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Quiz about The Good Old Days
Quiz about The Good Old Days

The Good Old Days Trivia Quiz

Going shopping in the UK before supermarkets

In the days before the advent of out-of-town hypermarkets which sell everything you could possibly want under one roof my mother used to take me shopping in the local high street with a collection of individual shops specialising in one type of thing.

by Lottie1001. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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4 mins
Quiz #
May 07 23
# Qns
Very Easy
Avg Score
14 / 15
Last 3 plays: kdjohn53 (13/15), Smudge111 (13/15), LadyNym (15/15).
The first shop we went to was the ; we needed potatoes, carrots, onions, a cabbage and some apples; I was really pleased when we got bananas, too. Then we wanted some beef to make into a stew and some sausages so we went next door to see the . Cod and smoked mackerel were next on the list so we went across the road to the , where we also bought some kippers.

A visit to the meant that we could get some flour, sugar, raisins and my favourite garibaldi biscuits. The shopping list included cheese, cream and butter, so we needed to go to the . The was next door so went in to buy a loaf of bread, and crumpets for tea.

I was excited to be able to choose some pretty fabric for a new dress from the . Then we went next door to buy buttons, a reel of thread and some new hair ribbons from the . My mother's shoes needed new heels, and my father wanted some new shoelaces so we went to the .

After that my mother went to the to buy some magazines. Then we went to the where I spent a long time looking at all the jars of sweets trying to decide between mint humbugs, fruit drops or toffees, before settling on a bar of chocolate. A visit to the yielded a pad of writing paper and some envelopes, as well as a new bottle of ink.

Sticking plasters, aspirin and shampoo were on the list so we went to the . My mother needed some new pastry cutters and a pudding basin, and my father had asked for some nails and screws, so went round the corner to see the . Finally we called at the to buy a bunch of carnations to take to my grandmother on the way home.
[cobbler] [grocer] [greengrocer] [fishmonger] [confectioner] [florist] [baker] [chemist] [haberdasher] [dairy] [butcher] [ironmonger] [stationer] [draper] [newsagent]

Click or drag the options above to the spaces in the text.

Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts

All the shops would have been closed on a Sunday, with the exception of the newsagents, which would have opened for a few hours in the morning to sell newspapers. They would also have been shut one afternoon in the week, on 'early closing day'; this varied from town to town, often on a Wednesday, but sometimes a Tuesday or a Thursday.

The greengrocer sold many different fruits and vegetables, which were in season; the only 'exotic' fruits were oranges and bananas, which couldn't grow in the UK. The butcher's floor was always covered in sawdust, and the butcher himself always wore a strong white striped blue apron over his white overall. The fishmonger never opened on a Monday because the fisherman wouldn't have been out to catch anything on a Sunday.

The grocer also sold breakfast cereals and porridge oats, as well as other foodstuffs such as glace cherries, treacle and salt; the biscuits were sold loose from big tins. Although a dairy might sell milk, most people had bottles delivered daily by the milkman. The loaves at the baker came in many different shapes and sizes; my favourite was a cottage loaf, formed by putting a smaller ball of dough on top of a large one to make a loaf which looked like a snowman to me.

Both the draper and the haberdasher were very colourful shops. In addition to dress fabric for adults as well as children, the draper would have thicker fabric for winter skirts and coats, and also stuff for making curtains. The haberdasher would have the necessary curtain tape, as well as elastic, fastenings and decorative trimmings for clothes. A cobbler mends shoes, but the term is sometimes used (incorrectly) for a shoemaker.

The newsagent also sold newspapers, but ours were brought every morning by the paperboy; sometimes I would spend my pocket-money on a children's magazine or comic. But I usually spent it in the next shop; the confectioner had dozens of jars of different sweets which could be weighed out as requested by the customer; jelly babies and liquorice allsorts were also among my favourites, and I always liked walking out with a paper bag full of a tasty treat. The stationer also sold pens, pencils, crayons and glue, as well as drawing paper and coloured card.

I suppose the chemist should really be known as a pharmacist, since he would dispense medicines prescribed by the doctor; he also sold films for cameras, and took them in for developing. The ironmonger was the nearest thing to one of today's hypermarkets - it seemed to sell almost everything we couldn't get elsewhere, with cutlery, crockery, glassware as well as anything the home handyman might need. The florist always had some lovely flowers and decorative pot plants, too; the shop smelt wonderful.

Is one stop shopping really easier? I don't think so - it's often hard to find the right part of the shop, and it's probably much further to walk in total. I'm not convinced that they do sell everything I want, but almost certainly I'll be told that, 'There's no demand for it', if I ask for something they don't stock. Not to mention the fact that we would chat with all the shop-keepers while we were out.
Source: Author Lottie1001

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor looney_tunes before going online.
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