Sunday, October 17, 2010

A History of Shopping in Wolverton Part VI

Corner Shops: The Final Phase

Well, the final phase of this little historical survey.

I have covered most of these in earlier blogs, which I will list below, but here is a general comment.

Food shopping up to 1960 was a daily activity. Refrigerators were scarce and storage space in kitchens wa limited. Packaging was a new science. Supermarkets in this country were no more than a concept in the brains of Mr Sainsbury and Mr Cohen. Therefore there was a high demand for readily accessible shops. It was an expensive way to shop (people in the 1950s spent one third of their income on food) but the convenience outweighed that. In addition you could get milk, bread, meat and groceries delivered to your door.

Once Cambridge Street was built, corner shops appeared at the Church Street, Buckingham Street intersections. The same happened with Jersey Road and lastly Anson Road. Some shops appeared at the head of Oxford Street and Green Lane, and another general store opened at the corner of Victoria Street and Radcliffe Street.

For a general discussion about the role of Corner Shops go to: Corner Shops

About the former grocery at 39 Cambridge Street

For two small corner shops go to 133 Church Street and 109 Church Street

The Jersey Road Shops are here

Bremeyers on Windsor Street here

And the Green Lane shops in this post

I also mention the Stratford Road shops at the bottom of Jersey and Anson Roads here.

There are some gaps in this coverage. The development and one-time domination of the Co-op I will discuss in a separate post when I have gathered all the information. There were also corner shops at Windsor/Aylesbury and Anson/Aylesbury which I have not featured and at Buckingham/Cambridge.

This survey has covered 120 years and it is interesting to see the changes. In the 1840s you could still buy from the farm gate and milk was delivered to your door in open pails. 100 years later there are greengrocers, dairies, grocers, butchers, baker, confectioners in most parts of the town. Towards the end of our period opticians and purveyors of the latest technology - the radio - start to appear. What you do not see is interesting too. There are no carpet dealers nor a shop specializing in china and glass, unless the ironmongers did this. Yet quite early in the 19th century you will find China and Glass Dealers in Stony Stratford and Leighton Buzzard, but not, it seems in Wolverton.

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