Old corner shops…mom and pop stores


When I was growing up in the UK, virtually all our home shopping was done at tiny so-called corner shops, usually run by husband and wife and a delivery boy. Supermarkets hadn’t yet been invented; everything was bought in specialist shops…greengrocers, grocers, butchers, hardware, leatherware shops etc.

I remember taking a list made up by my mother of stuff to buy, like bread, tins of soup, fruits, sugar, salt, etc. Funnily enough, I was never asked to buy vegetables or fresh fruit from the greengrocer, nor meat from the butcher. That made me rather angry…why was I not trusted with those items when I could buy anything else? Of course, later I learnt why….because mum wanted to see the fruits, vegetables and meats herself, before buying. I wouldn’t have known what was good and what was bad!

Later on, many years afterwards, those corner shops began to be owned by Asian shopkeepers who had settled in the UK. And the Asians were always the brunt of sometimes racist jokes about corner shops. We always used to wonder why the Asians preferred corner shops to regular stores on the High Street.

It was only around a year ago, that I met an old, retired Asian in Vancouver, who had first emigrated to England in the 50s, set up a successful chain of corner shops there, then sold everything and re-emigrated out of the UK, into Canada. I met him in a local shop in Surrey BC, where I was with my wife shopping for some clothing material she wanted. Soon as he heard that I was from the UK too, the reminiscing started!

I learnt everything there is to learn about running shops that day. But before leaving, I asked him that perennial question…why did Asians prefer corner shops? To which he replied straight away without hesitating. He said “…think of a corner shop…what do you see? How many sides does it have? Two, yes? That’s why we prefer corner shops…you get two sides for advertising your goods, not just one…!” Well, I guess that makes sense.

Anyway, I digress. I’ve always liked taking shots of these and other old stores and shops. For like it or not, these will all be gone in another 10 to 20 years, of that I’m sure. And in their place we will have more huge supermarkets, hypermarkets and so on.

Gone will be those quaint shop fronts, with mom and pop serving you in their white aprons.

I have a whole load of shots of these shops somewhere, which I intend to post on here for your enjoyment. Meantime, take a look at these ones below that I am reblogging…hope you enjoy them:

For more superb photos like the above, visit http://www.spitalfieldslife.com/2013/02/20/tony-bock-photographer/

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About filmcamera999

ME & MY PASSION! ok, you probably looked at the length of this "about me" page and thought, god, what's wrong with this guy!....does he have to start telling us his life story or something!!? well, youve come here now anyways, so why not hear what im like as a person, eh? ive been using film cameras for well over 30 years...my first one being the family yashicamat twin lens! over the years, ive both bought sold and collected film cameras...too many to tell the truth! in fact, ive been buying and selling cameras well before the internet came on the scene, so anything you purchase from me is backed by my self-styled moneyback promise.....if you dont like what youve bought, send it back within 14 days and you get all your money back...no arguments!! WHERE I STAND ON THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION! yes, i do use digital as well, but only as a ready-reckoner...i try and take most shots with my simple 2megapixel digicam....if the shot looks good, i pull out my film camera and shoot! i most defintely do not believe in digital manipulation of photographs....that in my eyes is not photography...its cheating! WHERE I USED TO LIVE, WHERE I AM NOW & WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO DO! i used to live in Ontario, Canada, but moved back to the UK a little while ago (its a long story..!)...but now i'm living in the one place i always wanted to be...Vancouver, BC..the next best thing to paradise on earth! as i work as a freelance writer as well as other things, i often find hat my work takes me to europe for short spells, so i get to travel a lot...not a blessing, as i just hate long flights! im a qualified Quality Assurance guy (you know...ISO 9000, auditing, documentation etc) ....99% of my skill-set is transferable so i can handle any admin or documentation-related roles....see you in BC! otherwise, i specialise in ISO 9000 auditing and documentation. my dream? to have my own thriving camera shop in Vancouver BC, whilst living in the mountains somewhere.....the best of both worlds!
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