News End Of The Road For 180 Year Old Shop

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End of the road for 180-year-old shop?
2nd October 2019

By Sandra Pearce

A shop that has been owned for 180 years by the same family is likely to close soon, unless someone can be found to keep it going when the current generation retires.

WG Grinter’s was built in the 1800s by two brothers in the village of Street in Somerset. It started out as a butchers, and remained so until the end of the 1920s.

Wilfred George Grinter, better known as Jack in the village, and Adelaide Grinter started selling animal feeds and pet food in the 1930s. It is currently under the stewardship of their daughter, Julie Cook, and son Stuart Hutchings.

The next generation have chosen different career paths (Adelaide’s grandson is a carpenter and her granddaughter is a nursery nurse), leaving no one to continue the family business when they retire.

FARMERS

Adelaide, 85, said: “We are one of the last two long-running established businesses in the village. My grandfather and his brother built the shop in the 1800s.

“My parents ran it together and I lived here until I got married. They sold chicken feed, horse feed and cow cakes. All the sorts of things farmers needed. Lots of people had chickens then.

“At the back of the shop and house there used to an orchard where we had chickens, so we sold eggs as well.”

During the Second World War, people came to the shop from miles around, reports the Somerset Live.

RATIONING

She said: “I remember mum’s kitchen being full of bird seed, stacked from floor to ceiling. People came from all over the country because they couldn’t get it anywhere else.

“With rationing in the war my dad used to sell 5lb bags of feed off the back of a trailer in the village and to farms.”

It was only in 1970 that the shop moved towards selling the sort of pet products it does today – as fewer people kept chickens and rationing stopped, the stock began to change slowly to include tinned cat and dog food.

The changes in the High Street have left Mrs Hutchings saddened. “Nowadays it's all cafes and restaurants. I keep hoping for a grocery shop in the High Street.”