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32 Eltisley Avenue

An indispensable service to Newnham residents for 35 years

This corner has known a series of changing trades since the completion of the South side of Eltisley Avenue in 1907. By 1910, Mr A.E. Mason was trading at No.32 as a fruiterer and florist. A photograph of the early 1920s shows the word ‘British Wines’ written over the door, continuing with ‘British Foreign Fruit & Vegetables’ elegantly written in Gothic font, on each side of Mr Mason’s name above the shop window.

In 1927, a Mr A. Weekes acquired the business subsequently selling it to a Mr Woods in 1932, whose assistant undertook deliveries around Newnham on a motorscooter with a side car. Once local demand was met Woods acquired two vans and extended his deliveries to encompass Cambridge and the villages. In the late 1930s Mr James proprietor of the neighbouring No.31 died, and Woods acquired the premises but continued to run two separate businesses at Nos.31 and 32. He was still supplying The Bridge Hotel at Clayhithe near Waterbeach in 1966.

Upon retirement, Woods leased both premises, No.32 continuing as a greengrocery under a Mr E. Denton from 1969 to 1970, and thereafter under Mr W. Cooper (nicknamed as ‘Snowy’ on account of his shock of white hair or wig). In 1973 No.32 was further split into two units with the right-hand one becoming a clock mender, trading as Timecraft, where Mrs Jank’s is now located, Cooper’s carrying on in the left-hand corner unit, where the original Mason’s had been.

Mrs Jank took ownership of the former clock mender’s part of No.32 in 1982 to set up a dispensing chemist’s whilst Mr Cooper continued his greengrocery business on the corner. ‘Snowy’ Cooper ceased trading in 1996 and his part of the premises became residential. The presence of a vegetable shop added to the village atmosphere on this key corner and balanced the butcher’s premises diametically opposite on Grantchester Street. Mrs Jank continues to trade from her premises as a chemist’s.

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