On the other side of Hampden Road from the chemist was Bob and Tom’s service station, (still selling fuel and servicing cars today) and across Sandy Bay Road was the original Battery Point Primary School, then operating as a trade training school and giving me in Grade 6, the opportunity to use tools and work with Huon pine for the first time. Walking back along Hampden Road we came to Queen Alexandra Maternity Hospital where I (and all the Foster siblings) was born. After that, there was no commercial activity until the village centre again when we found Mrs Conrads and her fruit shop, Mr Miles and his boot repair shop and on the corner of Francis Street, Mrs Coram’s grocery and vegetable shop. Across Francis Street is now the Community Centre, formerly the Methodist Church built in the mid 1800s as the Congregational Church and, apart from St. Georges on the hilltop, the only religious building in the area.
A small dressmaking shop was opposite Arthur Circus and alongside that, Bill Cooper’s chimney sweep business, which in the days of wood-fired cooking and heating, was a constant occupation. There were three other small shops on the Point – one where the car park of the Shipwrights Arms Hotel now stands was the general store of Mr R. A. Triffitt, another at the top of Colville Street was again a grocery store with Bill Whitehouse (in conjunction with his Hampden Road fruit shop) and along St. Georges Terrace where the road divides, Mrs Ryan operated another grocery store.
It probably seems odd in this age of easy mobility that so many little stores could survive in such a relatively small area but it must be remembered that this was a classic village of the 1930s and 40s and residents didn’t have many options to move far from their home territory, particularly when considering the standard working week was a minimum of 44 hours (Monday to Friday as well as half day Saturday) and the almost total lack of refrigeration available to the average household.
Like all villages of the era we had a police officer living in the area. Constable Yost (Yosty) lived in DeWitt Street close to Hampden Road, which put him almost in the centre of the ‘town’. On reflection, he was a fairly benevolent law keeper and I can’t recall any significant trouble on the ‘Point’ although I was always in awe of the man in uniform. On one memorable occasion, I rode my scooter up to the corner shop and when I came out he was standing outside. I was terrified because as far as I knew scooters were not allowed to be ridden on the footpath. I ran home and told Mum, who went up to the shop, gave Yosty a piece of her mind and rode the scooter home.