by Theresa Dorrance

My mother was Peggy Rowley.  She lived in Orchard Lane, Codsall. Her mother was Mrs.Joyce May O'Kane (nee Martin). My mother wrote this memoir of Joyce. All of the photos come from my family album.

Joyce O'Kane in 1914.  It was probably taken for her wedding.
My grandparents were named Martin.  They were in the sweets business, making their own sweets, and running the Grand Theatre Sweet Stores.

Some of their descendants were in the sweets business for many years. A cousin, Bob Martin, sold his own sweets in the Wolverhampton Retail Market for many years.

My mother, Joyce Mary Martin, took over the Grand Theatre Sweet Stores when her mother, died in 1913.  Joyce married in 1914, becoming Mrs. O'Kane. The sweet shop became a family affair.

My sister, brother and I all worked in the sweet shop at various times. I well remember "theatre time" (as my mother called it) when the shop would be packed to the door. We would have the sweets already weighed up in quarter pound bags. 
The Grand Theatre, thought to date from 1928.  The Grand Sweet Shop can be seen in the bottom right hand corner.

Joyce O'Kane at the door of the shop in 1950.  Note the display of gift boxes of chocolates, which she so enjoyed arranging.

During the Second World War we had a "blackout" curtain over the door but people still came to the theatre as often as before and enjoyed themselves as much as ever.

My father died in 1938, just before the war, so mother carried on with the help of the family. 

She loved to dress the window herself with the big gift boxes of chocolate - and all the real ones too, not dummy boxes!
Mother always said she would die in harness, she had such a great love of her work.  On the 11th November 1959 she came home from her beloved shop, enjoyed a good supper and quietly went to sleep her in favourite chair.  She was 79 years old.
Joyce O'Kane inside her shop in 1950.  The jar on the far left of the counter is labelled "Martin's Lime and Lemon Acid Drops".  The two jars on the display cabinet on the right are labelled "Martin's Glace Fruits" and "Martin's Chocolate Eclairs".

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