The Wallis's ~ The Complete Story
remembers seeing her father stirring paint and he could make any colour that you requested. He used to show people how his paint would last a good thirty years despite being knocked about and it would still look as good as new. Dorothy wishes she had some of his paint now for these days you have to paint every three years, In his day you painted every twenty years.
One son would make the deliveries in the villages around Wembley using a horse and cart. The shop supported a large whole sale business as well. Dorothy did not know her grandfather very well for he never really spoke to her. All he would ever say was, “Pick up that broom and sweep the shop Rosie!” or, “Don’t stand about Rosie, do this or do that!” Of course she was never allowed to touch anything and certainly not the sweets! The barrel bought sweets, there was a huge stock of American gums and it was a great temptation to kick the barrel over but she never did.
Their shop sold everything. They lived upstairs in one room and her aunt lived in the other. She used to come up and serve in the shop each day. Downstairs there was a flat and then the stables. An old lady lived in one of these downstairs rooms. She was quite respectable, but how she could live down there she just didn’t know. She must have been very poor, and had to live there from necessity.
Mr Pass gave her the odd tablet of soap, which though only twopence, was worth a lot in those days. Below the shop there were the store rooms and the stables for the horses There was a tack room which, we called the vinegar room because her grandmother spent many hours pickling onions and any other vegetable one could pickle! These would be sold in the shop. When she was living in Bletchley, many years later, someone came in and said she used to go to the Wembley shop and buy two pennyworths of pickles. She said she had taken her own jar to collect them.
Dorothy’s two uncles used to ‘Skive’ as they say. They kept out of the old man’s way and in that way they avoided having to do any work! If he did notice them not working he would give them a job such as painting the fence! It was clear her Grandfather remained in charge, everyone was frightened of him! The three brothers would run a mile, especially her father, to avoid him but yet her mother wasn’t afraid of him at all. Her father was petrified; maybe he had been very strict with him when he was younger!
In the early days, James had too work very hard, scrimping and scraping. The children had no shoes on their feet while he was trying to build up the business. He died a very wealthy man so what he had to worry about I don’t know.
The Pass family shop was second shop to arrive in Wembley. The first was Mr. Leftly’s shoe shop. The Passes had two shops and a plot of land in Wembley. The area adjoined a back road where the horses would deliver and unload. Dorothy’s grandfather would buy a shipload of goods, say matches for example and while he was paying for this shipment they all went short. Most of the materials were from the United Kingdom but matches usually came from Scandinavia that was until Bryant and Mays built a factory in the docks. Dorothy’s father often went to London docks sometimes once a week. It was quite a distance for a horse and cart; it would take all day for the journey there and back.
Commercial Travellers called at the shop. They arrived by train and would only see her father. He placed a good deal of custom with Lever Brothers. After many years of business with Lever Bros, the company gave him a Gold Watch saying he was their
Copyright 2001-2006 by BIGenealogy.com. All rights reserved.