Shops, Trades and Tourism
This Archbold. he had a shop in North Craster, now he was the
first man in Craster to have an assignment of tea. What we
drunk before that I do not know. The shop was on the north
side where all the houses were built, on that comer there,
and he had a shop on the comer of Chapel Row. Where on the
north side, as you go through the gate to the Castle there's
some houses there, some new houses, well before that there
was a herring shed. Thomas Grey he was a fish merchant.
shop on the North Side was there before the war, she had
a tearoom at
one time and the Post Office
for a short time. The Gray's had the Post Office at the West
End for a time. Jamsie Smailes' wife, Annie and Ethel they
served in the Post Office there, where Neil Robson's house
is now. Think they packed up after the War. Annie Jane Nelson
got it after that and she didn't have it very long.
When we came here in 1967 Annie Jane Nelson's shop was
still here. There was Isabel's
butchers shop down the street
Edward Gray had the shop. There was the Off Licence, belonged
to Patience & Belle Mason.
Annie Jane was a fantastic woman - if someone came
and sat on the seat beside the shop, she would think nothing
about asking them if they wanted a cup of tea and a biscuit,
total strangers. She was President of the W.I for years, her
daughter found her dead, sitting on the settee, with the Gazette
in her hand. She was only in her 70's when she died.
That was our port of call on a Sunday morning, going
over to Chapel, we used to call there and have a cup of tea,
Annie Jane was originally an Archbold but she
married and became a Nelson. Her husband had been a fisherman
crippled with arthritis and walked with a crutch. That's how
she came to open the shop because she had to be the breadwinner.
In 1939, when my dad brought me to Craster,
I think it was a Dawson had the shop, it was Charlie Dawson
the Post Office.
There was only one grocery shop and the butcher's.
Mrs Nelson didn't sell a great lot, she sold lovely bacon and
and probably cheese. Edward had the main grocery shop and post
office. The post office used be at the north side, next door
to the rented one. That's why the telephone box is there, I
think. When Edward took it over it was handy for here. The
buses always stopped on the north side, they didn't come over
here. They used to go down to the bottom of the bank and then
back up, in front of Mrs Nelson's house. She was the parcel
office as well. I think that all of the drivers used to be
pleased of her cup of tea in the morning. Waiting for the first
bus in the morning. She was very generous in that way.
I always bought my meat at the butcher's, and
the greengrocers would come. Bob Smith from Embleton. Then
to come, Howick store used to travel. Geoff used to work
for them, he was on the bakery van. He came around two
or three times a week. The store traveller used to come, once
a fortnight, say you came on a Tuesday and they delivered
on a Friday. That was the only way, if you didn't have
transport, 'cos you didn't bring things from Alnwick.
The publicans in the Jolly Fisherman, were, Walter
Proudlock, Tommy Abbott, George Fenwick, Albert George. There
an off-licence at the North Side.
There was a small beer off, not far from us on
the North side, was run by Patience Mason, and we used to call
and her husband. They were both Embleton folks, came from Embleton.
When anybody died in the Village, two or three
of us kids, were curious and the Joiner, Mr. Gray, used to
and we used to peep in the door. They used to make the
coffins in the Joiners' shop. There were three joiners, Mr.
and his son and there was two apprentices, there were four
in there at one time, Dennis Dawson and Jackie Browell,
they served their time in there. We liked to see what they
doing, we were curious. The Joiners Shop dates back to
After I left school, I helped my father in the
Joiners Shop, 'cause he was the joiner. The reason tor that
brother was a joiner but he was away in the Air Force, so I
had to help in the family business. I wasn't cut out to be
a joiner, I liked to follow the horses ploughing, and I wanted
to be a farmer.
school, got a job in the Joiners' Shop and served my time
with Jack Gray and Dennis,
Jack Gray's son, John
and myself worked in the Joiners' Shop. Made coffins, used
to get the coffin sets and then John and his father went to
measure the person up and came back and Dennis and I would
make them. Enjoyed time as a joiner but was only getting 14/6d
a week, from 7.30 a.m.- 5 p.m. and Saturday morning.
They made the coffins in the Joiner's Shop,
Georgie Grey's father was a good joiner and all the men he
out to be good joiners. Ralph Dawson, the boatbuilder at Seahouses
served his time there, old Adam Durham, he was a good joiner,
John Archbold. It was a very busy place in those days. Everybody
used to end up there on a wet day, it would stop a lot of work
'cause you got on talking.
On the North
Side there used to be a petrol pump, where those gardens are
new houses, there
sheds and opposite them there was a petrol pump and on
it was a clock, I think you must have turned the clock
wanted two gallons and then you would pump it for petrol,
apparently it belonged to Old Rutherford, who had taxis
down at the bottom., he lived up here
The buses didn't come down in the village
and you had to walk, either from the pastures or from the pillars.
the hill and backed up and stopped. When Rutherford had buses,
between Little Adam's house and the Stables, he had his buses
in there and there were buses at Embleton.
To go back to when I worked at Willie Robson's,
they built that little shop for sweets and ice cream, adjacent
the garage, where the Bark Pots is now. This day auntie was
the shop and I was in the office and she shouted for me
to go in. There was 2 ladies who had missed the bus and they
had a couple of hours to wait. They weren't young. She
was there any way of making a cup of tea for them. I had
all the makings in the office, so I said just tea in a
mug. So I made it and took it into them, and was stood talking
to them, and that's how the Bark Pots was started.
In my time I've worked with the National Trust, which
was very interesting. That was in the quarry, Winnie
got me the job,
because she knew she would have to go into hospital. The
Trust didn't want the responsibility of the toilets, so
the council does that, and the information bureau is
the council. I wrote a couple of times for a job and we
were there for the opening. It was opened for 3 or 4
it was officially opened. I enjoyed that very much.