The concept of shopping, as
we know it today, developed about 300 years ago. Until 1700,
people had bartered and traded goods with each other, bought
from markets, fairs and pedlars or direct from craftsmen such as
carpenters, potters, weavers, hosiers, tailors, dressmakers and
milliners - there were very few shops. Everything from clothing
to household goods was hand made; there was no processed food
and nothing was packaged.
The Industrial Revolution of
the mid-18th century had a great impact on people’s
lives: new production methods led to the introduction of
mass-produced and ready to use goods, and by the beginning of
the 19th century, this, in turn, had led to the
establishment of a new generation of shops selling these new
types of product.
In Tickhill, early 19th
century directories reveal shopkeepers, such as grocers, linen
dealers, drapers, druggists, butchers, bakers and an earthenware
dealer were all starting to trade side by side with established
craftsmen, such as straw bonnet and dressmakers, shoemakers,
milliners, hatters, tailors, breeches makers, glovers, joiners
and cabinet makers, linen weavers and bleachers and makers of
nails and sieves.
By mid-century, these ‘new’
shopkeepers were starting to dominate high streets throughout
the country. In Tickhill the aforementioned were joined by a
confectioner, two booksellers and stationers, together with
several shopkeepers and dealers in sundries - all vying for
The emergence of the
department store and the chain store, together with the birth of
the Co-operative movement in the mid-19th century
brought more changes in retailing; customers were offered a
greater choice of goods, many of which were branded and
pre-packed. Advertising goods and services, together with
elaborate window displays to tempt prospective customers, became
essential for a successful business.
Although Tickhill could not
claim to have any department stores as such, it certainly had
several shops, including
Jenkinson’s that sold a host of different items
ranging from groceries and household goods to clothing and home
furnishings. Tickhill had to wait until the new century for the
opening of its first chain store –
Hunter’s Tea Stores in 1906, and this was followed
three years later by the
Mutual Co-operative & Industrial Society,
known affectionately as the ‘Co-op’.
Many family businesses were
established in the 19th century, which were to be
handed down from father to son and, in many cases, through
several generations. Many shopkeepers operated apprenticeship
schemes, and once completed, many apprentices went on to
establish their own successful businesses.
Colbeck’s and the
Office were just some of the successful family
businesses that were established in Tickhill during this
The early years of the 20th
century saw a gradual decline in old established crafts, as more
and more mass produced and ready to wear to goods flooded the
market; this became more evident in the1930s, when the threat of
war and a shortage of raw materials saw a distinct fall in the
manufacture of ‘bespoke’ items. Choice of goods was greatly
restricted during the Second World War with the introduction of
food rationing in January 1940 and clothing the following year;
the availability of furniture and household goods was also
limited, and special coupons or ‘dockets’ were issued. Rationing
continued into the post-war era, with clothing being de-rationed
in 1949 and food in 1954.
The early post-war years saw
the emergence of a new concept in shopping – the self-service
supermarket; in suburban areas throughout the country this
contributed to the decline of the corner shop and many
independent retailers, who could not compete with cut-price and
‘own brand’ goods; the effect on villages however, was less
significant. Always ready to keep up with the current trend,
the grocers became the first shop to introduce self-service in
Tickhill in the 1960s.
By the end of the 20th
century, many town and city centres had declined, due to the
popularity of out-of-town shopping malls and retail parks, which
offered free parking for their customers. However, once again
like supermarkets in the 1960s, they have had less impact on
villages, and in Tickhill today (2009), there is still a wide
range of shops and other facilities serving the needs of local
A history, directory and gazetteer of the County of York.
Vol.1. West Riding.1822.
Tickhill: portrait of an English country town. Waterdale
Chronicle: various references
Doncaster Gazette: various references
Doncaster Gazette Directories: 1891-1938/9
Doncaster Mutual Co-operative & Industrial
Society: Committee minute books 1908-1911 .
Hill, Carol, Butcher, baker,
cabinetmaker: an illustrated history of the shops and
shopkeepers of Doncaster. Waterdale Press. 1989.
Directories of the West Riding of Yorkshire 1867-1936
Pigot & Co.
Commercial Directories for Yorkshire, 1828 –1841.
Directories of the Northern Counties 1848 &1858
Award & Map 1848
A history, gazetteer and
directory of the West Riding of Yorkshire. Vol.1.