Carrying on from last month’s extract from “One Hundred Years in Child Okeford”:
“ Further down the High Street, next to the Post Office, was the blacksmith Tom Woolfry, who not only shoe’d the horses but was skilled in putting the iron bands round the wagon wheels, to the admiration and delight of the small boys of the day. The wheels had only a short distance to come from across the road where Mr. Henry Hutchings, carpenter, wheelwright, builder and undertaker had his premises. Here the timber was stacked to mature, and here was the sawing pit for converting it into planks; here were the wheels and wagons made, and here the coffins for one’s end. All this has now gone, but it is commemorated in the name of the house built on the site which is called “Joiners”.
Near the entrance to the timber yard was a barber’s shop and further down the road, on the same side, towards Station Road, the first of a row of cottages was occupied by a Bessie Adams who had a shop in which she sold home-made dripping, faggots and peas. She also sold sweets and home-made ice-cream, for which one villager remembers fetching her the necessary milk. Her brother was for many years the landlord of the Union Arms, just round the corner in Station Road.
At the other end of the village along the Shaftesbury Road or Upper Street as it is sometimes known, was a grocer’s shop run by a Mr. Diffey, and also a boot and shoe maker named Hart who lived in what is now Cobblers Cottage. Opposite this was an ale house easily recognised by the sloping boards on to the road covering the openings where the barrels were lowered into the cellars.
The large house on the north side of Upper Street (now known as Bartley House) was once a coffee tavern before it became the Iwerne Minster and Childe Okeford Co-operative Society. This was started in 1883 and sold most household requirements such as groceries, drapery, etc. There were also two general stores in Gold Hill, one in Lilac Cottage which was also a bakery and from which the present owner remembers buying bread at 2d. a loaf (less than 1p), and one in Sheppards Cottage, an old house which has the date 1854 on a stone in the side wall.”