75 Years Ago Today
… and an Apology
75 years ago, my Grandparents moved their family from a modern, comfortable house in Tweedmouth into a draughty, leaky, ill-repaired building with an outside WC.
75 years ago, my Grandfather left a secure job with the Co-op and opened a very small shop in Walkergate, Berwick-upon-Tweed.
The shop grew, taking in next door, house at the rear, yard (including the outside WC) and up into the first floor and attic.
HB Longbone & Son grew to include other ventures but, at its core, the shop in Walkergate remained. The building has now been re-roofed, re-windowed, repaired and renovated to preserve it for the future.
Three generations of my family have tackled the difficulties and problems thrown at them: no clothing coupons to buy stock, shortages of available stock, chaotic times in the 70s, near hyper-inflation in the 80s, recessions, and now a pandemic.
The retail world has changed. HB Longbone & Son now operates as a soft furnishing business, selling carpets, curtains, blinds, bed linens and household gifts. HB Longbone & Son is now one of Berwick’s larger internet businesses and continues to evolve.
At its core, we are still here to service the needs and requirements of the people of Berwick and surrounding area. To do this, we carry extensive stock; indeed, we find ourselves as probably the largest stockist of curtains for 6,ooo square miles.
Over 75 years, we have carpeted hundreds of cottages and several castles; curtained countless homes and many hotels; floored flats and function rooms; exported prams to Sweden, curtains to New Zealand and carpet to Switzerland (and many other places). Our emphasis remains on the people of Berwick and the surrounding area.
We post this not to boast but rather to say:
To our customers, who have supported us and who I hope will continue to do so.
To all present and past members of staff for their efforts and assistance.
To my Grandparents and Parents for their foresight, hard work, sacrifice, bravery and guidance in establishing and developing HB Longbone & Son.
We had hoped to mark this Anniversary with a MEGA-SALE.
In a COVID world, it would be irresponsible to reopen (12 April 2021) and encourage lots of people to congregate in the shop. That idea has been shelved.
To mitigate this, and to say THANK YOU, we will hold a number of anniversary promotions during the year. Watch our windows, social media, etc, for news.
Thank you all again.
Bryon & Allison Longbone
- Shop still with two entrances and the passage to the yard on the right.
- Early 1950s (left hand side of shop).
- I think this is 1953 (left hand side of the shop) – matching number 4.
- I think this is 1953 with a Coronation window display (right hand side of the shop).
- Probably late 50s/early 60s, now with one, central doorway.
- Present day.