Memories of E Goodwin & Sons, funeral directors

These are a few recollections of life when I lived at my family’s business of E Goodwin & Sons, funeral directors of 222, Barton St.  My father was one of the sons, Tom Goodwin.

Many articles have been written in the Citizen newspaper concerning old Edward Goodwin’s life, but i will bring these notes up to a more recent time, my time!

One of my first memories is of my mother just about to take me shopping when we saw an enemy plane overhead with its bombs dropping down towards us, during the second World War.  My mother rushed us back into the building to shelter under the stairs & didn’t close the front door.  All the shops around us had their windows smashed from the blast & ours were not affected.  The bombs actually dropped in Derby Road & my father Tom, had been cleaning funeral vehicles.  Instead of being grateful that he was alive he was furious that the vehicles were covered with dust & shrapnel.

We had flower pots, that stood on graves, for sale in our windows & I used to get in the windows when I was 2-3 years old & sit on one of them keeping very still until someone walked past, when I would then move & frighten them to death.

Opposite our business was All Saints vicarage (a police station last time I saw it) where garden fetes were held & on the corner of Derby Road was Hurrans the florist.  You see, funerals, vicar and wreaths all very convenient to one another!

As the War progressed my father & his brother were “called-up” & the old folks had to return to run the business.

Now about other businesses in our part of Barton St, next door to us was Barthrams, a general store.  George barthram’s wife used to run the shop & George went out everyday, to the outskirts of Gloucester, with his horse & cart selling groceries, fruit and vegetables.  We all had a rear entrance, known as “the Doubles” off St James’ St, and George’s horse was stabled there.

Up nearer Millbrook St were Fowlers the grocers & wine merchants.  They used to deliver my mother’s grocery order every week on a bicycle.

Yarnolds, the hosier & outfitters, were also there, & in those days they would bring shoes, suits, etc to my father “on-approval” to try on at home.

I will now go back a few years before my time, as I have never heard anyone tell the tale of old Edward Goodwin tottering across Barton St with money dropping out of his pockets, from the India House (Public House) to the undertakers.  You see, the Goodwins also owned the India House from where they ran a boxing club.  Stan Goodwin, the other son, was a keen boxer.  I believe a wake table was sold from the India House a few years back.  I’m sure it must have been part of the undertakers once upon a time.

This completes Sally’s recollections, which we are grateful to receive.  Incidentally, you can see a 2011 photograph of the India House (prior to its demolition and replacement by a Sainsbury’s supermarket) here.  If you have any recollections of Goodwins or the other tradespeople that sally mentions, please add your memories below.

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