Grocer's shop.

Name unknown at present as author cannot ever remember visiting it!

Childrens outfitters shop

Survived as such for many years and is still one now.


Greengrocer. Final location for the greengrocer who had occupied two previous locations in Cranham centre?

Family butcher

Eventually one of three in the centre of Cranham.


Chemists (drug store), the one and only in Cranham centre but valued when it appeared as it saved a trip by foot or bus into Upminster, especially a drudge just to collect a prescription from the doctors.


Bakers. The first to appear in Cranham, eventually one of two.


Public house. Arguably the dominant 'centre' of Cranham. The Plough was originally located about 500 yards further up Moor Lane, almost opposite Lawrences fish and chip shop. It was demolished in 1957 (during the most prolific building time in Cranham) to make way for housing and its location marked by the name of the road on its old site (Plough Rise). The replacement pub was built on the current site in 1958, consisting of three bars (Saloon, ? and public) plus a shop for off sales of beers and spirits and a reasonable sized car park.


Fairly self explanatory - a small builders merchant and hardware store. This moved a few units south in the late 1960's to take over Wards greengrocers premises (who themselves moved for a third time to the block of shops to the north of Ingrebourne Gardens). The vacated unit was taken over by Waitrose supermarket next door to enlarge their premises.


supermarket. The one and only supermarket in Cranham. It occupied a double unit of shops, eventually taking over a third when it replaced Billericay building supplies at the end of the row. As has been the case in many towns elsewhere, it spelt the demise of the two family grocers shops elsewhere in the centre of Cranham (Willan's and ?)


Solicitors. The author believes this was a shared unit with the dry cleaners next door. It disappeared in the late 1960's when the latter expanded to a full unit.

Dry cleaners

Dry cleaners. The author believes this started off as a shared unit with the solicitors next door. It expanded into a full unit in the late 60's by taking over the solicitors and became part of the Sketchley chain.


An electrical store selling consumer white goods, TV's radios etc.


The greengrocers. The second of three sites occupied by this trader in the centre of Cranham.


A confectioners and tobacconist. Eventually (mid 1960's) this shop hosted Cranham's first sub-post office. This was a valued addition to the facilities in the village as it saved a trip to the main post office in Upminster.


The terminating stop for the number 248. The history of this service is described elsewhere. At this point all passengers would alight before the bus turned around in the space at the Moor Lane/Front Lane junction before the short return trip to Upminster.


The starting point for the journey into Upminster on the 248 bus. (A more detailed description is given elsewhere.)


Estate agent. Also the local branch of the Woolwich Equitable Building Society. In 1997: Creases Dry Cleaning.


The full name is the Co-operative Wholesale society. This was a grocers shop with a difference. This was like a small supermarket in concept on the surface but was a mutually owned company. Rather like the building societies, the shoppers actually 'owned' the business. After the sales assistant had totted up the goods, she would ask for the 'dividend' (or 'divi') number. Shoppers would periodically receive a rebate according to the amount they had spent in the shop. The system was also a forerunner to the now widespread 'reward' systems now operated by the major supermarket chains.

One of the consequences of this system is that the author can still remember his mother's 'divi' number, probably because of the number of times it was recited during his formative years!

In 1997: Cranham Furnishings, and has been so for quite a few years.


The cobbler's shop. Leather goods and shoe repairs, although new shoes were not sold. Remained as a shoe repair shop to this day (1997) although now known as "EMS Shoe Repairs".


One of two in Cranham by this stage. The shop unit was actually split into two with the shop in the left hand side and the right hand side having just a large display window which usually contained a large wedding cake or two. Still remains as "Prestons Bakers" in 1997.


Wavy Line was a franchise name for a chain of small independant grocers. It changed franchise a number of times in its life, including being a 'Spar' shop (the modern equivalent). It had a cold meats counter selling such delicacies as 'jellied veal' (now very difficult to find in the UK).

In 1997: C&D Interiors and Carpets.


The 'sweet shop' or confectioners/tobacconist/newsagent, one of three in Cranham at this time. This too has changed hands a number of times since.

In 1997: "Travelworld" travel agent.

Green grocers

One of three in Cranham at this time. Was a cycle shop "Cyclo Bikes" until recently but had closed by 1997.


Fish and chip shop. Proprietors: Ken and June Veni. Also sold fresh fish. Long queues were often seen on a Friday night (for some reason, the most popular night for this uniquely British 'take away') alongside the 'Frying tonight' board on the pavement outside. They only recently retired and the shop remains as a fish and chip shop in 1997, albeit now one of the "Kingfisher" chain.


One of three eventually in Cranham. It was a family butcher originally, eventually becoming part of the 'Dewhurts' chain. It recently closed to become a discount tobacconist/newsagent "Fags and Mags" to leave central Cranham in 1997 without a butchers shop at all.

Ladies outfitters

Known as the 'wool shop' as it sold a wide range of loose wool for home knitters.

In 1997: "Cranham Bath and Tiles".


Hairdressers. This was a split shop. Half the frontage, but only a quarter of the shop floor area, was a traditional men's barber shop. (Remember, this is before the age of 'unisex' hairdressers! There were two barbers in residence. George was particularly 'feared' by Cranham youngsters as his favoured style for young boys was brutally short! The remaining shop area was devoted to the ladies hairdressers. Still remains as a hairdressers shop to this day (1997) as "Broadway Barber Shop".


This was originally, and remains to this day in 1997, a pet shop. It was a favoured stopping off point for children on their way home from school to go in and look at the animals the shop had in stock.


Cranham's first launderette was somewhat of a novelty when it arrived. The original machines were Bendix units which had such a poor quality of spin that the washing came out literally dripping and so heavy that wheeled trollies were provided to move the wet laundry to dedicated spin driers. It was regarded as a school holiday treat to take some laundry to the launderette! One popular (innocent) schoolboy prank was to run around the back of the shop through the outlet from the tumble driers whilst they were emitting great clouds of steam. With most homes now having their own automatic washing machines, the launderette is no more. The shop unit is now a autoparts business.


The off license shop. Off license spirits and beers could be purchased at The Plough. There was some opposition from the pub (understandably) when the Davisons applied for their license, however, it was insufficient to prevent the new premises opening. It started, and remained for some time a privately owned business. However, the popularity of off license shops grew and big national chains grew too. The shop was eventually taken over by one of these.


A quality mens outfitters.


The first, and to date, the only one in Cranham. It has remained as such for over 30 years.


The ground floor entrance to the Social Centre.


The Social Centre, on the first floor of the block. This actually extended over the shops but is shown as it is in the diagram for clarity. The centre provided a valuable amenity for Cranham and often hosts wedding receptions on Saturdays.


Initially this was a small restaurant. It seemed strange at the time in being too smart for a cafe but not smart enough for an evening restaurant (and it was not open in any case.) It did not last long, and in between then and now has been amongst other things, a Wimpey restaurant. (We would welcome any further information!)


One of three eventually in Cranham.


We currently have few details of this. Was it the re-located Bradburys?