Posted by: madkentdragon | July 31, 2010

Shopping, then & now!

I know I keep going on about the past, but as I sat on the computer the other morning ordering my groceries, I had to smile – because the world had come full circle, or would it be an ellipse because there were certain differences – you decide!

You see, I grew up in a small general store and every Thursday and Friday shoppers came into the premises; sat on the bentwood chairs and enjoyed a cup of tea and a chat with dad as they ordered their weekly grocery delivery. Some would just write a list and drop it in on the way to somewhere “important”; a bit like those who will now just order the same things on line each week.

But others would sit and discuss their order over a cup of tea and a biscuit whilst they examined and tasted the cheese, ham or other commodities and then ordered what they wanted, often without a list. They would discuss the new detergent, the new “Camay” soap etc, just like some shoppers on line will look at all that’s on offer before ordering.

And, same as now, the orders would be delivered, usually on a Saturday morning by dad on the traditional delivery bike – he’d never learned how to drive a car and saw no need for it! The order would be checked off on the invoice and paid for – often by cash – at the kitchen table and a reciprocal cup of tea offered and usually accepted –it kept the goodwill going!

Now the orders are paid for on line and a delivery man in a smart uniform arrives in a refrigerated van and delivers the order to a strict timetable.

Times changed and the first Tesco opened in Maidstone and the orders dropped off – it was the beginning of the end for little shops such as ours – but sitting there with my coffee perusing the “bargains” as I order my shopping, I often remember back to those quieter times.


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