Joseph James Garner – 1937

Mr J J Garner’s diary entries provide a valuable insight into the running of a successful drapery business in a small country town during the first half of the twentieth century. The entries will also be of great assistance to anyone attempting to establish dates or ‘time lines’ for events in Olney.

The entries have been selected and collated by Mr Roger Gooden (Mr J J Garner’s grandson) to provide a series of lists that will be of interest to readers with family connections to Olney.

This, the third of three ‘diary entry’ web pages, presents two lists. The first list covering Mr J J Garner’s entries during the early days of the Second World War, unfortunately he did not add any entries after 1941. The second list covers his entries regarding other shops around the Market Place.

The first web page presents by far the largest list and covers the set of general observations recorded by Mr Garner over the period 1903 to 1941. The second web page presents two lists of entries regarding Garner members of staff and other Olney people.


Garner’s shopfront in September 1937

WORLD WAR II AT OLNEY (From Diary Entries 1938 – 1941)

15/09/38 Premier been to see Hitler
23/09/38 War news – Bad
28/09/38 All on for Gas Masks
30/09/38 War off. Mr Chamberlain Reception in London on wireless
28/04/39 Hitler’s speech on wireless
26/06/39 Air Force Men here
28/08/39 War clouds thicken
24/08/39 War scare – all in Dark Curtains
31/08/39 Evacuation Scheme announced. Blind, curtains, blankets etc
02/09/39 Bad news – war
03/09/39 War declared – Terrible news
06/09/39 Air Raid warning
17/09/39 Bad War news – Russia takes Poland
20/09/39 Paid War insurance
22/09/39 Petrol ration vouchers
05/10/39 Blackout
29/10/39 Air Raid demonstration
26/11/39 Prime Minister of England on wireless
28/05/40 Belgians give in – Bad War News
10/06/40 Italy at War
11/06/40 2 aeroplanes down at Bozeat – 4 killed
14/06/40 Bad War News – Paris falls
17/06/40 French give in (Bad)
24/06/40 Bad War News – Britain now alone
25/06/40 First Air Raid Warning in night
09/07/40 Rationed for tea
15/07/40 Army manoeuvres on Bridge
16/07/40 Adhesive muslin for windows
20/07/40 Hitler conscience clear now he has warned us
20/08/40 Knock up at 9 re Blackout
31/08/40 Air Raid
02/09/40 Bombs about at night
09/09/40 All in Blackout
13/09/40 Air Raids – no papers
22/09/40 Sirens going
11/10/40 Advertising Blackout
13/10/40 Bomb in night – shook the house
28/10/40 Bomb in Olney – many windows broken
05/11/40 Had Identity Card
11/11/40 Mr Chamberlain, Prime Minister, died
15/11/40 Bombs at Coventry; we hear 1000 killed
20/12/40 7.30 Police ringing -light on
01/01/41 War news bad – stilI bombing London
13/01/41 Evacuee came
14/03/41 Taking Blackout down
06/04/41 Germans at war with Yugoslavia
27/04/41 Germans in Greece
12/05/41 War news bad
15/05/41 Hear of Rotherham being bombed
24/05/41 War Weapon Week
27/05/41 Sunk German Bismarck, they sank 6 of ours
22/06/41 Germany at war with Russia. Mr Churchill broadcast @night
27/06/41 Mr Watson had 1st lot of coupons
05/07/41 Bombs in the night
12/11/41 No paper to be used for parcels
04/12/41 Letter re Chapel iron railings
07/12/41 War manoeuvres
08/12/41 Japan in the War
11/12/41 Bad War news, Japs sunk 2 ships
12/12/41 War spreading
29/12/41 Bad War news. Japs blowing up cities
30/12/41 Listen to Mr Churchill’s speech in Canada


