Monday, November 08, 2010

Turn back time

We watched a programme on BBC1 last week called Turn Back Time: the High Street where a group of contemporary retailers revisit different periods in history and try to better understand what it was like to be shopkeepers in those days. They started with the Victorian era and it was quite illuminating.

Apart from the programme being set in Shepton Mallet in Somerset, which I remember well from childhood because of our long car journeys from our Cambridgeshire home to our holiday destination in Ilfracombe in North Devon, last week's episode took me back to childhood for another reason. They were illustrating the delivery of goods from the shop to customers in their own homes with the goods being delivered by horse and cart.

I remember in the '60's my mother making a grocery list at the start of the week in a little red book, always using the same yellow Biro pen and always in red ink. She would then hand that into the village General Store and it would be delivered to our door in a huge cardboard box on a Friday evening much to the excitement of my sister and I, even though the goods were much the same from week to week.

My wife and I do the same thing online these days and wait for Tesco to deliver it to us on Friday evenings. Our children are similarly excited that 'Tescos have been.'

So much has changed and yet so much is just the same.

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