Sheath's Grocery Store

No self service

I remember Sheath’s the grocery store which was on the corner of Roundhill Road and Prince’s Crescent opposite the Roundhill Tavern. It was run in traditional fashion by elderly, brown-coated, Mr Sheath and his wife and bore a close resemblance to Arkwright’s store in the TV sitcom ‘Open All Hours’. It had rows of cans, jars and packets on shelves behind the long counter, and bare floorboards. In those distant pre-supermarket days there was no self-service; you read what you wanted off your shopping list, item by item, and Mr or Mrs Sheath would get each item off the shelves for you.

Remember Pink Stamps?

When it came to cheese – the choice was cheddar or cheddar and it was cut to order with a wire. Eggs were individually checked for being addled by placing them under a lightbox. There were no frozen or refrigerated foods. The Sheaths’ business was badly hit in the late 1950s when a new-fangled self-service grocery opened up just on the other side of the Roundhill Tavern, undercutting them on price and convenience, and offering frozen peas and fish fingers and S&H Pink Stamps. The Sheaths retired and closed down the business soon after.

Do you remember?

Do you remember this area? What about the Sheaths’ groceries? Or do you remember the self-service grocers which opened later? If you can share your memories of this time, please leave a comment below.

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