CHARACTERS in HICKLING:
Photo from family collection
The “intriguing” brass tortoise - press play to see it in action!
Holly Cottage, dating from the mid eighteenth century stands in the triangle at the end of Town Street. At the north side of this house was a village shop. Later it was run by Millie Boulter, then Mr Woodhouse and finally by Bill Hayes and his wife. The shop closed finally when Bill Hayes retired at the same time that VAT was introduced on January 1st 1973.
Frances Fox (pictured left and more about her here) originally ran this shop then passed it over to her daughter Millie Boulter possibly not long before Frances died in 1952. It is also possible that the original 'shop' was in fact run from the front room of the main house and that a purpose built extension was built in 1950.
Not just a sweetshop, Mrs Fox sold “absolutely everything” in her little shop. Frances herself was also a seamstress and made clothes to order for customers in the village. She certainly sold haberdashery items, such as ribbons and braids, which were passed onto my mother when the shop was sold. It is likely she also sold local produce due to the agricultural nature of the village pre 1950's.