Before the First World War, over 75% of the butter, cheese, eggs and bacon consumed in the UK came from overseas. The outbreak of war brought an urgent need to cut down on imports to save foreign currency, and to reallocate shipping to the war effort. Food shortages therefore became a serious issue.
Women at work
During the 19th century, shop keeping was generally regarded as an unsuitable job for women, not least because of the long working hours and heavy lifting it entailed. However, it was both common and acceptable for female family members to work in smaller shops.
A Family Business
When, in 1869, a young couple of set up a small dairy shop in a small property they rented on London’s Drury Lane, no one could have predicted that this would go on to become a nation-wide retailer, known to families right across the country.