Saturday, 28 February 2009

Shopping in the past

The shops of the fifties all had their own aromas and sounds and even if you closed your eyes you could tell what shop you had entered. The obvious one was the bakers with the smell of freshly baked bread and sausage rolls, with the delicatessens a close second with the aroma of spices and smoked or cured meats.
The paper shop has a smell of newsprint and the magazines with their glossy covers have an aroma that I can't describe but is there just the same and then there is the butcher with the smell of raw meat and blood, and the dairy with the smell of fresh milk and stinky cheese.
These shops are still around although getting scarcer as every year goes past, thanks to the supermarkets which despite their bad press are a very handy way to shop and you can sometimes still catch the aroma of freshly baked bread as you pass their bakery department but, the atmosphere in some shops of the past will never be recreated as they and their traditions are long gone.
Lipton's shops sold cold meats and other accouterments and once you had purchased your goods and handed the money over to the assistant she then placed it into a round container and shoved it into a tube and on the press of a button you heard the noise of pressurised air as the container shot up the tube to the office above where the cashier would take out the money and put in the change if any and WHOOSH! Back down came the container to the assistant who then gave you your change.
Sugar flour and the likes were measured on scales with a tray on one side and the weights on the other and you could watch as they swung up and down until the correct amount was required then the shopkeeper would tip the contents into a brown paper bag and wrap it up as neat as you like then your mother would put it in her leather shopping bag that was always carried around with her. (no plastic bags in these days) That is just a small sample of shopping in the past and if it was as interesting today , maybe the men might not find it so boring when they have to go shopping with their wives or partners.(Just a thought)
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