How many district shops do you know about?

The earliest shops in the region were rough ad hoc shops.  There were tent shops on the gold fields to provide provisions for the two hundred or so men mining.  Various people grew fruit and vegetables and sold them to others in the community, such as German Charlie on what is now known as Swamp Road.  And, of course, there were the various delivery men.  Much shopping was also brought home after marketing fruit and vegetables, purchased from businesses around the Adelaide East End Market.

At Forest Range several shops operated at various times.

The J G Collins General Store at Forest Range was built in the early 1890s.  The substantial stone building was across the road from the Forest Range oval and replaced a small store in a slab hut that had earlier been used to provide goods for some years.  The building functioned, run by members of Collins family, until 1974 but in the meantime other shops, some long forgotten, had come and gone.

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Robert D Whillance had a general store near the Mission Hall for a few years, until it burned down in 1924.



Hurtle and Maria Norton ran a small shop next to the oval at Forest Range which was later run by Len Mason.  Mason sold tobacco and Gordon Fry recalled that his nephews wouldn’t ride to the shop with neighbour Hein Baum as Baum’s vehicle would be full of cigar smoke after the shopping trip.


Mason’s shop, Forest Range

There was even a lolly shop in the Forest Range Hotel.  A History group Facebook friend shared “My dad … had a lolly shop in the old pub when they lived there . I still have the scales he used to weigh them . He was in his teens then.

Winnie and Grace Lindstrom ran a shop at Forest Range providing tea and general goods from 1929.  The shop was perched on the top of the range on the corner of Mawson and Lobethal Roads.  In 1949 the shop was purchased by Alf and Emily Brock who added petrol to their sale items.  Mrs Brock continued with the store after the death of her husband.  Brock’s Shop and finally closed in April 1980.

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Lenswood has had just one shop, which is still operating.  In September 1946 Frances Anthony Thomas (Tom) Leaney purchased part of a block from Greens next to another part block that Brown and Lawrance had recently purchased to build a garage.  The land was on a small flat section and seemed ideal for a business.  Tom and Vickie Leaney built a residence with an adjoining shop.  Tom Leaney was already known to the Lenswood district.  After working as an apprentice butcher with Cooter’s on Henley Beach Road he accepted a job with Hicks Butchers in Mt Torrens. Hick’s butchers delivered meat to the residents of Lenswood.  He and Vickie first lived in a house at Mappinga near Woodside.  Their daughter Marlene can remember going with her father on his delivery rounds.

Dad continued butchering and in those days the meat delivery was made to the door of the householder.  Tony and I reckon that Tom continued on with the butcher’s job (which included delivery around the Lenswood area) only until the shop opened.  We can both remember being in the van with Dad while he was doing deliveries and he used to give the kids a piece of fritz!    Mum and Dad moved to Lenswood and built a new home with a shopfront next door and opened a 4 Square store which they built into a very successful business.

The Leaneys operated the shop for over a decade.  Ken Green recalled that they were well liked and strongly involved in the community.  He said it was very convenient to have somewhere to buy cool drink and ice cream and everyone bought most of their goods from the local shop. They had an old Vanguard sedan and would start it up and drive “flat as a tack” up the school hill.

Shop keepers after Tom and Vickie Leaney have included John Young, David and Isobel Roger, Laurence and Joan Air, Stan and Sue Tucker, Leon and Joan Smith, Robin and Helen Butler, Trevor and Faye Luke, Ken and Marlene Ryan and Ian and Ann Marsland.  The Lenswood post office moved to the shop after the retirement of Hilda Fountain in 1974 and it continues to be run from this shop.  . In 2007 the shop was purchased by Donna and Andrew Mann and is currently operated by Andrew Mann.

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Do you have old photos featuring any of theses shops?

What about other shops?  Any old receipts?

Share your memories, share the stories your grandparents told you.

Contact the Local History Group or add comments to this page.

2 thoughts on “Shops

  1. Helen Roberts (nee Leaney) says:

    I have fond memories of my childhood at Lenswood. My Parents, Tom & Vicki Leaney built the shop and adjoining house. I used to sell lollies to the children after school to earn some pocket money. My sister Marlene and brother Tony and I went to school at the Lenswood Primary School..
    Helen Roberts (nee Leaney).

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