Interview with Jeff Turpin, Stapleton, March 11, 2014
Jeff Turpin (born 1929) bought the Spar shop in Greenbank Road in 1965 and has been running it since. In this sequence, he recalls the stores you would encounter walking up Greenbank Road in the 1960s and reflects on the impact of modern supermarkets on the numerous little shops in the neighbourhood.
From the bottom of Greenbank Road, there was... we started with Savoury’s, who was a big ironmonger at the bottom of the... He was in Belle Vue Road, but that was a [?]. The pub was on the other side, on the corner, then we had the post office on the other corner and the sweetshop, making up the four of them. Then you go perhaps a hundred, a hundred and fifty yards up Greenbank Road and in that small area, there’d be a fish and chips shop, a wool shop, what else was there? Something rather anyhow. And then you’d walk another fifty yards, you would get another junction and you‘d have newsagent’s on the right, the King’s, the butcher’s on the left, and the vegetable shop on the other corner. And it would carry on like that, all the way up Greenbank Road. And as I say, if you walked in the road parallel, which was Cooperation Road, the same thing would happen there. So there was no shortage of shops. But as you can imagine with all of them vying for the few customers who were there [laughs], it didn’t help life at that time, but things did... when supermarkets began to get a hold, it did alter things for us and so on. You found you had to change your ideas and watch your stock and watch your burn stock and so on, and how much of each you were able to stock. And of course you find it... because invariably the premises, certainly compared to supermarkets, are very very tiny, it’s not easy to stock enough to attract people in. But at the same time, you want the varied stock, because it’s the only thing that’s gonna make the passer-by walk in your door rather than someone else’s.