house, which was opposite the shop, with one eye on the customers. Most of them lived in the area.
The shop was around 12 feet wide by about 20 feet deep. It had a side door that led into the living room, with a window to look into the shop. There was a small kitchen with stairs to three bedrooms – no bath, and a small yard with a WC and a coal store. I didn’t help out in the shop, but as my school was just around the corner I would call most days.
By 1960 the shop had been taken over by Spinney Hill Fisheries. Other fishmongers in the street at various times included James Green at 175, Dawson’s at 227 (later Samuel Haines) and Charles Blackwell at 242 (N. Cook in 1969).
My thanks to Ray Massey and Mrs Greatorex for their memories, and to Michael Westmorland for permission to use the photograph.