The Last of the Summer Wine
Every circle closes and on Saturday, April 28th, 2007 Lizzie Ann closed the doors on the shop for the last time having been involved in its running for more than 76 years.
Lizzie Ann and husband Tom
The shop at close of business
The shop was here but now used as a shed & soon to be demolished for a house.
As it was in 1936. Notice the wooden pump – there used to be a cup and
and chain attached for people to get a drink.
The granite pillars were positioned to prevent vehicles driving
over the well cover….
…and inset is Lizzie Ann with her sister May. The shop belonged to her mother
and named as Tobins Shop.
This is an account by Lizzie Ann in her own words.
My mother, Jane Tobin, opened a shop in the old house, the other side of our gate, in 1927 – 80 years ago. She used to make her own ice cream and sell it in the shop. The ice was collected from the train in Tullow. The Lecky family came to buy it when they were having parties. She also sold milk by the jug full or can full to all the neighbours and also made churned butter to sell in the shop.
I took over running the shop when my mother was no longer able to run it and have been involved in it for about 76 years now. In 1960 the current shop was built by Tom and his brother Paddy alongside our house and business continued to grow.
Friday was the main shopping day and Friday nights were very busy. Saturday was also a busy day. We sold everything in the shop from groceries, sweets, light hardware, paint, gas cookers & heaters, paraffin oil, coal, bruquettes and snuff.
It was a good business until the supermarkets took over. Gradually over the last ten years business has gone downhill. Everyone has transport and can travel to town to shop. The days of the small shop are over now.
We worked long hours from 8.30 am to 11.30 pm, during the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. During the 90’s we closed at 9pm six days a week. On Sundays we would close at 8pm
Running the shop was a 24 hour business. Even after closing for the night I had to clean up and wash the slicers and fridges. Accounts had to be balanced and orders for the next day prepared. We gave credit to most customers and had to total their accounts weekly.
It was a very demanding occupation with little or no spare time for myself or my family. I was often the listening ear for people’s problems as well as selling groceries.
It was very much giving a service to the public and a listening ear when they wanted to get something off their mind, or ask my opinion on something.
Overall I enjoyed the shop life when I was young enough to cope with the hectic lifestyle. But as the years caught up with me it became more difficult.
Lizzie Ann and Tom would like to thank the community for their friendship and custom over the years.