I went on about this anachronistic shop in the Unmitigated England book, and illustrated my recollections with a selection of pictures taken in the late seventies in Billesdon, Leicestershire.This is one that escaped the net, turned-up today as I was rummaging for a photograph of a Fenland drainage pumping station. The shop was extraordinary, with contemporary brands jostling for position on the shelves with once memorable but now extinct household names. I think this photograph is of the front-of-shop 'display', not so much an example of the window dresser's art as a repository for tins and packets put there a year or so before and then forgotten. So much of this was once so familiar. I miss the Norfolk stuffing box (top shelf, right) with the smiley pig on it and the legend 'Highly Recommended' underneath, and that Nestle Ideal milk tin with the white stripes. Can you still get Mary Had mint sauce? I bet I go to the shops tomorrow and see if they do, depositing yet another unopened jar in the Ashley Archive, alongside all seven of those very clever variants of the Lyle's Golden Syrup cans they're doing to celebrate 125 sticky years.
I am a writer and photographer who spends all his time looking at England, particularly buildings and the countryside. But I have a leaning towards the slightly odd and neglected, the unsung elements that make England such an interesting place to live in. I am the author and photographer of over 25 books, in particular Unmitigated England (Adelphi 2006), More from Unmitigated England (Adelphi 2007), Cross Country (Wiley 2011), The Cigarette Papers (Frances Lincoln 2012) and Preposterous Erections (Frances Lincoln 2012)