Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Eda’s Diary: Going Shopping

Original post:

In summer 1916 a meeting of the tenants of Well Hall and the Eltham hutments was reported in the Pioneer.  The tenants were concerned about the lack of shops for this large housing area.  The parade at Well Hall was even further away for the residents of the hutment and if shopping was to be done in Eltham or Woolwich then the cost of the tram fare made shopping more expensive, and this on top of what were felt to be high rents.  The chairman of the Well Hall Residents Association, Mr J. E. Mills, stated that the situation was ‘growing rapidly worse’.  He seemed to be claiming that the shops were taking advantage of the high demand and were increasing their prices – he referred to this as ‘bloodsucking’ – and others referred to the shops closing earlier than before the war and having fewer assistants.  Mr Mills also said that the tenants needed to do something themselves to change the situation.

The proposal from Mr J.P.Pittuck was for the formation of their own co-operative store beginning with three main departments – grocery, bakery and butchery; they wanted to fulfil something that the Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society had failed to do but this would not be easy.   If the tenants were in favour then capital would need to be raised from the tenants.  Mr Pittuck went on to say that women’s help was necessary to the success of the scheme both its formation and management as they were the shoppers.

We do not know what happened about this proposal.

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