View Full Version : Henry Vickers - Penny hammer man!


handypandy
04-01-2009, 13:00
The thread regarding the Octopus cafe just jogged my memory.
Back in the 1960's I worked with my father on the markets. There were many memorable characters at that time and one in particular that springs to mind was a chap called Henry Vickers.

Mr Vickers had an Army Stores type stall near to us on Worksop market. He was a short stocky chap with bulging eyes and reminded me of the cartoon character 'Mr Magoo'.

He would tell us all kind of far fetched stories and to be honest, we thought that he was a bit of a crackpot. Then.......... one day, he brought a load of photos and newspaper cuttings depicting all his 'stories'

He had started his business many years before, by buying a load of surplus hammers from the M.O.D. and selling them for a penny each. Eventually he had a scrap yard somewhere in Darnall, buying in scrap planes, ships and tanks etc. There was a cutting from the 'Star' (I think from the '50's) that read something like, " PENNY HAMMER MAN NOW HAS 100,000 TURNOVER"

Other cuttings and photos showed him: in the back of a large American type convertible riding through a tickertape parade somewhere and another where he was having dinner with Sophia Loren!

So.... all his wild stories had been true, although by the time I met him, he had apparently lost everything.

The reason why the Octopus cafe thread reminded me of him, is that he told me that he was stuck with the lease on it but the takings didn't cover the rent.

A few years later, I was in the Plough pub in Bradfield and saw him relating his stories to a group of young folk who obviously thought that he was a nutter! Does anyone on here remember this character or the Vickers scrap yard?

xenia
05-01-2009, 11:30
I think the man you mention is Henry Kitson Vickers. I used to work at the Fiveways Motel at Owler Bar. Mr Vicjers son owned the place as well as a numbr of others. Henry arrived at the Motel one afternoon and i spent the day with him while he showed me the pics containing Sophia Loren and i think Gina Lollobridgida.

He told me he was the first man ever to get breathalised in the UK and one of the firsrt to export British Beer to Italy when he sold either Jubilee or mackeson milk stout.

He must be dead by now but he we a memorable character I dont know what happened to his sons but when i worked there they had a substatial number of businesses.

handypandy
05-01-2009, 18:35
Thanks for that Xenia. I guess his sons must still have been involved in the scrap business in the late 60's because another one of his stories ( and of course by now I believed everything he told me!), was that his son had won the contract to clear all the scrap vehicles from the Sinai desert following the six day war. ( six day war now there's a laugh, they're still bloody at it)

bookbinder
07-09-2013, 22:42
I can let you know anything you want to know about henry and everything plus more he told you is true very colourfull as for bulging eyes I have just been looking at a picture of him on my wall and they don't realy look bulging he was the first person to be breathalysed in Sheffield he hit a lamp post at meadowhead opposite where he lived when the police came he climbed out the back window and they caught him at the back of the garage down meadowhead ,a lot of the problem was he only had 1 eye the other was glass

victormh
08-09-2013, 07:25
I remember him when he had the Octopus Cafe, and the scrap business.
Sometime in the late50's or early 60's I remember he bought a Chevrolet Impala - one of the original shape ones with huge fins at the back - left hand drive of course. 2 tone paintework, but I cannot remember the colours at the moment
Grey Eminence - Subang Jaya - Malaysia

bookbinder
08-09-2013, 10:41
that's going back a long time after he stopped being involved in the scrap yard he used to stand at bakewell market selling ex army bits from the yard on barleywood road and some stuff he used to call plastic wood which looked like putty in a plastic film they used to come for miles to buy it ,he died at Bradfield in a flat over the garage at his sons house les

---------- Post added 08-09-2013 at 11:46 ----------

he is in abbey lane cemetery buried with his wife Nellie his oldest son Derek is buried in the same cemetery with his wife henry and Derek used to smoke 100+ fags a day

---------- Post added 08-09-2013 at 11:55 ----------

I remember he had a ford edsil with badges all along the front if you could put pictures on here I could put a great picture of him in st pauls square with hundreds of pigeons around him and on him

raymondo1952
08-09-2013, 13:16
There was a company at barley wood rd near entrance to tinsley park cemetery called Kits and Vickers it was a scrap yard where old scrap planes were kept we played in them when we were yougsters

bookbinder
08-09-2013, 14:09
yes it was called kitson Vickers I used to work there in the 60s and 70s

Hillpig
09-09-2013, 09:16
yes it was called kitson Vickers I used to work there in the 60s and 70s

What happened to his sons Les and Barry? I remember them from the 70s when they owned Fiveways Motel at Owler Bar.

bookbinder
09-09-2013, 09:40
I don't know where either of them are the oldest son Derek died and I would like to find barry

Ron King
09-09-2013, 11:48
What happened to his sons Les and Barry? I remember them from the 70s when they owned Fiveways Motel at Owler Bar.

I worrked for Les and Betty at all there night clubs
I heard Les had past away no news on Betty / Barry or Cindy Bettys sister

Very good old days

Hillpig
09-09-2013, 17:36
I worrked for Les and Betty at all there night clubs
I heard Les had past away no news on Betty / Barry or Cindy Bettys sister

Very good old days

I lived in Barlow during that red hot summer of 76, I remember standing with Les, Barry a bloke called Mick who was the Manager and lived in the bungalow next door watching the moor opposite Fiveways alight with the flames approaching it was very eerie.

Had some great nights in there. Fairground Frankie, Russ Beamer, Johnny Brown on the door. Stuart Burnham the dj, are they all still around?

bookbinder
09-09-2013, 22:27
Frankie lives a few miles away from owler bar I don't know the others

Hillpig
10-09-2013, 06:26
Frankie lives a few miles away from owler bar I don't know the others

Frankie was great ladies man and a good laugh, is he fit and well? I hope so.

---------- Post added 10-09-2013 at 07:28 ----------

I can let you know anything you want to know about henry and everything plus more he told you is true very colourfull as for bulging eyes I have just been looking at a picture of him on my wall and they don't realy look bulging he was the first person to be breathalysed in Sheffield he hit a lamp post at meadowhead opposite where he lived when the police came he climbed out the back window and they caught him at the back of the garage down meadowhead ,a lot of the problem was he only had 1 eye the other was glass

Sending you a pm

Bev Johnson
16-01-2014, 15:48
I worrked for Les and Betty at all there night clubs
I heard Les had past away no news on Betty / Barry or Cindy Bettys sister

Very good old days

Ron King? Is he still alive

---------- Post added 16-01-2014 at 16:49 ----------

Ron King? Is he still alive
I worked at with Ron King....

---------- Post added 16-01-2014 at 16:51 ----------

He Moved to Thailand I think....

---------- Post added 16-01-2014 at 16:51 ----------

He must be 80 years old

---------- Post added 16-01-2014 at 16:55 ----------

I worrked for Les and Betty at all there night clubs
I heard Les had past away no news on Betty / Barry or Cindy Bettys sister

Very good old days


Did you own the Crew & Harpur

---------- Post added 16-01-2014 at 16:57 ----------

I worrked for Les and Betty at all there night clubs
I heard Les had past away no news on Betty / Barry or Cindy Bettys sister

Very good old days

It's Bev Ron....