Heard of Mr Clarabut retiring from Drapery Business today.
Mr C M AlIen 1st Advert.
Sold Mr Allen our surplus stock at night.
Allen, Draper. Electric light on.
Mr AlIen gave notice in paper, now Allen & Cook.
Mr Cook, AlIen’s, called up.
Charles Dimmock Died
Elsie Dimmock died
Dimmock’s Sale
New people (Pope) took Clayson’s shop
Dix opened at Pope’s shop
Dix moving – (let shop next door to Boot Man)
No. 17
Mr Raban died
(Mr R E Raban?)
Putting front in at Rogers Baker
Mrs Elizabeth Crouch transferred her
sweet shop in 1934
Wilfred Vincent Turner opened in 1937
Mr MarshalI’s brother takes on next door
Marshal Hairdresser – curtains across his shop
RGP died
(R G Paggett?)
30/06/1932 International Stores moves Ralph’ s stock
( Ditto )
Heard of Mr MarshalI going to Paggetts
( Ditto)
John Marshall opened up his hairdressing business
Mrs Griggs opened Tea Rooms
Mrs Griggs (next door) closed down
 (remains No.20)
 Owned by J J Garner from1901
Owned by Tom Garner from 1929 to 1962
Woosters (Fashions) from 1962
Eli Smith & Son
Charles Dimmock & Co – Cycle Store
Coop opened
26/03/1914 Mr Bennett opened draper shop
03/05/1922 Bennett (draper) opened at old Coop place
24/03/1930 Bennett moving?
28/03/1930 Bennett inaugurating new opening
  03/01/1931 Bennett in Bankrupcy Court  
06/01/1931 Bennett the Draper shut up
31/01/1933 Mr Marshall finished up & paid up
02/02/1933 Wireless Dix opened
15/09/1933 Dix gave notice to leave house next door, taking over Pope’s shop
22/09/1933 Dix finished (moved to No 15)
24/09/1934 Wilfred Vincent Turner Hardware (opened)
22/03/1936 Taking off thatch next door
01/04/1936 Roof fell in next door (Turner’ s Shop)
01/09/1937 Turner gave notice to leave shop and move to No 17
02/09/1937 Emily Minard & Wilfred Perkins moved out
03/09/1938 Let No 20 Market Place (House) to Mr G Odell (see 1951 Census)
28/09/1940 Let shop – Mr Clarke paying Rates
No.20A (remains No.20A) Owned by Charles Dimmock, Cycle Store in 1900
Owned by J J Garner from 1901
Owned by Tom Garner 1949 to 1962
1901 JJG secured premises of Mr Dimmock
1920 Rebuilt
1951 Leslie Hamblin living above shop. (Census)
No.21A (now No.21) A ‘carriage’ gateway with rooms above in 1886
Owned by J J Garner from 1889
Gateway replaced by shop window in 1896
Owned by Tom Garner from 1949 to 1962
No.21 (now No.21A) Rented by J J Garner from 1886 (shop & house behind)
Owned by J J Garner from 1889 (shop & house behind)
Owned by Tom Garner from 1949 to 1962
House behind let to tenants from 1949 to 1962
1870 William Henry Hoskins – Draper
1886 Joseph James Garner (Rented)
1889 Joseph James Garner bought shop & house.
1944 Thomas Heyfield Garner
1958 Isaac Leslie Hamblin (trading as Garner’s)
1972 Garner’s closed (21/07/1972)
(remains No.22) Private house purchased by Daniel Garner in 1881
Owned by J J Garner from1912
Owned by Tom Garner from 1949 to 1962
Always a private residence
1881 Daniel Thomas Garner
1891 Daniel, Fanny, Charles W & Nellie C (Census)
1911 Let to Mr Allarbarton 1911 to 13/03/1916
06/09/1915 Met May Allarbarton & her husband next door (No 22)
13/01/1916 Mrs Skevington takes on 22 Market Place
06/03/1923 Told Mrs Skevington about requiring our house
30/08/1923 Mrs Skevington moving (out)
12/04/1924 J J Garner moved from No 21 to No 22
02/10/1944 Kate Hannah Garner (nee Daniells) (still there –
1945 Census)
19/03/1949 Thomas Heyfield Garner
1951 Thomas Heyfield Garner & Ena Baxter (Housekeeper) (Census)
20/12/1962 Thomas Heyfield Garner died
No.23 (remains No.23) Owned by J J Garner from 1936
Owned by Tom Garner from1949 to 1962?
Always a private residence
27/02/1912  Heard of Armstrong leaving next door (No 23)
18/04/1922 Dr Claude Chevalier
09/12/1924 Dr Chevalier moving to Etolia House
23/01/1926 Frances Minard went next door (23) as Housekeeper
16/07/1934 Miss Hardy died
21/11/1934 Contents sold
26/05/1936 JJG bought house next door (23)
25/07/1936 Mr & Mrs Smith take on next door (23)
18/09/1937 Let house next door to Mr & Mrs Mosely (23)
02/09/1938 Mrs Mosely moving
08/04/1940 Let to Mr D (Dundonald) Cooke (Bedford) (still there –
1951 Census)
01/07/1926 Henry Farrell revisited Olney (had emigrated to USA).
26/04/1926 Mrs Looms moving to bakehouse
 Mid 1950s  Looms Bakery remained there until the mid 1950s
1890 Misses Daniells (Emily Grace Daniells, Kate Hannah, Daniells & Edith Annie Daniells) (See 1891 Census)
26/03/1928 Roberts moving from Cowper’s House
21/01/1933 Old man moved from Cowper’s House
17/04/1937 Mr Abbot leaving Cowper’s House
30/10/1939 Began alterations to Hoddle’s Butchers front (last bit of old Olney Market Place)
31/10/1939 Putting girders – Hoddles
05/09/1908 Let shop to Mr Murton
29/09/1908 Sold shop to Mr Murton
10/12/1908 Mr Murton opens new Post Office & Telegraph business
24/01/1909 PO moved to High Street from Market Place
04/01/1912 Mr Moss went away (W E Moss, Tailor)
30/01/1923 Mr Inkpen went away
01/01/1937 Mr Freeman starts Post Office
1939 Became Post Office


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