Shopping Habits in Wedderburn Road

During this period few houses would have had refrigerators – they would have had pantries to keep food items cool instead. As a result perishable food could not be stored at home, unless preserved, and people shopped most days. People didn’t have cars and there were no large supermarkets so they relied instead on small local shops.

Local Shops

Opposite the top of Wedderburn Road, where a set of flats now stand, was a general store, known in the 1960s as Parson’s shop. It sold groceries as well as most of the commonly used household items, including paraffin and sulphur ointment for skin complaints. One of Rosa’s nostalgic memories was buying chocolate covered honeycomb pieces, because they weighed less and seemed better value for money! The store also used a mobile shop to make deliveries anywhere in the area.

Newspaper article relating the theft of two cocoa tins by a gypsy woman in 1923
Theft of two cocoa tins by a gypsy woman, 1923

A single storey extension behind Beacon View at the top of the road that fronts Pound Bank, also sold groceries. The Preece family lived there in the 1940s and 50s and their son David married Clem Walton’s daughter, Joan. (Clem Walton lived in the house on the opposite corner of Wedderburn Road and was a very well known photographer. Many photographs of soldiers taken in the First World War were taken by him, and his views of Malvern often became picture postcards.)

A story that appeared in the Malvern Gazette in October 1923 tells of the theft of two cocoa tins from the shop at Beacon View. Mrs Liliam Williams was the shop owner at the time. Two gypsy women entered the shop and one stole the two tins. She was later arrested at the gypsy camp in Hall Green where one of the tins was found.

Milk Deliveries

Rosa also recalls how Reginald Malsom collected milk in churns from Dripshill Farm in Guarlford in the 1930s and 40s. Back at his ‘dairy’ in Wedderburn Road, Rosa and her brother George sometimes helped bottle the milk. Then George would often deliver it to local houses using Malsom’s pony and trap. Dolly the pony lived in a stable behind the main house. Rosemary’s father had moved to Malvern in search of work after the First World War. He was offered a job as a dairyman on Medcalf’s Farm in Guarlford. Rosemary too remembered travelling with her father on the milk rounds, sat in a cart pulled by a horse. (Rosemary’s father, Reg Green, went on to become a Councillor for the Chase Ward and eventually Chairman of the Urban District Council and of the Malvern Hills Conservators).

Milk was delivered in churns to the road by Frank Hill at one time, who was also the betting collector. Bread was another essential commodity that was delivered to the front door by pony and trap until the middle of the century. Mr Hayling had his premises just above the roundabout in Barnards Green and packed all his loaves in large wicker baskets, ready to take out on his rounds.

Una remembers a notice in the window of Malsom’s former dairy in the 1960s advertising rhubarb for sale, and neighbours could also buy fruit, vegetables (especially tomatoes) and pet food from his cellar.

Barnards Green

Ranfords was well known in Barnards Green, and occupied the property where the Co-op supermarket now is. The garage sold cars like the MG sports car, as well as Pye televisions. Petrol was sold straight onto the street. Roy’s father worked at Kenwrick’s store which sold a wide range of household goods and food.