OK, what’s your memory like? Who remembers the shoe shop in Mare Street, opposite Woolworths, just under the bridge at the bottom of the narrow-way. It used to make the hand made shoes. What was it called?


  1. I remember the shop Diane but not the name I’m afraid. I loved Woolworths in those days, I think we lost a treasure there.
    I lived around the well st. area bottom of Morning Lane. I would get a number 30 bus to Mare street to look in the shops. We would go to the three cinemas, the Pavillion, the Empress and the Regal further down, what great times.
    regards postie

    • Hi Barry.
      When I was a postie at Clapton SDO we had a PHG there by the name of Ken Reddin! Any relation?

      • That was cousin George Ken, I think he became an inspector in the end. He came to Homerton before I left as an acting inspector.
        I only found this site by accident but I am only really interested in the history side of things. I am absolutely crazy about the past.
        Hope to chat again soon,
        Regards Barry

        • Is that a postie uniform?

          • I think It’s a drivers jacket with ordinary postie trousers.
            That might even be Ken. In my days we had a red stripe down the side of the trousers and we always had to wear a hat. I think it was in case we were hit on the head. I’m sure health and safety wouldn’t allow those shoes nowadays , they look like winkle pickers. Regards Barry

          • Yes that’s me! The grey jacket was the summer one we wore. The colour before this was brown. I became a Postman/Driver in 1969. We were supposed to wear our caps, but we had an easy-going guv-nor who didn’t mind us not wearing it when we were driving. I still have my old brass disc with my number on, which drivers were given to put on their key rings. I’ve attached a photo of it. The trousers I’m wearing in the photo do have the red stripe down them, but it doesn’t show up too well.

        • Yes it was George. It’s my fading memory that’s to blame there.

        • I did enjoy the early days as a postman. We all had a good ‘ol sing song in the morning while we were laying-in our walks,
          I’ve attached some old Victorian “Walk” signs from the wooden sorting frames that they had at the Clapton SDO for the first couple of years that I worked there before they changed them to the horrible metal ones. Also a couple of WW2 ARP signs that I rescued from there as they were going to be dumped. I still have up in my loft the old long brown dust coat that my dad used to wear when inside doing sorting etc.

          • The ARP signs.

          • I think your a bit of a hoarder Ken. I bet you have an old sorting frame in your loft. I wonder if you remember what a P18 form was and if you ever got any?

  2. I wonder if @lincsgent can help

    • Hi there, Thanks for your comments and yes, I remember all those cinemas as well as the old “Castle” in Chatsworth Road, which was near where I lived. I worked as a Saturday girl in Woolys when I was 15, when they still had the wooden counters and assistants behind each one. We were discussing the shoes we used to wear in the 60’s and that’s what bought the subject of that shoe shop up. Still can’t think of it. Best wishes Diane.

    • I must admit Barry, I don’t recall the P18 form, what was it used for? There are still in my dad’s old brown dust coat pocket, some 739’s though, and I still have my old cap badge.
      I’ve attached a photo (unfortunately not a very good one) taken outside our office sometime in the late 70’s.
      Left to right:- Ken “Rawhide” Wilkins, Gary Chandler, Sam “Sailor” Johnson and me in the glasses.

      • In my day Ken if you did something wrong or was accused of any misdemeanour you were given a P18.
        We had a few PHGs who thought it was hilarious to threaten you with a P18. You had to fill the form in giving your reason for the wrong doing and were informed they would be forwarded to the Head Postmaster, but that wasn’t always true. It wasn’t unknown for postmen to be fined for lateness etc.
        It was a bit like the military. I can’t think what the 739 was, it may have been a redirection form

        • Hi Barry.
          Never filled in a P18 thankfully. The 739 was, I believe, a P739S and was for packets, recorded, registered etc. that we were unable to deliver. I’ll see if I can fight my way through the rubbish in the loft and find my dad’s old dust coat and get one out to copy and show you.

      • I have just recalled the 739. It was a sorry you were out form. You filled it in and put it through the door. The customer used it to retrieve their parcels, packets et. Which couldn’t be delivered because they were out.

        • Oops sorry Barry.
          I read your other comment about 739’s first and replied before I read this one.

