Tales Of The Shopocracy


Language: English

ISBN: 9781848510685

Current Publication Date: 2009

Format: Paperback

Number of Pages: 144

Title available as:

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'There was every kind of sweet in the shop: boiled sweets and lemon drops, striped humbugs, toffees and liquorice toffees wrapped in paper or squeaky cellophane, chocolate drops, hundreds-and-thousands, acid drops, sherbert, turkish delight, mintoes, glacier mints, liquorice allsorts...'

When John Barnie was growing up in Abergavenny, almost all the families he knew ran shops. And it is the way of life of this shopocracy - their values, their vices and their idiosyncrasies - that is captured so vividly in this evocative account of E.C. Barnie, Wholesale and Retail Confectioner.

His is the world of home-made ice cream and family holidays in Blackpool and Bournemouth. A world in the wake of World War Two. A world of stories, if not books. A world of churchgoing, caution and respectability, where 'sex' was a word never used, and where gardening, home cooking and the Empire were revered.

Even if it is seemingly a long lost world, and one that sometimes made a rebel of the young John Barnie, to read about and 'remember the old shopkeepers is to catch sunlight in your hands.'