Hadleigh Butcher: Clement Groombridge

The above photograph, taken circa 1933, appears in - Hadleigh: An Essex Village by Marion Hancock & Sandra Harvey, published in 1986, Phillimore & Co Ltd, page 77
By kind permission of Sandra Harvey

Mr Clement Groombridge opened a butcher’s shop in the Broadway, next to the Public Hall, in 1923 and he can be seen above, standing in the doorway, along with his two members of staff on the right.  The lad in the darker overalls is Alf Bush; one of the future partners of the Bush Brothers building firm.  The shop is well-presented with hanging lamps; a pot plant adds a final touch.  This is the height of modernity, not only can you “telephone from here” (hanging sign on the right of the picture), but your meat is protected by refrigeration (as described by the sign in the window):
“Frigidaire safeguards the food you buy here”

Mr Robert Nichols, local author, recalls going to the butcher’s shop on a daily errand for his mother:

“Before school my twin brother Richard and I would go to the butcher’s shop for the day’s meat.  We would be very scared of Mr Groombridge, because he would stand behind the counter, holding his meat cleaver in the air, and then bring it down suddenly, cutting the meat and making us jump!  We were quite small and would stand holding hands in fright!”

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