Of Cows and Elephants


During our recent weekend in London we somehow found ourselves at Conway Street having a coffee in the old Welsh dairy which has featured in this blog before.  As my wife said, how did that happen?  A weekend away and we end up looking at retailing. But as it turns out she might well have already been to the store in the 1960s when she visited her aunt in Bermondsey, who was also in the grocery/milk trade, and got taken to a Welsh dairy shop near the then new Post Office Tower.

This shop is a listed building and is a reminder of days past and a trade that served London well (read the book mentioned here, if interested).  The shop, as the photos show remains dramatic, if a little faded, and there is clear wear and tear.  The tiles and counter inside are neat and intact but it is the blue outside that steals the show.  A nice historic shop to see; a good coffee too.

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As an aside, you can read more about the store in Megan Hayes’ book or in the “a London inheritance” online site, with the latter having a good 1980s photo of the shop in operation.

We also met up with friends in Greenwich and took in the bustling market – not a stall vacant and full of people and interesting outlets, food and otherwise.  Just outside is the curved Burton’s store with its elephants and in this case two foundation stones in clear view.  A very nice mosaic tiled entrance is also still clearly visible – as the photos below show.  A nice addition to my growing collection of elephants and stones.


Our retail history can be fascinating and these two examples show that it remains a visible presence (even if Bill’s in Greenwich has been allowed to do abominable things to the fascia).


About Leigh Sparks

I am Professor of Retail Studies at the Institute for Retail Studies, University of Stirling, where I research and teach aspects of retailing and retail supply chains, alongside various colleagues. I am Chair of Scotland's Towns Partnership. I am also a Deputy Principal of the University, with responsibility for Education and Students and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
This entry was posted in Architecture, Buildings, Burtons, Heritage, Historic Shops, History, London, MIlk, Retail History, Uncategorized, Urban History and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Of Cows and Elephants

  1. Pingback: The Buttercup Dairy Company | Stirlingretail

  2. Pingback: The architectural heritage of Montague Burton’s Art Deco shops | Stirlingretail

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