The favoured vehicle for home delivery by butchers and grocers was a bike such as this. This example dates from the 1950s and is basically an ordinary bike with a carrying frame over the front wheel. The frame held a wicker basket. The panel between the cross bars usually had a painted sign which identified the shop – “Canvins” for example.
Most butchers and grocers had one of these and usually a boy was hired after school to make deliveries.
Canvins butchers shop is the fourth from the right in this 1950’s photo.
Independent butchers still survive in 2016 but in 1958 they were plentiful. Only one chain was in evidence and this was the London Central Meat Company who had shops on the Stratford Road, The Square, and on Green lane at the top of Oxford Street. In the 1960s the name changed to Baxters. (I am not altogether sure about the one on the Square – it may have been Dewhursts) At any rate by the early to mid 1950s two were definitely Baxters and the LCM in Green Lane closed down.
Fred Griffiths outside Baxters on the Square c 1967
Next in numbers would be the Co-op who operated a shop on the south side of Church Street in the section that was pulled down to create the Agora and another at the top of Jersey Road.
This house has been much-modified. The low wall is new and the window was a full plate glass window. newer windows have replaced the original sash windows upstairs. This is now a private residence although you can see that it was once a shop.
The Canvin family, who had shops in stony Stratford and (I think) New Bradwell had a shop on the front. Eady’s, on the corner of Church and Radcliffe Streets, was into its third generation of family management, having been on that site since the 1880s.
Eady’s on the corner of Radcliffe Street and Church Street, opposite The Vic.
Ron Tuckey operated his shop on Aylesbury Street facing Bedford Street.
The fascia from this former shop on Aylesbury Street betrays its former function. The front window was a full plate glass light, double the size of the present installation.
Ron Tuckey is front row left in this photo of the New Inn darts team
A characteristic of butchers shops back then was sawdust on the floor to absorb the blood. At the end of the day this was swept up as the shop was cleaned and fresh sawdust laid down for the following day. Meat was cut to the customer’s specification rather than pre-packaged.