Saturday, 9 March 2013

Shopping in the 50's

How different shopping was when I was a kid.  No shopping trollies.  In fact there were no supermarkets, just the corner shop.  We went to different shops for different items as some corner shops only sold some grocery lines.  The kitchens were small and my Grandmother (Mum) only had an ice chest prior to her saving enough for a fridge, and that would have been the case for most of us in inner city living then.
Ice Tongs

Speaking of ice chests, I can remember the Ice Man coming and he would be wearing a leather apron and also had several sacks over his shoulder.  He would pick up the ice with big caliper type things and swing it onto his back and then deliver it to your door.  It was then up to Mum to have to lug this big block of ice to the kitchen to put in the ice chest.  We would get 2 deliveries a week in summer months.
The bread and milk were delivered.  We would wash out glass milk bottles after use and leave them on the door step, with payment.  The next morning we always had fresh milk and I can remember the cream on top of the milk and woe betide anyone who didn't shake the bottle prior to putting on their cereal.  Oh but that first bit of milk from the bottle was just so good, with thick, rich cream coming out first.
The bread and milk were delivered by horse drawn vehicles and we never saw the milko, but if the baker's horse dropped  manure out the front of your house, it was sort of unwritten law that the manure belonged to you. And many a time Mum would race out with a small metal dustpan and collect that manure for her potted plants.
Oh I do remember the smell of new baked bread loaf. And it was still warm and Mum would cut it with her bread knife (nobody else allowed to cut it as they didn't cut straight) and butter and jam for lunch.
Joan and I were often sent to the shops to pick up a pound of biscuits, or a pound of sugar.  And on hot evenings after dinner Mum would send me to the shop to buy a brick of ice cream as I was a runner and the ice cream wouldn't melt on the way home.
Looking back, there was little waste even in so far as packaging. The sugar, biscuits etc came in a brown paper bag after being measured whilst you were in the shop. The bags were then used to take lunches to school.  Ah yes, it was looking after the planet and "being green" back then.

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