Yirrell’s butcher’s shop, Old Road, Linslade c.1900 [Z50/74/15]
Friday 21st September 1917: The Emergency Committee of the Linslade Urban and Wing and Eaton Bray Rural Joint Food Control Committee has been dealing with issues regarding the implementation of the Bread Order which came into force on Monday. This required all bakers’ stocks to be recorded on the previous Saturday evening – no simple task when there were twenty villages in addition to the town of Linslade to cover. With the introduction of the Order the price of flour dropped from about 60 shillings to 44 shillings and three pence, and bakers were to be compensated for all stock in hand which had been purchased at the higher price. All stocks were to be inspected, with invoices proving the price paid to be presented to the inspector. At last week’s meeting of the Committee it was decided that the sub-committees recently appointed for each village should be given responsibility for the task, and a single Linslade committee member should carry out the inspection in the town. At today’s committee meeting it was reported that the matter had been dealt with satisfactorily. Only one Linslade baker required adjustment as all the others had cleared out their stocks by Saturday evening. The village sub-committees had not yet made their returns due to a delay in sending out forms
The Committee also considered butchers’ scales of charges. The Committee was informed that only five had sent in lists of their meat prices. Offenders were to be sharply reminded of their obligations and warned that failure to meet them was punishable by a £100 fine and imprisonment. Butchers were now also required to exhibit their prices but in a number of cases this was not being done. The position of itinerant butchers under the regulations was questioned, and the committee Chairman advised that they were required to display prices in the same way as any other butcher, with their cart being treated as a shop for this purpose. Notices have been sent out asking those butchers who have not already done so to display their price list as ordered by the Food Controller. There was concern that as butchers were allowed to make £10 on each bullock price manipulation was taking place. Butchers with a high-class trade reduced the price of poor cuts which they did not sell and increased the price of better joints, while those who traded mostly in cheap cuts lowered the official prices for the more expensive parts and charged more for the rest.
The committee was given a long list of applications for registration as retailers of sugar, with all but one approved. There was some surprise at the number of sugar retailers, with the village of Wing having as many as eleven certified as having sold sugar during the year 1915 – it is thought that some only ever sold sugar in the form of sweets! The Linslade applicant whose claim was disputed explained in a letter that his business was opened in July 1916 and dealt mainly with boat people who were concerned about their future supply of sugar. It was recommended that the application should be refused as there were two other shops near the canal where supplies could be obtained.
Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer 18th and 25th September 1917