Memories of Wymering’s mobile chip shop

A mobile fish and chip van that used to tour the streets of Wymering, Portsmouth
A mobile fish and chip van that used to tour the streets of Wymering, Portsmouth
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Regular contributor Eddy Amey has been casting his mind back to his formative years growing up at Wymering and the number of tradesmen who used to arrive in the street.

Whether they were street traders or those who went knocking from door to door, he says there were many more than today.

He recalls the Campions or Warnes bakery delivery van, ‘Jack’ from Charlotte Street who supplied vegetables from a horse and cart, Fraser and White’s coal deliveries, and the Pimco (Co-operative Society) delivering milk.

He says the milk was usually paid for with Pimco tokens which added to your the Co-op ‘divvy’.

Eddy, of St Michael’s Grove, Fareham, adds: ‘To the door would come the newspaper delivery boy, always loaded down because people habitually took more than one paper.

‘The postman would call and the occasional dreaded telegram boy, who sometimes brought bad news.

‘Other regulars were collectors like the rent man, the insurance man and the ‘Provvy’ man. He would be the agent for the Provident Clothing Company who would supply 20 shilling (£1) cheques to spend in its shops.

These would then be repaid at a shilling a week for 21 weeks.’

And he remembers another weekly visitor to one house in his road who you certainly would not come across today.

‘He was the agent from a local tobacco wholesaler who came to refill with loose cigarettes and empty the cash drawer of a wooden cigarette dispenser that stood on the kitchen table.

‘These machines vended loose cigarettes. When money was put in the slot, two Woodbines or Player’s Weights were deposited in a small pull-out drawer.’

And then there were the gas and electricity men who emptied the slot meters and the midwife ‘delivering, as we children understood it, babies from the wicker basket carried on the pannier rack’.

Eddy continues: ‘In the late 1940s a mobile fish and chip van appeared.

‘The fryers were heated by coke fires in the back.

‘What on earth would health and safety have made of that?’