Olive's House & Village Shop
The Village Shop
Visited in 2019. Right in the centre of a tiny village, Olive's shop stands empty of customers and has done for a long time. Retail premises fascinate me and are a rare find for abandoned buildings so when one appears it's always fascinating to see what's been left behind. Shops give an insight into what people were purchasing in a past decade. A snapshot of a bygone era when prices were lower, packaging designs were more flamboyant and social practices didn't centre around an obsession with staring into a tiny screen.
Other family names discovered were for two ladies; Leo and Nora who may have been related to Olive; possibly her daughters, and a male with the initial A who was possibly her husband. From looking around the decaying remnants of Olive's shop it would appear to have been a general shop selling everything from electrical items, crockery, haberdashery, board games to medicines, sweets and food from her farm.
The annexe to the shop has a large wooden device with rope pulleys which seem to be for pulling up the large wooden containers below. These may have contained something like flour or other grains from the farm.
From paperwork left behind, the cut off date for the shop being open seems to be the late 1980s. Most of the left over shop stock looks to be from the 1970s and more so the 1980s. I spoke to an elderly local resident about the shop and they were quite sure the shop did close for good some time in the late 1980s.
A rare find, a glimpse into the past. I can only hope this shop remains as it is as the locals pass by unaware of what's inside this heavily decaying building.
Olive's house - in its tiny village - sticks out like a sore thumb. The small population of this village must wonder why it is still there. Its windows broken whilst torn curtains flap through the spaces as ivy smothers the exterior. In reality, it is the only interesting house in the village. It is a feast of past decades left to gather dust.
Like the shop, the house is in a serious state of decay. Floors are warped and walls seem to sway. Yet amongst this parlous relic is an abundance of history from people who live here no more.
Inside is chaos and darkness, especially downstairs. The main lounge is a chaotic explosion of personal items which are strewn around every corner of the room. Letters, books, clothes, documents and photographs. If the shop has been abandoned since 1988 then its possible the house has a similar date for being unoccupied. The decor and furnishings and artefacts are dated. Nothing appears after the 1980s. The 1990s didn't happen here. Maybe the house knew something about post 1980s living and decided to quit?
Depending upon which room one is in, the decades differ. Upstairs on the landing - by a broken window covered in ivy - is a mass of artefacts from not only a past decade but from a past century or two. The 1800s lie dormant here. The early 1900s feature prominently as well. Framed portraits and Victorian parlour portraits are scattered on the floor. Sepia abounds in this house amongst the typical greens and oranges of the 1970s. Even Marlene Dietrich still looks glamorous imprinted onto a vintage cigarette card and left for so long - unattended.
The house really is a trove of fascination. Little documents from so long ago they really should be in a social history museum.
Many hours were spent photographing the delights of this house along with the accompanying shop. A true piece of history which no one seems to care about anymore. Maybe staying as it is - rather than being cleared - is for the better.