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3rd Jul, 2022

Nonagenarian celebrates birthday in childhood home turned restaurant

A NONAGENARIAN from Stratford celebrated his birthday by returning to the place of his birth – now a Sheep Street restaurant.

Jim Allcock marked his 90th birthday by returning to his former home – now home to Loxleys restaurant – which at the time was a family-run greengrocer.

He recalled what he had been told about his dramatic arrival in 1929.

“The day I was born it was apparently a terrible snowstorm. Apparently the doctor could just about get here on his bike.

“There wasn’t electricity or anything like that, and we didn’t have a bathroom – just an outdoor toilet.”

The former post office worker has a wealth of memories about the family business and growing up in the town.

“My father used to make us polish all the fruit that was outside the front of the shop so it looked perfect. You used to get the gentry come in their horse-drawn landaus. They wouldn’t get out, you would have to go and serve them while they sat in the carriage so if they wanted an apple you’d have to take it over to them and they’d decide if it looked good enough.

“With the theatre being just down the road you would get actors walking up the road in full costume, so suddenly Falstaff would appear. It was quite surreal.”

The family moved to Bristol but Jim was evacuated back to Stratford during the Second World War to live with his grandma on Great William Street.

Eventually the family was reunited in Birmingham, which is where he met wife Valerie. The couple married in 1956 and went on to have two daughters and a son, who all joined them to celebrate in the courtyard he played in as a child.

Jim, who now lives in Stourbridge, added: “We sat upstairs in the room that used to be my bedroom and managed to have a good look round. And now we’ve come back again – this time now the courtyard is covered we could sit in the exact place I used to play. It’s definitely full of memories for me and it’s nice to be back.”

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