Salford, England

I bought a pair of terraced houses; 32 & 34 Vere Street in a run-down area of long rows of terraced houses. It was very much like Coronation street. Coronation Street was based on Archie street which was about a mile away. The streets were cobbled and when I first moved in most of the houses in the neighborhood didn’t have inside bathrooms.

Shortly after I moved in I was surprised to find that the Lord Mayor of Salford lived in the next street. The city’s Daimler used to pick him up to go to council meetings and it drove past my shop. He would give a friendly wave as he passed. The Lord Mayor’s office was an honorary one and the councilors held it in turns. After about 20 years on the council you had your turn as lord mayor for a year. I fixed the washers on his taps once and didn’t charge him, not because I was ingratiating myself, but ‘cus he was on a pension and I doubted he had much money to spare.

My shop was on the corner and a favorite hang out for the local kids. They used to run the name lenjonses’s into one not realizing that a Len Jones actually existed. My biggest hobby at this time was my business. This is fortunate as most small businessmen tend to work a 60-hour week.

When my parent died there was a small legacy and I visited my sister in Edmonton, Canada for Christmas. The decision to emigrate was immediate.

I sold out and took back a first mortgage on the property at 10%, which was good business at the time, but rampant inflation soon made a fool out of me and I was out of pocket. I sold my name when I emigrated which was kind of odd. In the deal I am not allowed to operate as Len Jones in England but the two guys who bought my shop could.