Stedman, Ronald (24 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 24: Tape 12 Side B: Recording 17 November 1999 at Butchers’ Hall, London. GR had eight shops when RS first met him and was able to buy more each year. RS with him 27 years, by which time he had 130 shops. More shops planned. Shop had to cost no more than £3,000-£5,000 and this limited areas. RS felt this was not a good budget. Thinks GR was nervous because didn’t know about meat business. GR’s practice as an accountant never got anywhere because interested in being Chair of Middlesex County Council, socialising within such circles etc. Left on his own RS thinks GR would have done badly; RS was the main influences. Close friend of RS, Robert Walters, worked for Robeson and Partners. RS had first choice of any suitable shop. Met R when bought eighteenth shop in Paddington, details. RS took R’s funeral service; is still in touch with his widow, Irene, buyer of jewellery at Debenhams. R clever but not a businessman. Details RW’s father a shoe salesman, related to Smithfield shopowner, Goldsmith. Jewish community in Smithfield. His uncle organised ramblers’ group from Smithfield. Memories of Goldsmith, RS used to buy veal from him. No need to buy kosher meat. Desription of kosher meat practices. Humane conditions in modern British slaughterhouses. Description. Further details re Islington market. RS would sit with Bill Knapman in Haywards Heath Market, BK would buy rubbish and RS would buy decent meat. Bought live animals because wanted to get back ‘to beginning of things, to buy on the hoof’. Robeson and Partners was based in West Smithfield, dealt only with meat trade, London and Home Counties; went out of business approx 1990 because of decline of small butcher. RW retired before business closed, details. No comparable business exists now. Period when shops changed hand by word of mouth. R&Parnters and Hammetts. R. C. Hammett sold out, started Dewhurst shops for Vesteys. Vesteys started in meat trade by buying Hammett out. H built up Dewhurst to be biggest group in England. H a competitor with RS. Vestey was on Court of Butchers’ Hall when RS was master. Hammett had a buyer, Colin Cullimore. CC the son of a butcher.

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