Hartley's Ironmongers

Photo:Shopfront of Hartley's Ironmongers, Rochford Square

Shopfront of Hartley's Ironmongers, Rochford Square

Photo:Barrel full of ??

Barrel full of ??

Rochford Memories

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I lived in Hawkwell inthe 60’s. I loved going shopping in Rochford, you could almost feel the history in the old buildings. Sadly the days of the cattle market were long gone but many of the old shops remained.

One of the oldest was Hartley’s ironmongers. The tiny shop was crammed full of everything to do with ironmongery, the smell of paraffin, grain and carbolic soap. Old Mr. Hartley usually sat outside the shop on a rickety old chair, greeting everyone who passed. His son was usually available to do any odd jobs around the house.

There was great consternation when Mr Hartley decided to leave the shop. Planning permission to demolish it was refused but on one terrible Sunday, early in the morning when no one was about, the demolition took place, much to the horror of everyone who used the Square.

The library had been in Ship Lane, and later in Ashingdon Road, but a new one was built in the site of the demolished shops. This has now been replaced by a smart new building.

This page was added by Mave Sipple on 28/08/2012.
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Hartley's really was a gorgeous Aladdin's Cave crammed with bits with all sorts and Rochford was shocked when the old place was demolished that Sunday. I believe by the time the authorities stepped in to stop it's destruction it was too late. The structure was deemed unsafe by the time they stepped in. It was decided at that stage the demolition had to be completed. The day of destruction was carefully chosen as a day when getting hold of officials would be challenge. It proved to be sadly correct.

By Chris Jones
On 06/06/2014
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