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Tappendens Store    Village Stores Reaches Its Centenary - In the same family since 1857


[Left to Right: Mr William Mills, Mr Vic Wraight, Mrs Connie Cooper, Mr Peter Tappenden, Mr George Tappenden, Mrs E Tappenden, Miss Eileen Bartlett,
Miss M Lowden, Mr George Bartlett, Miss??,  Mr Claude Cooper and Mr Jack Thomspson.]

1957 Newspaper Report [transcribed from the Kentish Express]
One Hundred years ago, George Tappenden sat in his farmhouse at Hastingleigh turning over an idea in his mind. He was becoming tired of being the
universal providor for the rest of the village; day after day people came to him to borrow goods of one kind or another. From this situation sprang the
village stores which celebrates its centenary this year and which has passed from father to son and then to grandson. Today Tappendens Stores in
Hastingleigh village is a household word for miles around. It is still the only local shop and can supply most of the everyday necessities.
From George Tappenden senior it passed about 85 years ago to his sons CF Tappenden [Cubison Tappenden] and EG Tappenden [Edward Tappenden].
Ten years ago ownership transferred to the formers son, appropriately named George Tappenden. [George Pibus Tappenden] One of Hastingleighs best
known personalities.
Todays business is carried on in the same place; part of Mr tappendens house next to the shop and stores is the site of the first shop and is partly built
of wood. The first shop was proud of the fact that it gradually became able to cater for all commodities. People went to Tappendens for their drapery,
meat, coal, bread, groceries. Old records dating back to 1878 make interesting reading. mens boots cost from 4s 6d to 10s 6d a pair: womens boots could
be bought for 2s a pair and for children the price was 1s.
Foodstuffs were unbelievably cheap in those days. A mere 2 1/2d [two and a half pence] bought an ounce of shag. Rice cost 1 1/2 d a pound, tea 1s 6d,
butter was 1s, and lard 4d. For 2s3d a villager could buy eight pounds of best streaky pork and 1 1/2 pounds of beef, prime cut was 10 1/2 d.
Sugar was 2 1/2 d per pound: coal was 1s 6d cwt.
Last week Mr and Mrs Tappenden entertained their staff to a dinner in the Bowl Inn, Hastingleigh, which stands opposite the shop. With them were
their son and daughter-in-law Capt. and Mrs Peter Tappenden and another relative Miss Lowden.
The oldest guest present was Mr Will Mills who has served three generations of Tappendens. He lives at Evington Lees with his wife who also came to
the dinner. His first job at the tores brought him a weekly wage of 2s and a hlf pint of beer a day. He started work at 6.30am and thought nothing of a 12
or 14 hour day, when he was the stores delivery man, using a horse and cart to cover miles of lonely country roads in all weathers.
It wasa real family affair for Mr George Bartlett, who now does part time work for Tappendens after being employed full time for over 30 years. His wife
still helps in the Tappenden household; one daughter Miss Eileen Bartlett delivers goods by van and another Mrs Cooper, works in the office and drapery department. Her husband is the stores roundsman.
Also at the dinner were the other employees; Mr and Mrs Thompson and Mr V Wraight.
After roast turkey and port, Mr Tappenden thanked the staff for their loyalty and joined them in drinking a toast to the good old firm.
Although it no longer serves as a bakery, and the coal deliveries were given up a short time ago, Tappendens Stores still supplied most local needs and
in addition has a sub-Post Office and a Savings Bank. For nearly three quarters of a century the Stores has been a local agent for the Kentish Express.


Just 8 years later 1965, Tappendens Stores were sold out of the family. George Pibus Tappenden died in October 1960, and his wife carried
on managing the store and business interests, until it was sold and she retired.




Kentish Express transcript from 1965
Store Changes Hands - after 108 years.

Just 108 years ago George Tappenden started a small general store in an old farmhouse at Hastingleigh, in the days when horses and carts were the main
form of transport and cars did not exist. Later he moved into the village street, where he sold grocery, hardware, footware and drapery of all kinds. When
he died in 1905, the business continued by his sons Edward and Cubison, and more recently by his grandson George, who died five years ago. Since then
the business has been run by Georges widow Mrs E Tappenden and her sister Miss M Lowden. On Wednesday it passed out of the Tappenden familys hands
when Ames Stores of Brabourne, took it over. This picture [above] of Tappendens Supply Stores was taken more than 50 years ago. Inset are two members
of one generation of Tappendens, Edward (left) and Cubison (right), who have owned the business since it began in 1857.


The shop was renamed Hastingleigh Stores after the take over. It had been a bakery and store, and though the bakery department closed down, the shop
continued as a general store and a Post Office for many years. Most of the villagers had accounts at the shop, and buying goods was as simple as popping
in to the store and your purchases would be noted in the book (put on account) and an invoice sent out later to be settled. The dark wood shelves surrounded
the side walls floor to ceiling and contained one or two of practically every item a village could need. There was a huge wooden shop counter, and access to
the Post Office was through the shop in to the Bakery. When the Bakery changed to a house, the PO occupied a small corner of the store behind safety glass.

A weekly trip to the shop to buy sweets, with pocket money in hand, was a ritual cherished by the children of the village, in days when everyone
knew everyone else, and the village shop really was the hub of village life and a lifeline to many.

In 1990's it was the victim of a ram raid, and the post office safe was stolen. The safe (intact) was discovered in a field some time later near Evington Park,
the robbers having made their getaway through Elmsted to Stone Street.

The Post Office closed in 199? and the opening of super stores in nearby Ashford signalled the death knell of Hastingleighs famous store.
It finally shut its doors in ......   and the main shop floor has remained unoccupied ever since. The bakery has been converted back to a private
residence having at one time contained the Post Office. The red post box is still in situ, adjacent to the shop front.

It is currently being advertised for letting, but with no access to onsite plumbing and drainage, the shop floor and cellar are unlikely to be of much use to
new businesses as the building stands. Perhaps in time, some enterprising individuals will come up with a rescue plan and restore the
site to some useful purpose, keeping the familiar facade intact, as it has been for over a century.

2015 update: the premises have been converted to residential use in the years since this page was written.

Visit the Gallery for several views of the Stores over the years (click to view).