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I remember John Barnes fondly. It was our family’s local shop and as a youngster in the 1950s and early 1960s we did all our shopping there. The food hall was brilliant especially the delicatessen where my mother would let my brother and me choose an item for our dinner every Friday.
My memory of Daniel Neal’s started in 1960 when I was sent to boarding school. We lived near Kensington Church Street and I was fitted for my upcoming boarding experience in Ken[sington]High Street! I remember a dozen handkerchiefs was on that uniform list. As luck would have it my boarding school wasn’t too far from Bournemouth so additional trips may have been taken there on those precious few opportunities when my parents would visit during those 12/13 week terms. Usually only once a term as driving over 100 miles in those days was arduous and time consuming. My parent later moved to near Cheltenham and Daniel Neal’s was once again there and visits were required. This time I recall vividly a shoe fitting, not unlike the one in Kensington, that required standing in a machine with a new pair of shoes on and gawping into a viewer that showed my foot and the shoe. “His feet will grow this term so he’ll need the next size up” , the assistant said. So what was I looking at all those years ago? An x -ray ? If so, I saw far too many x-rays every visit to Daniel Neal’s that it can’t have been good for me or anyone near me: the shop assistant or my late mother. Does anyone know what they were using when it came to shoe fitting – for children back in the early 1960’s?!!!
My sister and I attended St Anne’s College, Sanderstead, Surrey where our school uniform had to be purchased. I am trying to find any pictures of that uniform with no success so far.