Chattin And Hortin

A Memory of Brierley Hill

I remember being a regular visitor to this shop in the 1940's and 50's with my grandmother buying material, ribbons and clothes. Like all the other children I was fascinated by the pneumatic tube system for conveying the paperwork and money to and from the office, in later years my school uniform was bought here. Nearby in Marsh and Baxter's big shop there was another system for conyeying the money in little metal cups which screwed onto a lid which was fastened to some wires. Once the cup was attached the asistant pulled down a wooden handle and the cup shot along the wires to the office high up at the rear of the shop. My grandmother always shopped at Gitten's grocers and the mixture of wonderful smells is a familiar now as the large square metal tins of biscuits in front of the counter. All the cheeses, butters etc. were individually cut, weighed and wrapped. Sugar, flour and dried fruits were similarly weighed and put into strong blue paper bags. No vacuum packed items in those days although there were some items in tins and cardboard packets arranged on shelves behind the wooden counters.

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