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Comment: Used to buy 45s in EV Silman for 6/8d in the 1960s when I was growing up. The man serving used to sit behind a little hatch. I think the man was the son of the original owner, and he was helped out by an older woman who may have been the mother. The shop used to be a favourite of mine as a child, and he also sold radios, batteries and bits of hardware. Now the shop is an Army and Navy store.

Name: Trevor Potter.
Comment: The older lady was not the mother, she had died many years before. The older lady was a friend of the family who acted as housekeeper and shop assistant. The man was Len Silman. He was the only retailer selling Irish music records in Cricklewood at that time. He himself played piano and accordion, but his social activities were severely curtailed by epilepsy. I believe the lady was named Emily, she cared for Len after his parents died.

EV Silman first set up shop in a shed in Childs Hill and then moved into the shop when business began to pick up and he needed more space and a better outlet. His speciality was key cutting. He was universally known as Vic, although Victor was his second name. His first name was Edward. I think Len pioneered the music side of the business. The shop was situated directly across the road from the Galtimore Dance Hall, a situation that proved very good for business.

I was brought up with close connections to the North London Irish community, and everyone knew of the shop, as did many people in Donegal and Dublin, the areas of Ireland that I was then familiar with. They were distant relatives of mine on my father`s side.

During the 1950s and early 1960s my mother worked in the shop. Len died young, he was barely 60, and Emily died shortly after him. I am sorry but I cannot give you dates.
(28 January 2016)




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