Shelf life

PUBLISHED: 12:17 25 January 2007 | UPDATED: 14:59 12 May 2010

Shaun Coles with his shopping – 2007 style

Shaun Coles with his shopping - 2007 style

EVER tried recreating a 1950s shopping list? Well The Crow has - and it wasn t as hard as you may think. After a grocery book from 1959 containing a year s worth of shopping lists was found at a residential care home and shown to Shaun Coles of Orchard Ro

The 1959 shopping list - 2154DW4

EVER tried recreating a 1950s shopping list? Well The Crow has - and it wasn't as hard as you may think.

After a grocery book from 1959 containing a year's worth of shopping lists was found at a residential care home and shown to Shaun Coles of Orchard Road, Melbourn, we stepped back in time in an attempt to come up with the goods.

And some of today's much-loved products were as popular then as they are today.

It appears that people in Royston and the surrounding areas, liked Heinz tomato ketchup on their chips and Marmite on their toast - just as we do today.

The interesting find which was used to order a weekly shop from the old Co-op in Royston High Street, featured a variety of well known brands, such as Heinz, Horlicks, Marmite, and Oxo, as well as older brands, such as Fray Bentos, Magic margarine, Delsey toilet roll, and Omo washing powder.

Shaun, who grew up in the 50s, said: "I'm amazed at how many brands are still available. Many brand names have not changed today, although there were a few that are not so common on our shelves, such as Camp coffee and Viota bun mix.

"I had forgotten that we had tomato ketchup in those days, but the list proves we did, and that it was very popular. It has really brought back some fond memories.

"But what reminds me of my childhood is how they ordered basic ingredients and made their own meals, cakes, and snacks, without a trace of ready-made produce, frozen dinners, or foreign-style dishes.

"It is the complete opposite of today's shopping routine."

The food was delivered after the order had been placed, not so different from the internet shopping used so frequently now.

Shaun believes that a lot can be learned from a shopping list, and said when taking inflation into account, today's shoppers are financially better off.

He said: "I get the impression that the shopping list belonged to a lady who was possibly working class. She had a definite routine to her shopping, and you can see that she ordered the same things pretty much every week.

"Looking at the prices paid 48 years ago, and comparing them with today's prices, after allowing for inflation, I was surprised to find that most items were nearly twice as expensive.

"The list also reflects how things have developed and how our lifestyles have changed.

"I also think that their diet was also pretty basic and they certainly didn't have their five units of fruit and veg each day."

Shaun said it would be interesting to carry out the same experiment in another 48 years, and believes it would probably be a lot different.

He said: "Who knows - food may even come in the form of a pill!

"However, it would be nice to think that well-loved brands such as Heinz will still be on our shelves."

Only time will tell what the supermarkets and stores will be selling in 2055.

But it's a safe bet that whatever we will be tucking into - it will be accompanied by a drop of tomato ketchup!

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