The old curiosity shop: Treasure trove found in store left boarded up for decades


Blackleaf
#1
A shop in Accrington, Lancashire, is just like something from Charles Dickens' "The Old Curiosity Shop."

The shop has probably been closed since the late 1970s - and all its contents from that time have been left intact.

Stepping into the shop is like stepping back in time.

The shop is full of ancient medicine bottle, and magazines from the Thirties. There is even a bill from 1927 to repair the building at a cost of £36 15s 7d....... [[£36, 15 shillings, 7 pence]] ....... (this was from the good old days before 1971, when Britain's currency was decilmalised, i.e when it simply became 100 pence = £1, just to make it easier for foreigners to understand, rather than using several different divisions of the currency. Before 1971, Britain was unique in using more than two divisions of currency. There were 20 shillings in a £, 12 pence in 1 shilling, and 240 pence to a £. It confused foreigners, though it was quite simple for the British people to understand).

The shop was re-opened this week for safety checks...

The old curiosity shop: Treasure trove found in store left boarded up for decades

By Ryan Kisiel
10th October 2008
Daily Mail

It could have been the set for Ronnie Barker's television comedy Open All Hours.

Builders were astonished to find this shop frozen in time, with a 1927 bill to repair the building for £36 15s 7d, ancient bottles of medicine and magazines from the Thirties.

Council workmen went to check out the boarded-up terraced shop in Accrington, Lancashire, after concerns were raised over the building's safety.



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Treasure trove: Developer Alan Duffy bought the derelict shop and wants to turn it into a house


But when they removed the boarding, they found a perfectly preserved old-fashioned corner shop and ice cream parlour.

Cigarette adverts from the Fifties, a magazine giving a day-by-day account of the young Princess Elizabeth's tour of Australia in 1938, ice cream spoons and old-fashioned sweet jars were on display.

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Covers of Titbits magazine from the 1970s mention Coronation Street's Elsie Tanner, left, and feature a picture of Goldie Hawn


It is believed the owners moved out more than 30 years ago, leaving the contents intact, and the shop has been empty ever since.

It wasn't until safety checks were carried out this week before a developer demolishes the building that it was discovered what lay inside. Town hall workers described the shop as a 'treasure trove' and nostalgic local residents have even asked to look around.

A spokesman for Hyndburn Borough Council said: 'It should be kept as a living museum. The old white-tiled ice cream area is near perfect. But there are problems with safety at the property.'

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Medicine bottles and books line the shop's shelves


Noel Wilson, 80, who lives nearby, said he remembered the family-owned shop when it was open during the Sixties, adding: 'It was a typical corner shop - newsagent, tobacconists, remedies... everything under one roof.

'It was always known as Boyds and was passed down their family.

'The last one I remember was a Curly Boyd who was as bald as a coot and always wore a bobble cap.

'It was well over 40 years ago when he was there.'


A bill for repairs coming to £36 15s 7d was left by the previous owners

After rooting around the shop, developers found 80-year-old paperwork belonging to the Boyds and displays of cure-all Fennings Fever Mixture and an original tin box used for Victory V lozenges.

Titbits magazine from 1971 had a headline about that week's Coronation Street - 'Elsie Tanner is as common as muck', referring to star-of-the-day Pat Phoenix.


Doors open: The boarding was removed from the shop 40 years after the previous owners left

The shop has been bought by developer Terry Duffy, who wants to turn it into a house.

He has cleared out much of the contents and one of his builders took a collection of Ruby Murray records that were found under the counter.

He said: 'It is like time stood still. There are items 60 years old where they were left.

People keep asking me if they can make a visit because it brings back so many memories.

'I kept expecting to see Ronnie Barker appearing from behind the counter like Open All Hours.'



Ronnie Barker, Lynda Baron and David Jason in Open All Hours, the TV favourite about an old-fashioned local shop that ran from 1976 to 1985

dailymail.co.uk
 
shadowshiv
#2
It's too bad it wasn't a little closer, as my parents would have loved to check out that store to see what knickknacks would still be there.
 
scratch
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by shadowshiv View Post

It's too bad it wasn't a little closer, as my parents would have loved to check out that store to see what knickknacks would still be there.

So would I, yet it's puzzling why it was left the way it was and only now it's been inspected.

 
shadowshiv
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by scratch View Post

So would I, yet it's puzzling why it was left the way it was and only now it's been inspected.

Perhaps the gentleman that owned the store could not afford to move the items, or did not have the room to store them? It is something that we will probably never know for certain.
 
Twila
#5
OMG! that would be sooooo amazing to check out.

When I was little, I had a goat and I boarded it at this little old lady's farm. She had a room full of old magazines, newspapers, knick knacks. She decided to clean it out and asked if I'd help. I never really did "help" I was to busy looking and checking it all out to "sort" and dispose of it. I still remember the smell of the magazines and the books.

I love this kind of stuff!