Thursday, April 15, 2010

We shop they drop

Sutton in Holderness  had at least 3 village Grocery  shops in the 50s and 60s. We always used Myers in Church Street. Nellie and Steve Myers were a vital part of  our family  network. Once a week one of us dropped the Order in . Mr Myers brought the boxed order in his car, to the back door of course. Cornflakes, sugar, cheese, butter,Stork, flour,Omo,  and biscuits every week. I have started to recall other essential commodities, and I am going to note them here for posterity and children doing projects on Postwar Childhood.

Lard, bacon, matches, firelighters, bundles of  kindling, oats, Surprise Peas,tinned spaghetti, 

A million housewives every day
pick up a tin of beans and say,
“Beanz meanz Heinz!”

Gibbs Dentifrice, Vim, Brillo Pads, Bisto, Oxo cubes, Birdalls Gravy Salt, Brown and Polsons  Cornflour,tinned Carrots, tinned Marrowfat Peas, Fray Bentos ,Corned Beef, (except the year of the scare), Tinned Pilchards, Tinned Sardines, Heinz salad cream, Tinned Stewed Steak, Carnation evaporated Milk,Instant Whip, Pudding Rice, Bournville Cocoa Powder,
Camp Coffee--on the bottle of Camp on tray, you could see the bottle of Camp on the tray, you could see the bottle of Camp on the tray-I love the notion of infinity of this idea.

For several weeks running my mother was perplexed by the biscuits that had arrived in the Order. One week it was Bourbon Chocolate Creams, another week Custard Creams , another Gypsy creams. We children were delighted.  Usually we had Marie or Malted Milk or Digestives.  Mother questioned Mr Myers, where are my Nice (pronounced to rhyme with Fleece) biscuits.?  Mr Myers said Oh , I thought you just meant Nice (pronounced to rhyme with ice) biscuits !

Of course the weekly order didnt last a week always. We children would be sent shopping down to the village for extra staples (which were then put in the Book-for the monthly account).We were sent with the Paraffin can  for a gallon of Pink Paraffin,sent for a Farmhouse white or a loaf of Procea. Mr and Mrs Myers knew us but were not familiar , they did not ask questions  or gossip, and we were schooled by our mother 'not to tell the village our business'. 
Shopping for our aunt in the village was more fun. We took her dog Tammy, then Bonny to Myers for her, tied them on the metal pole for the awning and bought fascinating products-Cydrax fizzy apple juice, crab paste, danish butter and Hovis. (Best of all was going to Fanthorpes the chemist to change the Soda Syphon over. )
We were not allowed to shop anywhere but Myers for groceries, and we children always wanted to know why we couldn't get stuff at Turners which was much nearer, and Mr and Mrs Turner were very nice too and more friendly.

So I have come full circle. I have just placed an order, paid for it and it has been delivered. I feel a bit guilty.  I dont want my small local shops in Filey to shut down.  So I have only bought staples, and things I can't get here,tins of shrimps, extra low Flora and Hellmans, frozen baby broad beans and oats milled in Congleton. 
In 1967, my mother discovered that by shopping at Frank Dees supermarket along Holderness Road Hull, taking the car, she could buy shopping much cheaper, and she discovered unusual and exciting items like Caramel wafers, Twix Bars and Blue Cheese, Jogurts and Knorr soup. Within 5 years most of the village shops ceased to trade, their livelihood had been killed by Supermarkets.

For 20 years I have bought and still will ,my meat from  the likes of a local butcher as Adrian , my fruit and veg from Angela the greengrocer, and my Groceries from the same supermarket which has been Presto, Safeway, and now Mills. I have been doing a trial run.only of online Grocery shopping. I now know that I can do an order for my Aged Parent 30 miles away in Beverley, My Aged Cousin 200 miles away in London. I will be able to shop for them 
It is perfectly easy to do, and carried right in to the kitchen at 8pm in the evening by appointment. Spouse and I had a lovely time ordering it, sitting side by side looking at the sheer range, what option excess.As the dust settles in my conscience and I work out whether I will ever shop this way again, I need to take serious stock of the ethics versus the convenience of Food Shopping online.  I hope that now that my other local Supermarket has become the Co-op , more of the fairly traded products I buy , and basics unavailable in Filey like Golden Granulated Sugar and organic apples (so I can eat the skin) will hit the shelves . My AGED ones , however , CAN  now be SORTED.

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