The 'Top' Shop

Joan Morley, former shop assistant

Joan describes the shop layout in the 1940s

Photo:Huddlestone's Shop aound 1960

Huddlestone's Shop aound 1960


By Sue Miller

No.3 Town Green Road was, until 1984, a general store, known in its last years as The Top Shop to distinguish it from Miller's Stores further down the road.  

The original shop was destroyed by fire in 1896

The shop was built sometime between 1896 and 1900  to replace an older building in which Thomas Russell had traded as a grocer at least as far back as 1862 when Orwell's first Post Office was set up there. Russell's shop was completely destroyed by fire in 1896, but its timber framed outbuildings survive to the present day.


The Huddlestone family’s ‘County Stores’

The Huddlestone family were trading in the newly built shop by 1900, describing themselves as 'grocers, drapers, outfitters and hardware suppliers'. Furniture and hardware were displayed and stored in the building now occupied by Hair Waves, and in the main shop there were separate counters for each type of goods sold. 

The Huddlestones called their business the County Stores and acquired one of the earliest telephones in the district, Arrington 23.

In 1984 the shop was bought and closed by Mr Poole, the proprietor of Miller's Stores, and resold for residential use only.



This page was added by Sue Miller on 11/09/2012.
Comments about this page

My abiding memory of Huddlestones shop is the 'smell'. The mixture of grains, fruit, bread, etc. and, of course the bacon! was wonderful and I can still remember it to this day - some 50 years later. I always volunteered to 'run up to the shop', when staying at my grandparents at 13 Town Green Road, to buy the bacon. Unsmoked for me and smoked for my brother Russell.

Contributed by Duncan Reeve; Son of Chester and Joyce Reeve (nee Carbonell) Grandson of William and Cassie Carbonell (nee Orriss) (02/04/2013)

By Duncan Reeve
On 02/04/2013

I remember the shop as being "Vintcents" or "Vinsons" when my grandparents owned 4 High St in the 60s. As a kid, I used to be sent round to the shop to buy my grandads toffee and cigarettes!

You're right. It was Vinson's Stores all through the 1970s, and possibly the late 1960s.

By Steve Gore-Smith
On 23/09/2013

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