Monday, June 9, 2008

100 Years Old and Still Going Strong

Fred Hallam's greengrocery - now Fred Hallam Ltd - is a popular shop on Beeston High Road. Founded by the original Fred in 1908, its one of the oldest businesses on the road. So - this year it celebrates 100 years of trading and we certainly send them our congratulations !

To mark the occasion, Miles and Andrew Hallam, the fourth generation of the family, have set up a gallery of photographs and pictures in the shop, showing aspects of the shop over the years. The earliest, taken in 1922, shows the original Fred with his son John - then eleven years old - who took over from his father in the 1930s. He was succeeded by his son, Fred and now his sons, Miles and Andrew are in charge. The display can be seen in the shop for the rest of the year.

I am often asked if I am related to one Hallam or another and I usually have to say no. Those who are unfamiliar with the area don't realise just how many with that name live in the Nottingham, Derbyshire, and South Yorkshire area in particular !

However - in this case I can say yes ! The original Fred was my father's half-uncle (my great-grandfather married twice). Interestingly, both my father - Albert Hallam, age 2 - and Fred, age 12, can be found on the 1901 census, living together with my grandparents, Charles & Sarah, on Queens Road, Beeston. This was a time when my grandfather appears to have operated my Great-grandfather John's greengrocery business there. There had been a long tradition of fruit, vegetable and - particularly - fish trading in the family and, for a while, Charles seems to have taken over. It didn't last long as he was to return to his job at Beeston Foundry - but, family tradition has it that Fred was then given 10 shillings to start out in the world, he hired a barrow for 6 pence, filled it with fruit and veg and the rest is history !

Whether or not the story is true, Fred's original efforts have certainly "borne fruit". Its a remarkable achievement - long may it continue !