[20] 1977 to 1987 working in Aladdin’s cave


Continuing my real life story 1977 onwards on our tomato nursery.
We had a very happy life at Ardleigh, attending St. John’s Anglican church in Colchester, but by 1980, profits in horticulture had started to fall, owing to the quantities of Dutch produce flooding the markets, so we decided to look for another business, perhaps in retailing.

Eventually the estate agent offered us a hardware shop in Lowestoft, Suffolk, and against the advice of both our accountant and bank manager, we bought it, as Roy could see the possibilities for growth there, and so we moved to the East coast in June 1981.

Addisons Hardware shop Lowestoft 1981 - real life story 1977 onwards.
Addisons Hardware shop Lowestoft 1981

Our customers used to call it an “Aladdin’s cave”, as we had such a diverse stock.
Angela Middleton used to serve in the shop in the mornings, so I was usually able to do housework, cooking etc., just occasionally being called in to help serve if we were extra busy, say on a Saturday morning.
For the first year we were there, Diane also served in the shop in the afternoons, but then sadly she became ill with ovarian cancer, and died quite quickly, so Roy and I worked together then by ourselves.
One or two of the customers were old fishermen, and they, and quite a few others, used to queue in the shop with their cans to be filled with paraffin.
The tap for this was in a little room off the shop, which also housed a paint mixer, (this was fun!).
As this used to take about ten minutes to do, and if the shop was un-manned, I wonder how many things we lost to shop-lifters?

Once Angela challenged a young man who she saw put a small can of paint under his jacket, and she made him give it back, but another time, a man walked out of the door with a large 2 and half litre can.
I ran after him and shouted, but of course he took no notice.

Roy and Christine outside Addisons Hardware shop, Lowestoft.
Roy and Christine outside Addisons Hardware shop, Lowestoft.

Roy also lent some tools to a man who said he needed to do a job at home, and when after a long while and they had not been returned, Roy went round to his house, but the man threatened him, so Roy sensibly left the scene!

Roy Reason with his brother Ted in 1983
Roy Reason with his brother Ted in 1983

Then in 1986, we began to look for a place to retire to, and as we found the most easterly part of Britain rather too cold and windy, we moved in 1987 to Newton Flotman, near Norwich.

Newton Flotman near Norwich.
Newton Flotman near Norwich.

In all the moves in our lives, we felt that the Lord was providing for us, and giving us an opportunity to be witnesses for Him.

I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.”

Job 19:25

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