New book celebrates Stroud's little ray of sunshine
STROUD institution Sunshine Health Shop has released a mini handbook – A Little History of Sunshine - to celebrate its 85 years in the town.
The quirky manual charts of the history of the health foods and supplements emporium, which over the past 25 years has been managed by three generations of the Hill family.
Contained within its pages is a revealing interview with proprietor Ray Hill, who discusses how he and his wife Val came to purchase the business in 1987 from previous owners Alan and Isabel Dring – 60 years after the shop was first founded in George Street by Lilian Wolfe in 1927.
"There was something about Stroud and the shop that just felt it was the right place to be," said Ray, who runs Stroud’s two Sunshine shops in High Street and Church Street with his sons Michael, David and Andrew.
Also in the book is a photographic catalogue of some of Ray’s impressive collection of vintage health food and herbal remedies packaging, including a 1950s Shredding Wheat box, a tin of Bragg’s indigestion soothing charcoal tablets from the early 20th Century and a bottle of 1880s Jamaican red root sarsaparilla.
"I just love the history of these products," added Ray, who is originally from Birmingham.
"The designs were much nicer than today, everything was more intricate and colourful."
A Little History of Sunshine is available to buy from both Sunshine shops, priced £3.50.