PREPOSTEROUS PRESENTS

Schram & Scheddle were tailors who were at No.262, Upper Street from 1912 until 1949.  Joseph Schram’s family originated from Leidon in Holland and were mainly picture framers, artists and tailors. Musician Stan Exley who lived at 5, Compton Terrace and who witnessed my first lease told me how on one occasion during the Second World War when clothing was strictly rationed his colleagues at the B.B.C were very envious when he turned up to an event wearing a brand new dinner jacket and they couldn’t understand how he had managed to get it. It was of course made by his old friend Joseph Schram who he said could make a hand sewn jacket with perfect stitching whilst holding a conversation with you and not looking at the garment. ‘Should have been in Saville Row’ was his verdict.

Douglas Johnson who was my Landlord was married to Joseph Schram’s daughter Isabella and lived above the shop from 1939 until his death in 1994. The freehold of the building which needed extensive renovations then came up for sale. I had been a tenant of the shop for 16 years and I negotiated the purchase with the granddaughter of Joseph Schram and we still exchange Christmas cards.

In 1988 we were surprised to be told that there was a book on sale in Derek Clarke’s Canonbury Bookshop by Michael Rosen called ‘The Hypnotizer’ which included a poem called Schram & Scheddle and which mentioned that the shop now sells Preposterous Presents. Michael Rosen who was children’s laureate 2007- 2009 can be seen performing this on his website at www.michaelrosen.co.uk

In the 1980’s we were included in Jim Connell’s ‘An illustrated history of Upper Street Islington’ Part 2 from Cross Street to Highbury Corner which we still have on sale in the shop. I remember how he was fascinated by the Schram & Scheddle sign which had been painted over for many years and he said that the shop was well worth mentioning in more detail.

I had previously sold my flat at 110a. Highbury New Park to author Douglas Adams and knowing that he had used Geoff Hotblack’s Upper Street estate agents name Hotblack Desiato and mentioned Tony Barwick’s Upper Street ‘Old Woodworking Tools’ shop in his books I said that if he ever needed a Jekyll & Hyde character he might consider Schram & Scheddle. He was amused but of course it never happened.

Nobody has a clue who Scheddle was.

SCHRAM & SCHEDDLE

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