          • Thank you for all your additions to the post Ken, pictures and snippets of knowledge, they all bring back fond memories.
            I have also seen the photos you posted from the collection that you found, very interesting.
            I wish I had some to add but folk didn’t seem to bother with pics in our neck of the woods.
            I have tried to remember the names of our staff but can only remember about 50%, but I will recapture as much as I can if I can find any of them alive. I was only a lad and they were all fairly old.
            regards Barry

          • Hi Barry. The interesting thing that has happened over the past couple of months regarding the glass negatives that I found. It appears that about twenty or so negatives were taken in Wakefield Prison in 1917. I always suspected that it was that prison, but it wasn’t until I started to research the date to the location that it turns out it was used during WW1 as a “Work Centre” for Conscientious objectors. It also appears that the photographer that took the photos (the chap from my walk in Clifden Rd) was also a Conscientious objector and was given the job of recording events at the “Work Centre”.
            I’ve now loaned the negs. to a lecturer from Leicester University who is writing a book about the prison at Wakefield during WW1.

        • That’s amazing news Ken, that they have such historical value.
          I can’t help thinking that the guy who owned the negatives probably couldn’t show them around years ago because of the stigma of being a “conchie” his family would have been shamed. What a difference the passing of time makes.

          • Barry. Do you remember an A.I by the name of Mr Hunter. He was a stickler for the rules, and was both feared by some and disliked by most. Strangely though, I got on very well with him.
            One day he was testing my driving times on a DPC run which covered areas outside of just the E5 area, when in Mare Street at the junction with Morning Lane a BR Scammel “Work Horse” complete with trailer had broken down in front of us. Me being me, I got a parcel bag full of empty bags out the back of the van and put it between us and the Scammel’s trailer and began to push start him with our van. Dear Mr Hunter was just sitting there and muttering under his breath “we shouldn’t be doing this, we shouldn’t be doing this”. He was ok after though and didn’t report me.

          • Cant remember the name Ken, I was gone by 1970, I became a postman at Aylesbury, got a new house with the job.
            We had a horrible AI called Mathews and one called Ernie ? cant recall the surname. One I did like named Vanbruggan, now he was a character, liked his drink. He would give you p18s for everything. Every Saturday after we got back from our 10s delivery we used to close the office and go in the pub across the road, and Vanbruggan would follow. After a few rounds he would start slurring and falling about. He then used to put his hands his pockets and pull out bundles of our completed P18s and tell us to burn them. I think he needed to be loved,lol.
            I remember delivering the football pools coupons, every two weeks I think it was. We would get loads of overtime doing them and even get extra for gas and electric bills. What great a union we had then. The poor devils today have to deliver everything even advertising rubbish for free.
            have a good weekend Ken, regards Barry

        • Hi Barry.
          I found my old postcard collection in the loft this week and amongst them was this photo of the Homerton SDO on Wick Road and thought you would like to see it. I’ve also added a 739 that I had in the pocket of an old beige GPO summer jacket that once belonged to my dad at E5 office and I used to wear it also.

          • Homerton Sorting Office in Wick Road.

  3. Diane you might be interested in looking at this post about cinemas in Hackney http://www.yeahhackney.com/hackney-history-cinemas/ there are links out to a fair few, including the Castle

    • Hi, Just caught sight of your photo of you lads on the Post Office. The guy who you are calling Sam “Sailor” Johnson looks so like my friend’s dad who worked as a postie in the 50’s and 60’s. His real name was George Johnson. Could it be the same guy? Diane

      • Hi Diane.
        Everyone in the office knew him as “Sailor” but now you mention it, I do believe his name was George. All these photos were taken of him on his last day at work before his retirement.

        • And more.

          • Last one. I do have others should you want any more Diane

  4. Had a look at this link. Very interesting, most of the cinemas were just as I remembered them. AND I’ve got the name of the Shoe shop – Weymouth Shoes. Phew.

    • Hi, Thanks for the link to these photos. It most definitely is George Johnson. He was our postman for many years in Overbury Street E5. I went to school with his daughter Carole, he also had a son Alan. I am in touch with Carole and next time I write to her – she doesn’t do e-mails – I will ask her if she would like me to send her copies. I suspect she will not be interested as her dad didn’t treat her very well and favoured her brother on many occasions, but I will ask her. Will be in touch again soon I hope. Diane

  5. @postie My uniform was all a bit polyester, navy trousers, light blue shirt and navy jumper. We did have regulation shoes, but no hat. This was in the 90s.

    • What office were you working at as a postie Emily?

      • Not in Hackney, or London. But I was a PHG while I was studying.

        I learnt to type on one of these:

        This is the high tech machine I learnt to type on

        This was my badge

        My old Royal Mail badge

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