Skip navigation
Sainsbury Archive Logo

Peter Smith , Cranbrook Road Ilford, August 1950

1930-1950 Staff


I got the position of trainee manager and left my home in Ipswich aged 15 to start work in the branch in Ilford. I lived over the shop in Barkingside with about a dozen youngsters. An elderly lady was housekeeper helped by a young Irish woman. I’m afraid we were a real problem for the old girl, I remember we could climb through a trapdoor on the roof where we terrorised the neighbourhood firing slugs against the tin baths on display outside salmons hardware shop opposite. We also suspended fireworks on a string outside the bedroom windows next door and when the furious neighbour rushed into our building he was met with a barrage of pillows thrown at him by some of the other residents of our house. We were quickly moved and split up, I was sent to Palmers Green with a load of old men they must have been at least 20 they all had girlfriends so it was very lonely. I got a transfer home to Ipswich where I worked at the small branch at Westgate Street until I did my National service in 1953. Food was still rationed 2oz butter knocked up and wrapped individually, 4oz margarine 2oz cheese 12 oz for vegetarians but they had to give up their meat ration I think it was 10 old pence a week. 2/8p a pound for beef mince. 1 egg most weeks, the eggs had to be candled , put against a light to check they weren’t rotten and put into paper bags for the customers.

Comments (0)

login to comment