A GLIMPSE OF THE PAST SILL WITH US TODAY
At 83, shopkeeper Barbara is battling on
WHEN you walk through the doors of W. D. Rattue's cycle and toy shop in Clowne you could be forgiven for thinking you had stepped into a timewarp.
|The North Road shop was opened nearly
80 years ago by the late Walter Douglas Rattue and is still very much in
its 1920s splendour.
Clowne has changed almost beyond recognition during that time and like so many other places has seen small local businesses go to the wall as giant supermarkets have sprung up. But time has stood still at this little shop.
"I have tried to keep it in its original condition as much as possible but some things, such as some of the windows have had to be replaced," said 83-year-old owner and shopkeeper Barbara Rattue.
"People love coming into the shop and I get a lot of people who just come in to see what it looks like."
The shop still has all its original wooden beams, counters and shelves, and the till is the same one as was used when the shop first opened.
Barbara was born in Sheffield, brought up in Creswell, and met her husband through the church at Creswell.
After their marriage she moved to Clowne but didn't become fully involved in running of the shop until shortly before her husband's death in 1981.
"Walter was one of those men who didn't believe that women should work," said Barbara.
"I would sometimes sweep the floor and occasionally I would help out in the shop if he had to go out on business or something."
The shop originally sold bikes and spares and carried out repairs, but since Mr Rattue's death it now only sells bike spares as well as toys.
For the last 24 years, Barbara
has continued to run the store, and despite her advanced years says she plans to carry on for many more years yet.
"Although business is a lot slower these days I still really love working in this shop."
"I really enjoy meeting people and talking to people, and having the shop allows me to do this."
"Just this morning an elderly customer came in and said he remembers his father bought him his first bicycle from this very shop. That makes me feel very proud."
"One of the reasons I have carried on running this shop the way it was is as a tribute to my husband who put most of his life into the business."
Barbara says she will continue to fight any temptation to move with the times and modernise the shop.
"I like the shop just how it is. The customers like it, and it is how I feel a shop should be."
"Since the new Tesco opened across the road the business has suffered a bit but while I'm still enjoying it I'll keep doing it."
"After I am gone I would like to see the interior of the shop go into a museum if at all possible, and not just thrown on a bonfire."
25 November 2005
|Article courtesy of Stephen Rattue & guardian news papers.|
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Rattues Shop pictures through the years