Monday, March 31, 2008

Shopping in style

It bothers me sometimes that our supermarkets and shops do not look like this any more. I can more than imagine the smells that emanated from this establishment - tea in proper tea chests, tins of powdered Colman's mustard, loose biscuits and slabs of ham squatting on cold marble.
And when exactly did our shopkeepers stop wearing sheets?


Did it become so terribly old fashioned to hang dead bodies in the street?Meat waving about in the wind is surely more healthy that being double wrapped in plastic?


When did we stop giving our shops interesting names and was it so politically incorrect to have men's and women's outfitters?


Even the sellers of boots for public benefit wore sheets and hung their lighting with style.



When did we stop being able to buy a quarter of sherbert oranges from a glass sweet jar and ten Player's (Only Player's please so much!) at the same time?



And even petrol was served from interesting looking gizmo's (these are local pumps and are about to be restored).


Memories please.....

31 comments:

Debi said...

A haberdashers with every imaginable type of zip, fastener, thread ...
Shops with wooden floors ...
Green Shield stamps ...

We had deliveries for most things: milk, coal, poultry, fruit & veg. Only now I'm feeling ancient and feel like I should mention the time I was a chimney sweep ...

Minx said...

The rag and bone man used to come once a week and my mum remembered when he used to sharpen knives and mend pots and pans as well. Mend pots?

Debi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debi said...

Mend pots, yes. And we wonder why our landfill sites are overflowing nowadays ...

Mind you, we would never have met back then in those pre-webby days so some progress has been positive!

(PS Sorry about deleted comment. My inner editor went AWOL ...)

leslie said...

My grandfather owned a small grocery store, and when a shopper visited, they sat on a tall stool at the counter, read their list to him, and he ran and gathered the items wanted. Then he delivered the purchases to the customers house on a bicycle.
I was never a chimney sweep.

Minx said...

It would have taken me weeks to walk to London and I probably wouldn't have found you in the smog anyway. A big sloppy kiss for Bill Gates (yuck - don't believe I said that!).
re demented comment - glad to see you are fallible, Ms Alper (falls off chair laughing).

Ah, Leslie, home shopping at its hatching? Wonder if they delivered wabbits?
And please stop with all the chimney sweep stuff - we'll be talking like Dick van Dick soon. Cor blimey, luvaduck, Mairee Porpins.

strugglingwriter said...

It all started when "the man" took over, when it became impossible for the "mom and pops" to compete. Buying power beats quality every time.

Nice post though.

Paul

Cailleach said...

Ah now, this reminds me: there is still in Dundalk a 'huxter' shop that sells everything from lighters and ciggarettes to your first missal, rosary beads, sweets, tobacco, ciggarettes, pencil cases, etc. The counters are wooden with glass tops and the interior of the shop is dimly lit giving it the appearance of yesteryear. The owners appear out of a door at the back reminding me of that children's programme Mr Ben.

Minx said...

Paul - the 'chains' have swept away all that was interesting in our shopping centres. Most of the huge superstores now squat, out of town, taking business away from the heart of the community. My strange little town hangs onto some of the small shops but they are a dying breed.

Completely mis-read that, Cailleach, thought for a minute that you could buy missiles along with yer rosaries!
Oh and 'Mr Ben', there's a blast from the past - creepy little git.

Debi said...

Chim chimernee chim chimernee chim chim chereeeee

Monsoon said...

Toms the ironmongers in Cross street was a lovely old shop,and so was Roaches opposite the Church,before your time tho.

leslie said...

...good luck 'ill rub off if you shake hands wi' me...

Minx said...

Debi and Leslie, pack it in. The twat Dick van Duck had possibly the worst accent ever heard on film - I don't want to be reminded (I always liked the penguins though).

Tom finished mongering iron, M, ran away with a Thai ladyboy and set up a factory knitting string vests in Milton Keynes.
Don't remember Roaches, but I do remember Gay Gowns! Wouldn't get away with that today, would you?

KAREN said...

My gran was friendly with the local butcher (no, not like that) and used to take him home-made cakes on a Saturday morning. If he was passing, him and his wife would pop in for a cup of tea. Can't imagine that happening these days...

john.g. said...

You are obviously somewhat older than me, Minx, as I only remember those items from photos, such as yours.
Right now I am wheeling away like Tanny-Grey! xx

Minx said...

Probably a good idea to be on good terms with the butcher, Karen. You wouldn't give your last piece of steak to your enemy.

I am as old as the hills, John G, but I can still catch you!

Debi said...

I ain't sayin' nuffink ...

leslie said...

me neither...

hey, Deb...heard you feed the pigeons at the cathedral...

Vida said...

I tell you, eating in a restaurant with roasting goat heads is NOT very appetizing, no matter how quaint it looks in a photo! We were in Greece, and they do still have this stuff in most of the little villages. The heads on the spit, though...GAK!
xo Vida

Saaleha said...

Now I feel like a baby. I remember none of these things, except perhaps the milk delivered in glass bottles. I do remember though that milk once cost 99c a litre. We pay over R7-00 now :P

Absolute Vanilla (& Atyllah) said...

Bubblegum - two for one cent.
Shops with wooden floors and filigreed staircases.
Lifts with metal grilles and brass buttons
The beauty counters with glass jars full of multicoloured face powders.
Cobblers.
Tailors.
Butchers with sawdust floors.
Oh lord, I've gone all nostalgic.

Debi said...

Leslie - yes I'd heard that too! Apparently it costs tuppence a bag ...

mutleythedog said...

I can remember when Tescoes was the stack it high and sell it cheap supermarket where things broke in the aisle and got left for days....

leslie said...

Debi...do you think we're in trouble with the shopkeeper of this blog yet? I think we could well be on the verge...

I wonder if anyone has thought to name a market supercalifragilistic...

handmaiden said...

As a child I knew nothing about about supermarkets. We weren't allowed in them. Brats stayed in the car & amused themselves hanging out the windows, whistling at & annoying shoppers.

Nowdays, you have to take the brats inside to annoy the other shoppers.

Reading the Signs said...

I thought I was seeing things, Minx! Baldocks (as was until a few years ago) from the little town nearest to me. Gone now, and suddenly I miss it. Still have things I bought there, though: sleeping bags and walking boots.

Minx said...

Could be worse, Vida, umm, no it couldn't.

No, me neither, Saaleha, I am just going along with it so that I sound older and wiser than I am.

You are making a mess on me blog, Aty, stop with the nostalgia.

Leslie and Debi - pocket money is withheld for one week.

You are thinking of Aldi again, Muts.

Asda had a children's play area where you could pay to leave them and scarper off to the beach for the day. The Victorian's never thought of that one!

I thought it said 'Ballocks' first of all, Signs. My mind is a sewer.

Debi said...

Pssst, Leslie. D'you think this isn't a good time for me to mention I can say supercalifragi etc etc backwards? I can even do it with an authentic cockernee accent ...

And don't worry about Meanie Minx withholding pocket money. There's always the chimneys ...

Failing that, we could try a spoonful of sugar which I understand helps the medicine go down.

Minx said...

I have some medicine.....

Jon M said...

I remember a trip to the cobblers..and that's what he was...a cobbler with a last and everything, nailing shoes! And off-licenses were 'wine merchants' but everyone just bought beer and fags (even us nine year olds!).

And not so long ago, every checkout girl in Tescos had to know the price of everything in the shop!

And I can remember when this was all fields!

leslie said...

Psst Debi, I think we are in trouble...

So how DO you say supercalifragilisticexpealidocious backwards?

And she wasn't paying me pocket money to begin with, so nothing lost. Was she payin' you?
I didn't think so...