I’ve got some lovely plums

There was no scanning of items in the Du Cane Fruitier, the greengrocers opposite where I was brought up on Balham High Road in the ‘60s.

What there was was a giant, dirt-covered cash register where, if your bill came to anything involving a halfpenny, you’d need several hands to press the keys down to display the amount.

There was no “bag for life”.  You had a string bag, a bag you’d bought years ago during a holiday in Ventnor or a basket on wheels. 

Rather than you packing the fruit and veg, they’d be poured into your bag.  If you were lucky they’d be wrapped in a paper bag, so flimsy, it would have disintegrated by the time you’d transferred your purchase into your vegetable rack.  The greengrocer was determined to get you as earth-covered as he was;  I think they were on commission from Lux, Camay or the local pumice stone makers.

I loved the signs in the greengrocers, especially as I was very short-sighted as a kid.  I couldn’t miss the six-inch high white sign displaying 1/6 in some gothic script.

My mum would invariably do the shopping in hot pants.  Looking back, the greengrocers must have thought I was a bit of a hinderance, especially as my mum would insist I was her little brother.

To be fair, she never went to look at the special cauliflowers they kept out the back.

2 thoughts on “I’ve got some lovely plums

  1. I guess you must have lived in Du Cane Court.

    I went to Primary School in St May’s – just down the road.

    Warm regards, keep it going.



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