Jack Harris Shop
In 1940, Jack Harris opened a general store in part of what is now 39, Top Road, Griffydam. We assume Jack lived in the other part. This was originally two properties.
Jack was a well known character in the locality, frequently leaving a ‘back in five minutes’ sign on the shop door. Often, the five minutes turned into hours. A half crown was glued to the shop counter to see how many customers would attempt to pick it up. His resident parrot was also famous for its wolf whistles.
Locals relate the story that Jack had a valuable gold watch with the inscription Sergeant Horace Hoult engraved on the back which he left to one of the people who used to look after his shop when he was away. Through this, it seems he became formerly known locally as Horace Hoult, and rumours circulated the village that he may have been some kind of spy in his past life.
Jack drove a three-wheeler invalid car so he must have had some form of disability.
The Rex and Regal cinemas in Coalville regularly showed advertisements for Jack’s shop, and it is thought the above photograph is one of these. Note that the ‘y’ in Griffydam is replaced with an ‘i’ which was how it was often spelt locally in those times we are told.
Jack was unmarried, and the shop was passed from Jack to Harry Weston and his wife Mary on his death. They used to deliver newspapers around the locality in their Morris Minor car.
In 1964, the property was extended, to form two separate private residences.