Terry Brown – from Sussex, England – emailed to ask if anyone remembers Whittle’s hardware store. Terry worked at this shop run by Mr Whittle and his son and really enjoyed his time there.
I do remember Whittle’s Hardware shop on the west side of Spit Road almost opposite Kings Theatre. The sales counter was on the left hand side. All the aisles were crowded with goods from floor to ceiling and if other people were in the shop, one had to slide past them sideways.
I remember coming into the shop about 1960 with a broken window casement stay from 1939, looking for a replacement. John Whittle thought for a second and then went straight to a box on a shelf just behind the main shop and pulled out a matching stay.
I remember the Whittles very well. By coincindence when I returned to Australia after living overseas for 7 years we rented a semi on Cabramatta Road. The Whittles lived behind us. He was still working in his shop (this was around the late 1970’s). In the eveninng he would entertain his children and then grandchildren on the piano singing with real gusto anything that come to his mind. The signature song of “Micky Mouse” rings a bell.
When I was about 13 years old I used to help out in the hardware store and I also did local deliveries. One time I was to deliver 3 cans of paint to a house on Spit Road. I dropped one on the way there. Claude Whittle was not very happy with me and I was made to take some old rags and clean up the mess. Needless to say I was a little more careful from then on. My memories of Mr Whittle was that he was a pretty good guy.