The Twickenham Museum
Exhibitions : People at Work

A Twickenham time-capsule
The items displayed form only a tiny part of the contents of a Twickenham shop that lay undisturbed for decades:

ARP & HG badges

The items displayed form only a tiny part of the contents of a Twickenham shop that lay undisturbed for decades: a veritable time-capsule. Sewell’s Stores, Groceries & Provisions, was at 83 Lion Road, Twickenham. The shop closed in 1969 and the contents lay undisturbed for about 25 years until they were kindly donated to The Twickenham Museum by Mrs Bates and Mrs Howe, daughters of Mr Sewell. Mr Sewell had originally acquired the shop in 1925 and some stock from that time remained, as he had stored it in the attic when he took over the business.

The price labels are all in shillings and pence as they are prior to decimalisation in 1971. The books, packets, bottles and tins all still contain their original contents.

Mr Sewell was also a street fire party leader during the Second World War (1939-1945). Once again all the relevant forms, paperwork, and instructions were preserved on his premises, which enables us to see them today. These wartime items include identity cards, arm bands for “Fire Guard” use and even the whistle used to attract attention. In a unique survival, even the “Fire Party” rota for the area of Grove Avenue, Albert Road and Staten Gardens (for March 1945) was preserved and is displayed.
Altogether this material gives us a unique window into aspects of the life of a Twickenham shopkeeper and local people before, during and after the Second World War.

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