Brimpton History: Forge Stores
Until as recently as 2016, Brimpton still had a village shop, occupying the building that now houses Georgina Hill hairdressing. We don’t have much information about the building itself, but the stores opened in around 1920, where they traded for almost 100 years. Before that, the main store for the village was Tanners in Hyde End Lane.
There’s a wealth of information about the ownership and establishment of the Store in the ‘Brimpton Story’ book, but here’s a short run-down of the various proprietors over the years:
- Duncan Matheson Maclean and his wife, who established the store before 1920. Matheson had been badly injured during the First World War, and came to Brimpton after discharge, where he and his wife kept hens and pigs, as well as making baskets. They tended the store all through the Second World War, by which time it was selling a wide range of goods.
- Maclean’s daughter Gwen, and her husband Frank Barham, who took over the stores after Mrs Matheson’s death in 1955.
- Ken Newell and his wife Enid, who participated in many aspects of village life
- Harry and Joan Brook, both of whom were involved with the church and various village groups.
- Ray and Mary Gleave, who expanded the scope of the stores to include paper and milk deliveries, and in 1987 also took over the village Post Office.
- John and Lyn Turnbull, who ran the shop until it closed a few years ago.