God I feel old… I’ve been getting all sentimental about shops.
When I lived in Carrington in Nottingham 17 years ago (shit and death that’s nearly twenty) we were a bus ride outside the mega shopping centre in the middle… or a ten minute walk from the decent shops in Sherwood.
But Carrington had its own shops…on Mansfield Road (and I can’t remember them all) was a small co-op, a chippie, a fishmonger (who also sold game), a hardware shop (who prided themselves on being able to disappear out back and come out with anything you asked for including strapping for the underside of chairs and oil lamp wicks), a greengrocer (who being Asian used to sell excellent samosas and give us fruit passed it’s prime to make home made wine with), a post office and a small deli (us being just accross the road from mapperley park which is posh). As I say… thats the shops I remember.
And then on Hucknall Road there was one of the best butchers I’ve ever had the pleasure to know.
MY mother has only ever given me two decent pieces of advice (that I can remember)… 1.Find a good butcher and stick with him
2.Never go drinking in Fleetwood
I consider I am where I am in life today by following these two simple pieces of advice… I may have colon cancer but at least I never got stabbed to death out drinking in Fleetwood. 🙂
Back to Tony the butcher…. a man so dedicated to his craft that he introduced me to eating haggis by getting me to eat a vegetarian version first (which he ordered for me) to break me in gently.
Most days the queue would be out the door and each customer got a full scale chat and advice that made the wait worth it.
His sausages and own cured bacon were to die for….my only grumble was that he used to buy in black puddings… and they weren’t good ones.
But he’s gone now… I hope retired as opposed to driven out by supermarkets.
In fact most of them have gone… though I see on google street view the co-op is there as you’d expect, the chippie is there, the P.O. (with a sign on the door saying ‘save our Post Office’) and the deli may have become a sandwich shop.
Having discovered this I took a look further back into the mists of time to the Devonshire Road shops in Blackpool which are where I went to buy my sweets and lollies as a kid.
A collection of shops that supported two sweet shops (i suspect one may have been a newsagent), two bakers, a launderette, dress shop, cheapie shop, Spar, co-op, butchers, Post Office, greengrocer, chemist, chippie… again I’m working from memory from before I was twelve.
Now? Well the chippie is still there, the PO, chemist and the launderette (which surprised me).
Whats replaced them? Takeaways, motor spares, a logo shop, carpet shop, tanning shop, funeral director and a couple of hairdressers amongst other things vital to modern day life.
It makes me feel old….and sad.
But on the positive side… happy we have a baker close to where we live now so my son has at least had the experience of being given money and sent over to buy some bread and buns from a shopkeeper who he is on name and chat terms with.