A Diverse Community
- Subject: Oral History
From a Welsh shop and The Portland Arms in Woodside to the modern Polish shops in the High Street and their huge range of sausages.
In this audio you can hear Anonymous and Mary.
The audio is 2 minutes and 40 seconds long.
But the one I immediately remember was run by a Welsh husband and wife. And I think the Welshness has stayed with me just because I probably hadn’t ever met a Welsh person before [laughs] before I met them, and they ran the most wonderful sort of…clothes shop.
There’s a double…a double unit on the corner of Dundee Road, I think, and I just remember them being wonderful people.
The other place I remember wasn’t exactly a shop. It was just between what was the Prince of Denmark and is now The Portland Arms. And it was just a wonderful greengrocers with the open market stalls, type things and they had the surname of what I now know would be called Laban, we used to call them the Laban’s, “go down to Laban’s and get a few pounds of potatoes” or whatever. And I’ve often wondered since I’ve came across the “Laban” centre for dance and whatever else, whether they were Hungarian immigrants from before the war or…
I just like names and like to wonder where they came from.
We went into one of the Polish shops. That was just a huge hit, people went back. And in the Polish shops you have huge display cases of sausages, but if you don’t know what they are it can be a bit daunting. At least that’s what I… the feedback I got. So the shop owner explained it all to us – what’s what, and how you cook it, and which ones you need to cook, and which ones you don’t. And people went back then and really some of them started using that shop very regularly.
South Norwood High Street Stories is funded by Historic England’s High Streets Heritage Action Zone programme delivered by Croydon Council. For more information visit www.croydon.gov.uk/
Image credit: Croydon Council
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