Trumpington Traders: Village Delivery Services

Edmund Brookes

In the mid 20th century, what goods were delivered to the door and how was this done? This note is one of a series about traders , based on a presentation given at a Group meeting on 11 October 2012.

Freestone’s Bakery, Great Shelford, c. 1922, with Bert and Lily Freestone outside the shop. Cambridgeshire Collection.

Freestone’s Bakery, Great Shelford, c. 1922. Cambridgeshire Collection.
Freestone’s Bakery, Great Shelford, c. 1922. Cambridgeshire Collection.
When we use the internet to order groceries from supermarkets or anything else such as ink jet cartridges from John Lewis or books from Amazon, we are experiencing the successors to a long line of delivery arrangements which go back many years but which reached a nadir in the late 20th century.

We now take internet ordering and delivery for granted and fully expect the goods, whatever they may be, to arrive when we expect using specialised couriers, home delivery vans or the Royal Mail. Yet not so many years ago, regular deliveries in the village were down to milk and papers, with the exception of Dave the Fruit.

Let us take a quick look at what was on offer:

Mr Parker (Little Shelford) three times a week (M/W/F): on spec., chose from his big basket and pay cash
Freestones Bakery
A.J. Day

Corona Man (pop with deposit): I think that it was weekly

Fish: Mr Hawkins twice a week (Tu/Th): on spec, paid cash – told you what was good, early Tuesday/late Thursday; lasted no more than 2 months after he retired

Fruit: Dave (Dave the Fruit) Brunsden

Fuel: Shelford Corn & Coal, wagon of coalite (siding where oil tanks are now) and paraffin

Mr Arthur Nash: orders
Mr Cecil Pitman: ordered in shop – famous for his hams

Home deliveries:
Mr Laurie

Malyon to order

Arnold P 52 Victoria Road
Bulls Dairy
P&P Milk (from Cornwell’s Farm)
Woollards Lane Dairy: Mr Cawston, was 7 days per week, then 6 etc
Put a note in or on the bottle, with a cap to prevent tits feeding, a little sign saying 0-x pints, paid in cash of put it in the bottle

Newspaper: Trueloves am & pm: paid monthly and he was the first to computerise

How times of changed. When we first moved to Trumpington in the early 1950s there were at least two bread men, one fish man, and three dairies vying for our regular custom, as well as other trades all offering various services, and there were deposits on bottles in those days.

Dairy: Plumbs of Balsham
Fish – every three months from South Shields
Milk and More
Newnham a.m.
Cambridge News direct in Evening

Anything can be delivered from John Lewis or Amazon and paid for from home. You do not leave your computer.

Remember that at one time there was a butcher’s shop on Shelford Road and three butchers in Great Shelford.