Comments about this page

Having read this excellent page by Terry I have been prompted to jot down a few lines of recollections about Albert and Jones Stores. 

Our family bakery business probably served Jones's as a wholesale customer before WW2 and my Dad Aubrey was a contemporary of Albert's and endured the same rigorous lifestyle as delivery boy for a family business over Canvey's rutted tracks as he did. In fact Dad used to tell me he remembered Albert down on the beach with a tray selling custard tarts, maybe I got it wrong and it was Dad selling tarts and Albert sold sweets and they actually were beach vending rivals. 

Although as a child I have some vague memories of accompanying my Dad on deliveries to Jones's my most precise recollections of Albert and the original shop start from 1961 when I joined the Bakery and took on the wholesale deliveries. One could not wish for a better customer than Albert as he nearly always increased any amount of products suggested for delivery by at least a quarter. 

When looking back at the Jones' Stores operation of those days it is unavoidable to draw an analogy between Albert's and that other famous emporium beginning with the same initial, Arkrights. It's true to say that a knock on the side door would bring Albert down to serve you after normal trading, he certainly was Open All Hours! Although comparisons are odious I can't help but carry on with this theme. 

Jones's Emporium was however probably three times bigger than the TV sitcom corner-shop and it's range and quantity of stock would have rendered poor old Arkright completely inarticulate with envy. The whole open front of the shop was the fruit and veg dept managed by a large gentleman (who I think was called Reg?). On entering the main store you were confronted with quite a large open floor area with free-standing sales displays, serving counters to the left and right and facing you at the rear of the shop was the provisions counter with a huge bacon-slicer and various refrigerators along the back wall.The shelves along the other walls were fully stacked with every imaginable tinned product. No self-service here! You got the personal attention of Albert and his staff.

Unfortunately only a few names come to mind; Mrs Thompson, Bett, Maud???? I'm gonna need some help here! Through the sliding door at the rear of the shop was the stock room the dimension of which I could not tell you as it's shelves were so heaving with stock and alleyways apparently impassable for the average size human-being it was impossible to see the walls. However if you should require a tin of 'chilli con carne' canned c 1951 Albert would be only to pleased to retrieve for you in a couple of minutes, if it wasn't in the stockroom it was probably under his bed upstairs.--------------- To be continued.

By Graham Stevens
On 24/01/2014

Albert Jones was almost always the last customer to squeeze through the door of the newly built Barclays on Saturday morning opening, after all the returning Ford employees. We would shut at 12 and wave goodbye to him at around 12.30 after he had paid in all his takings and collected all his change for the rest of the weekend. Goodness knows how he coped when Saturday opening was abandoned.

By Yvonne Creasy, nee Burgess
On 25/01/2014

What a memory about jone's corner.

I grew up in the 1960's living in north avenue.

Mr Jones was a fearsom man for me. This page has sparked so many memorys for me.

Embbeded in my mind is that blue overal coat he wore and of course the hat that he was forever tipping to his clients.

At the age of 12 he would sell me 5 park drive cigs and a book of matches. For your father he would say.

The women who worked for him still haunt me to this day. Beehive hair does and lipstick so red it stuck to their lower lip.

I now live in Cyprus but from time to time i return to place where i grew up. People may change and Canvey has changed but for me you just opened a pandoras box of memorys thankyou.

By chris culley
On 01/06/2014

'Chris Culley' , what an amazing coincidence. I happen to know the lady your talking about, she was a good friend of my mums, and our neighbour, and she to now lives in Cyprus. So watch out lol. 

By Samantha
On 02/09/2014

I remember being sent by my Mum to Jones Stores as a small child in the early 50's, before the floods, and being terrified of the 'big bear'. I would wait outside until someone else went in and then quickly follow them. It was good to see a photo of the bear on this page and its just as big and scary as I remember.

By Jennifer Thornton (nee Hickman)
On 12/01/2015

I think I remember you, was your mum a lively little lady who was friends with my aunt Alice Jarvis who lived in mayland avenue ?the lady I remember moved into a flat in Southend in later life. I can't remember her name . We took her to my aunts funeral some years ago.


By lin swanson nee jennings
On 16/01/2015

My sister Anne Johnson worked for Albert Jones in the early 1960's as a Saturday girl; she always spoke kindly of him..lovely to see this site.

By Janette Sheern ne Johnson
On 11/02/2015

I was a Saturday girl at Jones Stores from 1964 until 1966. I used to come straight from Saturday morning music classes in Rayleigh to Jones Stores in the afternoon. I was on the sweet counter and we served sweets by the 2oz. in little paper bags. I particularly remember the Cadbury's chocolate buttons which came in large oblong purple boxes. Mrs Hardy worked there at the same time I did, also a lady called Mrs de'Ath. We did have to collect supplies from the packed storeroom upstairs and sometimes from under Mr. Jones' bed. We used to have tea at break time in the little kitchen on the side of the shop. There was a boy named Ian who helped out on the fruit and veg stalls at the front and on dark wintry nights a storm lamp would hang from the awning. It was a good Saturday job and Albert Jones always paid the ten shillings that was the wage for the afternoon's work promptly.  Anne Beverley [nee Johnson]

By Anne Johnson
On 14/02/2015

I have really enjoyed reading this article and the comments that have been left. Albert Jones was my grandad so being able to read of what the store was like and people remembering him really is special for me and I have even shown this to my son and sat and told him all I can remember of him aswell. Thank you to everyone who has left a comment. 

By Carla Cunningham
On 30/08/2016

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