logo - Join me in the 1900s mid C20th
The webmaster, Pat Cryer, as a young child

Family grocers & other grocers
in 1940s war-time & afterwards

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There were several grocers in Edgware when I was a child there in the 1940s. However there were no family grocers, although family grocers certainly existed in other towns. Sadly they almost all disappeared towards the end of the century with the advent of supermarkets.

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Family-owned grocers

The family grocer in the following photo lasted until the 1960s.

The photo is of general interest for several reasons:

It can be dated to 1945 because the placard in the window declares the shop's diamond jubilee (60 years) and computer enhancement of the photo gives the dates as 1885 - 1945.

North London family grocer's shop in 1945

This photo of a family grocer's shop in 1945 is courtesy of Viv Nunn. The shop belonged to her grandfather and was there until the early 1960s. She reports that the paper bags were printed with something like 'Pyle's products please prudent people'.

The placard points out that all the goods displayed are off-ration and on sale to everyone. This shows that the shop was trying get more trade by showing prospective customers that they did not have to stay with their registered grocer for anything other than rationed goods.

One wonders what the off-ration goods in the window are. They seem to be mainly tinned foods and bottled sauces.

The shop had a Christmas club and was currently having a sale.

Notice outside a family grocers shop in London, 1945

Computer enhanced detail of the Jubilee placard in the above photo.

The white coats are typical of what I remember seeing grocery staff wearing in the 1940s. Those staff of course, in wartime, were women not men.

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The Home and Colonial

The other grocer in Edgware was Home and Colonial, but as it was at the other end of Edgware my mother never went there. In 1940s war-time Britain, women had to carry their shopping. Although the baker and the milkman would deliver, I never knew of groceries being delivered where I lived.

Incidentally name Home and Colonial reflects the fact that England still had an empire with colonies in the 1940s.

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This website Join me in the 1900s is a contribution to the social history of everyday life in 20th century Britain from the early 1900s to about 1960, seen through personal recollections and illustrations, with the emphasis on what it was like to live in those times.