Nestled in the heart of our village, Geddington’s local shops once formed the vibrant core of our community. This post delves into the stories of 10 such establishments, which, though no longer present, continue to live on in memory.
We asked members of the Historical Geddington Facebook group to help us remember the shops of Geddington and we weren’t disappointed! Here we present 10 of the best remembered shops that are no longer with us.
1. Post Office – Queen Street The Post Office was more than a place for mail; it was a local hub selling newspapers, sweets, and groceries. Its proximity to the park made it a favorite pit stop for visitors and locals alike, who cherished its convenience and community feel. The building was once a pub, The Royal Oak, and became a Post Office in 1910.
2. Kettering Industrial Co-operative Society (The Co-op) – West Street Arriving in 1910, the Co-op originally took the premises of ‘Collier’s Shop’, also on West Street but much closer to the Cross. It wasn’t until 1928 that they moved to the location in the photograph below.
The largest store in Geddington, it closed its doors in 1994. In its place, Wheelwright’s Cottage was built in 1999, marking a significant transformation in the village’s landscape.
3. Chapman’s – Grocer, Wood Street Chapman’s was not just a grocer but a treasure trove of sweets, particularly beloved by schoolchildren. Many of us remember the joy of buying sweets here after school. It had a perfect location, directly in the middle of the Junior and Infant schools.
One of the village’s oldest shops (first opened in 1874), it was rented by Isaac Chapman in 1890 and the lease handed to his son, Francis, in 1925, who eventually was able to buy the property.
Francis’ son John, and wife Brenda, took over the shop and managed to keep it going until it closed for good in 1989.
4. Arnold’s – Grocer, Bakehouse Hill Located in the Old Forge at the bottom of Bakehouse Hill, Arnold’s was the quintessential village grocer. Its closure marked a significant change in the village’s shopping habits. Before the Arnolds, it was owned by Walt Staples whose daughter opened up a hairdressers next door.
5. Tracey’s – Shoe Shop Next to Arnold’s, Tracey’s catered to the village’s footwear needs. Its location next to the Eleanor Cross means that it appears in the background of many photographs. As well as boots and shoes, they sold made-to-measure suits, fitted carpets and curtains.
6. Harden Butcher’s Shop – Bridge Street Harden’s, a traditional butcher’s shop on Bridge Street, was known for its quality meats and personal service, making it a vital part of the village’s culinary life. Harden took over from Will Chapman who had it through the war.
7. The Pot Shop – Queen Street Helen Spencer’s Pot Shop was a unique and beloved establishment. Known for creating beautiful models of village features, it became a part of every household. Many people in Geddington own a Pot Shop ornament, be it of the Church or the Eleanor Cross, a testament to Helen’s craftsmanship and the shop’s place in our hearts.
8. Eleanor Antiques – Bridge Street Eleanor Antiques on Bridge Street (1980s), which later became a tea shop (Newman family in the late 80s/90s) and was formerly Wood’s Grocer, owned by Tom and Elsie Wood.
9. Pentelow’s – Grocer, Queen Street Pentelow’s was another grocer, this time south of the river on Queen Street. We couldn’t find a photograph of the shop, but this 1930s programme for a performance at the village hall, includes an advert for “H Pentelow – General Grocer, etc,”. Henry Pentelow took over the shop in the 1920s from Mrs Piddington who had run it since about 1890.
10. Texaco Garage Barry Ball and Jim Gamble’s Texaco Garage served as more than just a petrol station; it was where everyone’s cars were serviced and repaired. Prior to that, the garage was owned by Mr Stafford, and then even earlier by Ernest Goode, who had a “sell-everything” shop in the bungalow next door.
These ten shops, now part of Geddington’s history, remind us of the days when community and convenience went hand in hand. As we remember these establishments, we not only recall the products they sold but also the sense of community they fostered. Their stories are a vital part of our village’s rich tapestry.
There are lots more photos of village shops in the Historical Geddington Facebook group. There you will find hundreds of Geddington photos and stories and you are very welcome to join the growing online community of village historians!
Acknowledgment: Immense gratitude to the members of the Historical Geddington Facebook group for their invaluable contributions of information and photographs. Additionally, I must reference the book Geddington as it was, by Monica Rayne.
Please note: Some of the photographs in this article have been previously shared in the Historical Geddington Facebook group and are assumed to be in the public domain. If you claim copyright to any of these photographs, and wish for them to be credited or removed from this article, please contact us at email@example.com.