E.J. & A.A. Gurney - 1963 - 1965

E.J. & A.A. Gurney - 1964c
Eric and Audrey Gurney
Stuart Gurney 1964c
Eric and Audrey Gurney
Audrey Gurney putting the awning up 1964c
Eric and Audrey Gurney
Eric Gurney - 1964c
Eric and Audrey Gurney
Audrey and Stuart Gurney 1964c
Eric and Audrey Gurney

10 August 1963 – 1965 Eric James and Audrey Anne (Pidgeon) Gurney – 5 Bygrave Road,  Ashwell.  (The shop was named:  E.J. & A.A. Gurney).  They had four children:  Linda, Stuart, Heather and Claire

Mrs Charlotte Pidgeon (mother of Audrey) and her daughter Marilyn Pidgeon (sister of Audrey) also lived with Eric and Audrey at Parade House.   Mrs Pidgeon looked after the children while Audrey worked in the shop.  During this period Marilyn married Rod Leete at St Mary’s Church, Ashwell

Susan Winters
Dorothy Meakin
Margaret Coote
*Brenda Fitzgerald (Waldock) (starting working in the shop in 1964 and continued under six different proprietors until 1990 – the shop was sometimes known as ‘Brenda’s shop’)
Elizabeth Meakin worked part-time
Margaret Sheldrick – Saturday girl

Opening hours:
Monday – Thursday              8.00 am – 6.00 pm
Friday                                    8.00 am – 9.00 pm
Saturday                                8.00 am – 1.00 pm
Sunday:                                 Closed
Bank Holidays:                      Closed

Having purchased the business Eric and Audrey set about making some changes increasing the turnover from £200 – £600 per week.  They introduced ‘dump’ bins and special offers and were reprimanded for using advertising boards outside the shop. 

They installed refrigeration and a cold room for the first time enabling them to stock more fresh items in hygienic conditions. 

They sold mainly grocery items but would acquire any hardware or household item requested by their customers.

They also sold paraffin; Eric had a Saturday delivery round.

Ray Moule, who was working for Dennis the butchers next door, taught Audrey how to bone Bacon.

However after approximately 18 months the business took a toll on their family life, they were not able to spend quality time with their four children, especially Stuart their son. They decided to sell the business.  in approximately January 1965 for £9,000 making them a profit of £3,000.  They briefly moved to Hinxworth.

It had always been Eric’s ambition to be a farmer.  Local farmer, Lol Pack, offered Eric the opportunity of taking on Home Farm, now known as Ashridge Farm, which Eric, Audrey and Stuart still own.  The land in Ashwell is being farmed by another local farmer on behalf of Eric, Audrey and Stuart.  Audrey and Eric are currently enjoying their retirement.

This document was researched and written by Jackie Embury with the help of:

Eric and Audrey Gurney
Brenda Fitzgerald



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