Newsagents in early 20th century England
By the webmaster’s mother, 1906-2002
Hours of work for newsagents
Morning papers were delivered which meant that the shopkeepers had to get up very early in the mornings to organise. There were also evening editions of newspapers which meant that newsagents shops had to stay open in the evenings.
How newsagents catered for children
Children's comics were very popular, and I remember there was School Friend for girls. A very popular boys series was Billy Bunter.
Two other periodicals were Tits Bits and Strand Magazine. The first was little more than human interest stories whereas The Strand Magazine was filled with interesting information. We really looked forward to these periodicals with their little bits about the outside world.
How newsagents catered for men
Newsagents always seemed to me to be a man's shop because the men bought their tobacco there. When they bought their evening papers, they would stand and chat about the latest war news. Tobacco was very widely smoked when I was a child. Everyday pipes were made of clay and more expensive ones of wood.
Women customers at newsagents
Women were not really catered for, although I do recall The Lady and Every Woman's Encyclopaedia.
My family's local newsagent
Our local newsagents in Silver Street, Edmonton, was a very small shop indeed. The owners were a husband and wife team, along with a lady relative.
Newsagents in Edmonton, North London in 1911
My mother wrote that the newsagents in Edmonton were the Swaystons, but I am unable to find Swayston in the 1911 census. Perhaps they came later or perhaps my mother did not know how to spell the name.
Pat Cryer, webmaster
and daughter of the author
I think the name of the newsagent at 117 was Swainston, a slightly different spelling.