George Ager, a Charny hairdresser and tobacconist…

Geoff Greatorex has passed on this wonderful photograph of his grandfather George Ager outside his hairdresser’s and tobacconist’s shop at 275 Charnwood Street, which had been decorated for the Coronation of George VI in May 1937. The shop appears in local directories at this address from at least 1925 until the street was demolished in 1970.

George Ager's shop at 275 Charnwood Street, decorated for the Coronation of George VI in May 1937 (Geoff Greatorex)

George Ager’s shop at 275 Charnwood Street, decorated for the Coronation of George VI in May 1937 (Geoff Greatorex)

Geoff also remembers that:

My Grandfather was in the First World War and we believe he was at the Battle of the Somme. He brought back two of the horseshoes off the horse that he rode and gave these to his two children, Phyllis and George. Phyllis was my Mum and she gave me her horseshoe.

We think he probably bought 275 Charnwood Street around 1920. When I was born in 1945 we lived at 275 until we moved to the Monsell Estate. This was when my sister was born. In those days you could not get a Council house until you had two children.

My Grandfather used to work six days a week and Sunday was his fishing day. My job on a Saturday was to go down Green Lane Road and fetch his maggots, calling at the wet fish shop for winkles which I ate on the back doorstep with bread and lard – no butter for us in those days. This was in Ocky Day as it was called, which ran parallel with Charnwood Street.

I used to go to his shop on a Saturday and watch him cutting the hair. He used to have a tin box with a hole in the lid. This had a wick protruding out of it, which he kept alight – then when he had finished cutting the hair he would set light to a taper and run it round the edge of the hair. This would make it last longer between cuts.

The house we lived in was your typical two up two down, with the front room being the shop. I lived in a box (I would not call it a box room as it wasn’t big enough!). I used to go with Mr Joblin [who kept one of the sweetshops in Charnwood Street] to fetch his sweets, and was always given some when we came back.

Charnwood Street was the most brilliant place to grow up in and browse around. What great memories.

Many thanks Geoff, both for the photo and your memories!


2 thoughts on “George Ager, a Charny hairdresser and tobacconist…

  1. Pingback: On hair and hairdressers… | Charnwood Street, Leicester…

  2. A wonderful photo!!! As a young lad it was always Ager’s for my hair cut along with my 2 brothers and Dad. I well remember the lighted taper…..and the cut throat razor being striopped on the leather belt…..a fearsome weapon! I served my apprenticeship at Parker Plant, and worked with his son George on the Mini Mixer production line. I lived in Sherrard Road until I left home before the planners ripped the heart out of that wonderful community although the house where we lived is still standing, and my parents only left when they had to go into a care home. They were the happiest of days, and I really do mean happy. I often sit in my garden and think about sitting on the front doorstep, chatting to old Mr Pitts our next door neighbour and marvelling at the antics of the swifts as they flew around in the evening sunlight. A time long gone…..but never forgotten.

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