Posted this in response to 193 New Kent Road, Chinese Restaurant.
I'm trying to remember the original shops. I believe Fordhams (with the Post Office inside) may have been right there in the early 1960's? Or maybe it was Ballard & Gilbert the upmarket furniture store. There was a Surgery a couple of doors along and Hizers the dry cleaners (everything hand ironed)! Ratman had the sweet shop (and another further along by Harry Weeks, the Travel Agent). Collins the gun shop (airfix kits etc) and Thurgoods (spelling) the greengrocers, on the corner at Harper Road. Next door an electrical store, that had no shopfront. Ratman always bought new Ford Zephyrs and Zodiacs, they looked like American cars to us, at the time.
Adjacent in Harper Road was a Co-op and a butcher, who owned a very posh Standard Vanguard car. The Co-op gave out tin dividend coins, to be cashed in whenever. They also sold the original broken biscuits by the half pound. It was all we could afford.
Opposite was Surridge & Dawson? a newspaper wholesaler.
Back to Ratmans the sweet shop. It had a penny chewing gum machine outside, which dispensed Wrigley's, PK or Beech Nut brand gum. Insert your penny and turn the side knob to receive a pack of four pieces of coated gum in a pack. The knob had an arrow, which at every fourth turn, shelled out a second bonus pack. Unsuspecting buyers, did not know about the secret fourth turn!
Any more memories?
Tut! Where's Jan when you need her, eh?