There were petrol pumps at the front and a bakery at the back.
Len Loates was sent up the road to Clark’s shop and in the short time it’d taken him to get there, he’d forgotten what to ask for. He went home and his exasperated mother sent his brother Fred instead. The errand was to ask for ‘Reckitts Blue’ – it kept linen white but also helped bee and wasp stings so most children in Weston had blue spots.
In the summer of 1928 Len accompanied his brother-in-law, Bert Heath, who worked for Dan Clark who had a bakery at the back of the shop. He delivered bread on a horse-drawn van. The route was down Mill Hill, right at the school then onto Brinkley, Burrough Green & Westley Waterless, & all houses in between. Stinger the horse knew all the stops, but one day as he pulled up at a house was gently chided by Bert “yew know we don’t stop here on a Wednesday”. When the rounds were done, Stinger instinctively turned & broke into a trot, turning off at Willingham Green, down a track, cross the River Stour, via Clamps Lane and Horseshoes Lane all the way back to the bakery.
Owen Balls remembers: “I started in the forties as a van boy…a one ton Ford PV15 with a brass poker for a gear stick, getting up orders in the shop the days I didn’t go out…on Fridays I had to start the big oil engine and grind the barley we brought home from customers for cattle food for which we charged 2 shillings a bag. Then also on Friday another engine which generated electricity for the lights (in batteries) or accumulators and also pumping water to a tank near the roof for use in the bakery etc. A wild dash to kick the belt off the pump when the tank was full! I ended up as Master Baker bread and confectionery, I worked there for 20 years. “
After Dan Clark Phyllis Farrant took on the shop, and then Ivy Dene.
Clark’s wartime food license, 1942: