DOES anyone remember the sweet shop Osmond’s in Dorchester town centre?

Lucinda Osmond has written a memoir about her experience of growing up in the family business of Osmond’s Tobacconist & Confectioner, cards and gifts, which used to be at 51 South Street, Dorchester. It was run by Judith and Clive Osmond.

It is a heart-warming story of family enterprise and recalls the joys and challenges of running a family business: how the shop became a success even when after the first year it seemed doomed to disaster; how they coped when a competitor opened up across the road, and how their customers rallied round when the shop was robbed and Judith Osmond was left with two black eyes.

Lucinda will be signing copies of her book in Dorchester next Saturday.

Lucinda started writing the book after returning to Dorchester after several years away and noticed how much in the town had changed.

She remembered the stories of customers and characters, the friendships and fun and realised that if someone didn’t write them down, they would be lost forever.

Lucinda hopes that people will remember coming into the shop and even for people who don’t remember, it will give them an insight into what the town used to be like when there were more independent shops there.

Lucinda and her sister Caroline grew up in Dorchester and went to school locally. Her grandparents also lived in the town. Marjorie Bunt, Lucinda’s grandmother, started writing poetry after being in a coma and one of the poems is included in the book.

Lucinda says: “One of my old school friends, Susan Ridley describes the book as, ‘A love letter to a family, and to a father in particular.’ I think that is right.”

This extract from the book describes one of Lucinda’s memories of shop life.

‘I can see the highly polished shine on the chocolate covered peanuts and the bright opalescence of hard boiled sweets. And my dad, whom we called Pa, chatting with customers, weighing out wine gums, doing sums in his head.’ 

*Lucinda will be signing copies of A Sweet Life at Waterstones, Dorchester on Saturday, July 8 from 10am to 12pm.