Stedman, Ronald (23 of 32). Food: From Source to Salespoint

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  • Subjects

    Meat industry

  • Recording date

    1999-09-08, 1999-09-30, 1999-10-28, 1999-11-17, 2000-04-20

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home and Butchers' Hall, London

  • Interviewees

    Stedman, Ronald, 1917-2009 (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Courtney, Cathy (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 23: Tape 12 Side A: RS’s salary cont. £30,000 profit in 1940s approx £1million in 1990s. Market for parachutes, taking on staff to deal with the orders. GR’s father was Chairman of Fitch Lovell. GR family fortunes had started in C19 when one of them got job as clerk at Fitch Lovell, eventually bought a street of houses; clerk’s son (GR’s father) trained as accounant and became director of Fitch Lovell, became rich. Father left GR £1 million and GR was able to extend his empire. GR’s father died approx 1952. GR at good north London day school but not a public school. RS’s senior by ten years. GR contracted polio in 1946 and never walked again, RS last person to see him on his feet, details. GR became public figure, Chairman of Middlesex County Council, was knighted. GR had no friends. GR had chain of 80 shops – RS demanded share in business. GR refused and RS agreed to having own companies whilst still running GR’s shops. After 27 years, fed up with GR’s meanness and treatment of staff, had own companies by this time and decided to leave GR and devote full time to his own concerns. GR’s character. GR’s eldest son remains close to RS and W. RS knew GR’s second son and also his daughter, who has now died. GR called RS ‘Stedman’, as did his wife, Vera. RS gave year’s notice but GR rejected it. Paid for his year’s notice. Agreed to work for three months and GR’s eldest son, Richard, would take over. Taught Richard the job and persuaded to work out the year. GR never spoke to RS again after he left. GR left £27 million without a will – problems. Richard’s son, Edward, close to RS and W. R now has over £30 million, makes more money than his father ever did. No conflict that R might become a competitor, didn’t believe chain of butchers’ shops would survive. Closed own butchers shops down apart from two and put other trades into the freehold shops. Details. What became of butchers shops. Changes in meat trade due to supermarkets offering car parking. Less meat eaten, people wanting to be thinner; growth of vegetarianism. Families don’t eat together. Popularity of prepared food. Popularity of hamburger and switch to unbalanced diets. Television mea

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