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British Food Journal Volume 81 Issue 4 1979

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 1 April 1979


It tends to be called the corner shop, mainly because it occupied a corner building for extra window space, but also due to the impetus given to the name by television series seeking to portray life as it used to be. The village grew from the land, a permanent stopping place for the wandering tribes of early Britain, the Saxons, Welsh, Angles; it furnished the needs of those forming it and eventually a village store or shop was one of those needs. Where the needs have remained unchanged, the village is much as it has always been, a historical portrait. The town grew out of the village, sometimes a conglomerate of several adjacent villages. In the days before cheap transport, the corner shop, in euphoric business terms, would be described as “a little gold mine”, able to hold its own against the first introduction of multiple chain stores, but after 1914 everything changed. Edwardian England was blasted out of existence by the holocaust of 1914–18, destroyed beyond all hope of recovery. The patterns of retail trading changed and have been continuously changing ever since. A highly developed system of cheap bus transport took village housewives and also those in the outlying parts of town into busy central shopping streets. The jaunt of the week for the village wife who saw little during the working days; the corner shop remained mainly for things they had “run out of”. Every village had its “uppety” madames however who affected disdain of the corner shop and its proprietors, preferring to swish their skirts in more fashionable emporia, basking in the obsequious reception by the proprietor and his equally servile staff.


(1979), "British Food Journal Volume 81 Issue 4 1979", British Food Journal, Vol. 81 No. 4, pp. 105-132.




Copyright © 1979, MCB UP Limited