Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Denny Abbey And The Farmland Museum (2)

In the last post we looked at The World Of Work, now lets explore the shops and cottages of the 1940s.

The Village Shop

To be really like the old-time village shops I recall as a boy in the 1950s
 this one needs to be more cluttered and untidy.
 And I'm too young to remember Sparky's shop
 which was an earlier version of our village emporium.
 I was told by my father that Mr Sparks kept his paraffin (kerosene) tank in amongst the groceries and frequently had to climb over sacks and boxes to find the item he was looking for!

No health warnings on these beauties! 

Every town and many villages would have a brewery.

I spy with my little eye...something beginning with O.
Yes, Owbridge's Lung Tonic which was advertised to cure
“all affections of the chest, throat and lungs”.
Asthma? Pneumonia? Lung cancer?????  Really?
Advertising standards were not so strict in those days.

The Farmworker's Cottage

Standing right in among the farm buildings is what is described as 
"a farmworker's cottage".
If it was then it's rather larger than many but 
architecturally very much in the Fenland style,
quite plain with very little overhang of the eaves.
Perhaps a farm manager's or farm foreman's dwelling.

The parlour.

The living room / kitchen.

Upstairs in the main bedroom.

And the back garden, though vegetables would be more likely than flowers.

A family was also visiting the house while I was there and
the children appeared to be charmed by this house from a bygone era.
But I don't think they'd spotted that there was no TV
and certainly hadn't noticed the, erm, "facilities"
which were of the "bucket and chuck it" variety.

Take care.


  1. Wow these two posts are so interesting, but I have to say I love the domestic side of things best.

  2. Read this and the last post with interest. Sadly, I can remember untidy general stores that look a little similar to the one in your picture. Odd how things seemed to change so quickly and dramatically from the '70s onward? Lovely photographs, as usual.

  3. It was pleasant to walk through the rooms via photos. It appears that the rooms were kept nicely within the period. I think the visiting children should be invited to stay the night, then they would really understand how folks lived in the past. -- barbara

  4. It was such a simpler life but modern appliances have made us lazy and fill our homes with so much technology and 'stuff'. I love looking at places like this for the nostalgia, however I can remember my mum and my grandma's with their different housework days. Not much obesity back then, I wonder why?? Great posts on this place. Take care.

  5. most interesting, and charming too John - my eyes went to the lovely ginger beer bottles of yesteryear, and the pottery/ceramic in the box right-hand side of bedroom - was it a foot-warmer maybe? Carole, at snaphappyonline.blogspot.com

  6. No doubt you may have noticed how sometimes I am bit bothered in my posts by these recreated scenes and think while I am there gazing at it all - "was it really like this, or do they just imagine it this way". But I think you touched on what factor stirs up this disbelief in me - it is all just too tidy! They need some clutter, dust, cobwebs and a little disarray in their settings then I am on board with it 100%. I have seen some museum workshops where it looked like the owner just walked away and never came back. Very realistic looking. Nevertheless, I still enjoy them just as I do yours here.

  7. I must have missed a few recent posts; these are really interesting. My grandparents ran a general store, and yes it was a lot more cluttered than that one!

  8. I must admit I'm often charmed by the thought of days gone by until I remember the, erm 'fascilities' John :) wouldn't miss the telly though.

  9. Tried to live simply in my first years in the country--back to basics, etc--made everything from scratch, warmed the house with wood, grew all my own veggies, kept chickens, sheep, cows--preserved food, etc, etc---it was exhausting!!--and my grown children don't remember it fondly. It seems they would have preferred packaged food and city lights. sigh--

  10. I really liked these recreated scenes and wish I could travel back in time and see them for real. Lovely photos as always! - Tasha xxx

  11. I love seeing places like this. It truly was a more innocent time.

  12. Great photos and post. I love all this old stuff. The emporium shots are great!!

  13. I love these old places you share with us John. Marvelous pics!

  14. Um...so that's a museum? It looks rather like where I live now!

  15. You're right. It does look a bit too neat to be a real store.

  16. Thanks for all the comments. I think the store is just lacking in enough suitable merchandise; maybe it will become more realistic as the museum collects more items.

  17. Jim and I enjoy living history museums--you've called to mind the small town 'general stores' of my rural childhood.


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