Premises Harden Road
Biography > Hills Electrical > Premises
These are the premises on Harden Road that my father bought in 1969. It was owned and run by HF Marshall who were a little local company. Frank Marshall wanted to retire and so it was a deal the was good for everyone.
Within the premises there was a shop front and behind that some offices and then upstairs was a store room. I first went there when I had a cold and was feeling awful. I wandered around and then went upstairs. The racks were full of boxes all of which had a photograph of a toy helicopter on it. I thought I was in some kind of wonderland with all these toy helicopters. But it turned out that in those boxes were screws, fuses, cable and all sorts of boring electrical things.
As time went on I was asked to serve in the shop on Saturdays I guess I did it from the age of about 15 until we decided to close the shop. I’d spend all day on a Saturday hanging around reading magazines or doing homework until in the rare event a customer walked through the door.
The only thing I can actually remember ever selling were electric fire elements. We had boxes full of them and a guy would come in with a fire elements that was burned out and you’d spend half an hour rooting around trying to find another fire element.
Quite often on a Saturday I might take £3.00 and sometimes it was even less than that. It does seem bizarre looking back that the age of 14 or 15 I was left in charge of a shop on my own. It also seems bizarre but I never thought of asking for any payment and was never offered any payment.
At the rear of the premises there was an area covered by an asbestos roof with the sink well you could make tea. One day my father claimed that he was there making a cup of tea when the streak of lightning flashed through the roof, struck him and bounced off onto the tap.
The shop was clearly a liability and a waste of time and a waste of space. We never sold any of the appliances like kettles, irons or the one vacuum cleaner which took pride of place in the window display that you can see in the picture.
At the rear of the shop was the equivalent of a garden area in which was a huge shed. They had three vans and these three vans are parked every night within the shed. We used to have bonfires in the rear area to get rid of cardboard and the like. One day I was a bit too enthusiastic with the fire and I set fire to the cars in the next door scrap yard. Fortunately it wasn’t very bad, but the people next door weren’t very happy to have their scrap cars set on fire.