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History of Ash and Ridley from Earliest Records to 1957
Compiled by Dorothy G. Meager on behalf of Ash and Ridley Women's Institute           Page 63

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Shops, Trades & Crafts
Butchers Shops  About 80 years ago the cottage in Ash Street now know as "Marazion" was a butchers shop kept by William Russell. In the year 1891 he built the premises called "Ashlands" with a much larger shop and a big slaughterhouse at the back. John Rogers (see old families) served his apprenticeship with William Russell, starting at the age of 12 years. His butchers round was done on horseback resting the loaded basket on one knee. Mr Holmes followed William Russell and carried on at "Ashlands" for 21 years. Then John Rogers took over the business and ran it for about 20 years. Soon after John Rogers sold the property and it was converted into a private residence and is now occupied by the Manager of "Ashlands Fruit Farm".

   Many years ago a pork butchers shop was kept by Frederick Oliver at West Yoke almost opposite "Olivers Farm".

General Shops
   After William Russell left the original butchers shop and it was turned into a general shop and was run by Miss Pryer until August 1918 when Mr & Mrs Whiffin and their family moved in.

Mr Whiffin outside Whiffin Stores

 Owing to her husbandís ill health Mrs Whiffin ran the general store and also took the position of Postmistress. 

At the outbreak of the Second World War, when rationing started, Mrs Whiffin decided to sell out stock and give all her attention to the Post Office work. She retired to one of the Almshouses at North Ash in 1952.

   The general shop at West Yoke was run by Henry Oliver for many years, he died in 1929 at the age of 90. It was then empty for a short time. Afterwards it became a private dwelling. About 26 years ago it was re-opened as a general shop by Mrs Lawson (now Mrs Wright?), in whose hands it still remains.

Ash Post Office

   The little shop in Ash Street, which is now a General Shop & Post Office, has quite a varied history. There seems to be no records prior to 1871 when we learn that it became a private school for boys. Then it became a cycle repair shop and the shed at the side was used as a mortuary for parishioners who had died in the institution then known as the "Workhouse" and awaited burial in Ash Churchyard. It was then closed for some time and the next we learn that the Village boys used it as a Club House. At one period, about 50 years ago a harness maker rented the room behind the shop for one day a week. Next it was opened as a greengrocers shop by the late Mr Debenham (Sexton at Ash Church) and his son did deliveries around the Parish. Again it was closed for a time, then the late Mr & Mrs Hurley opened it as a tea shop, which for a time did very well. Mrs Hurley then rented (the bungalow) "Netherfield" next to the shop and teas were served in there and the shop was stocked as a general shop. On her retirement it changed hands twice as a general shop. It is now both general shop and Post Office and is run by Mrs Barlow.

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