P&P News is a family run corner shop situated next to a bus stop on the busy thoroughfare of Forest Lane E15. The owners Prem & Pinky from The Punjab and South London respectively, have been looking after their diverse community for over 15 years.
This short film captures the intricacies, hard work, humour and initiative involved in running a corner shop. From shop floor banter to life-line personal deliveries during Covid, the film explores the unique relationship between Prem & Pinky, their two young sons and dedicated staff with their customers.
On 17th April Frames Of Mind and three trained Heritage Producers interviewed loyal customers outside P&P News to collect their personal stories and perspectives on the role of their corner shop.
I’ve lived locally for 42 years and I just call it The Shop.
During Lockdown we were using it like we were coming out of our house and into our larder!
Because we live in a diverse area they have things for everybody. Everyone is winning!
I’ve lived two minutes up the road since 1985, They are very helpful and we need them. I used to come and get my papers most mornings, but now they deliver them, so I don’t have to get up so early. Luxury!
I grew up in this environment my parents had shops. Mum and Dad were always working but the customers were really friendly and they used to take us out for the day, like to the cinema.
I’m always chatting to customers, I mean I have debates, I have proper debates in this shop.
We joke around, we mess about and the customers like it, especially the ones that live on their own.
They keep popping in a few times a day or more.
We have a good joke with each other…. It means a lot.
They call me ‘Tango’ or ‘Bully’ ….I don’t know why.
We call them Pinky and Perky!
I’ve lived around here for 68 years, they call me the nuisance I think…
Their kids used to go to the same school with school as my grandson. They watch families
grow up don’t they.
I like pease pudding and most of the shops you can’t get it. But here they always put an in an order
for me, you know
Prem and Primita…I knew them from 15 years ago when they came to where I worked for
a training course, to get a license for their alcohol.
I didn’t even know they were buying this shop. And then it was amazing when they showed up round the corner!
During the Pandemic, you’re not out and about with your normal friends and colleagues everyday so just being able to pop over and see someone different from your own family was a really good feeling.
I’ve been coming to P&P for at least 30 years…on and off…on and off. Yes, we have banter in there don’t we Krystian, when we go in there to buy scratch cards, or your biryani rice or your pizza sweets?
The corner shop provides a bridge between the residents and the main shops and during Covid you were hoping it’s still there, hoping it’s still open. And it was, so it gave you a sense of not so much panic.
Years ago when I was giving up smoking, I told them not to sell me tobacco under ANY circumstances.
When my daughters were little, to be able to walk to P&P on their own for their ‘Friday sweets’ was a rite of passage.
It’s always happy, when you come into the shop… they take you on board straight away.
During covid they gone out of their way to assist people, even down to delivering to your house if you couldn’t get out. Prem left his phone number with the regulars that needed help.
Yes…. it was done, it was done, it was nice.
It’s always happy, when you come
I like to stay here at the shop because I get to meet different people from London.
Today I’ve just come to collect my winnings on my scratch card
When my ex girl-friend moved out, while I was abroad working, she left her keys with PP and they looked after them, so that was nice for them.
This is a lovely shop, there’s nothing wrong with the shop. He’s a good governor.
I run a little bit of a garden over the other side, in the square. If I want some milk and I don’t have the money, he’ll give me it.
I lost 5 friends in Covid. If people try and come in this shop without masks, I tell them off.
All my three sons were paper boys….at different times obviously!
I watch out for them.
Sometimes when there are strange people in the shop, I’m standing there outside. I won’t leave until I can make sure they are safe.
I do worry…. they are very vulnerable sometimes you know.
All photos by Sylvie Belbouab (Insta gbs_portrait)