Shops needed

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Things have changed a lot over the 30 years since I visited Mansfield on a Saturday morning with my mum and younger sister to do the fresh food shop.

While my dad was busy working down Sherwood Colliery I can remember visiting Keith Reed on the market for our fruit and vegetables.

Jeff Gaunt of Gaunt Butchers is to retire after 56 years in the family business.

Jeff Gaunt of Gaunt Butchers is to retire after 56 years in the family business.

It was always four-five people deep and everything looked so fresh and smelt so good standing there at the counter.

No matter who served my mum, they always began by saying, ‘good morning Mrs French. How are you today?’

My mum would then pass over her bag and they would reply, ‘see you at the end, Mrs French.’

A gentleman would then ruffle my hair and give me and my sister an apple. Next stop would be Bird’s butchers.

The floor always had sawdust on it and a precise order was placed, such as 2lb of pork sausage, 2lb of smoked bacon and something called pork dripping!

I remember being amazed at something that looked like a meat trifle, which I later learned was the best thing to cook roast potatoes in.

The indoor market would be next. My mum would always ask for ‘wet fish’ and I thought this was strange as all the fish was wet.

And the cakes at Moons Bakery looked so good and smelt so nice.

But supermarket chains and the internet revolution have completely changed the way food is marketed and the way we buy it.

Free range, cornfed and organic chickens, Omega 3, high fibre, low fibre, ready meals, sustainable seafood, fast food and junk food,

Can you remember the last time you heard the humming sound of a milkfloat or the rattling of its milk bottles?

We never had smart phones, lap tops and internet shopping when I was a lad and I am only 40 years old.

Although these things are great but we have lost customer service as a result.