Skip to main content

tv   Booze Beans Bhajis  BBC News  January 2, 2017 10:30am-11:01am GMT

10:30 am
hello. this is bbc news. the headlines. rail passengers are facing higher fares across the uk as average price increases of 2.3% are introduced on the first weekday of the new year. around the rail network there's a lot happening, billions of pounds being spent and yes, of course, nobody wants to see a fare increase but costs rise. funerals are held for victims of the gun attack on an istanbul nightclub. the so—called islamic state claims it was behind it. detectives investigating the death of a girl who was knocked down by a car in oldham on new year's eve are questioning five men in connection with the incident. and there's a new app which aims to cut down on food waste by letting customers order leftover food at the end of restaurant service. bbc presenter babita sharma, the daughter of shopkeepers, explores the growing and shifting fortunes of the corner shop
10:31 am
and its place in the social fabric of britain — in part one of booze, beans & bhajis: the story of the corner shop. what is it about the british and the cornershop? the corner shop has a lwa ys cornershop? the corner shop has always been there for us. a british institution. there are almost more corner shops than there are corners. it was on the frontline of what was happening in society from the 1940s to the 19905. it saved our bacon during the second world war. it also became a rite of passage for new immigrants, including my family. iam the new immigrants, including my family. i am the daughter of shopkeepers and for me the corner shop sits at the very heart of the community. it's
10:32 am
what mum and dad called the glory days and by that they meant a buzzing trade and i remember it really well. the shop being absolutely packed full of customers. i would sit on the shop counterand see all walks of life come in through the front doors and you would know everything about them, the paper they read, theirfavourite box of cigarettes. above all else, you would know all the gossip in the town. this is a local shop for local people, nothing for you here! this unsung hero has been at the centre of ordinary lives for more than 70 yea rs. of ordinary lives for more than 70 years. its death has been predicted many times, but still it soldiers on. for the last decade it's been said that the days of the corner shop are numbered. sojust how said that the days of the corner shop are numbered. so just how has it managed to survive? from the traditions of open all
10:33 am
hours to league of gentlemen, eve ryo ne hours to league of gentlemen, everyone has their corner shop and a story to go with it. that will be 97p, love. thank you. 0h, that will be 97p, love. thank you. oh, don't bother about the 3p, you can oh, don't bother about the 3p, you ca n owe oh, don't bother about the 3p, you can owe it to me. oh, right. asa can owe it to me. oh, right. as a journalist, i am interested in the role these small independent shops seem to have played in helping to shape britain into a modern multicultural nation. today, i am going back to our oldcorner shop, vp superstores in reading owned and run by my mum and dad. it looks completely different. it's not how we had it, right? the grocery shelves were here. then ca kes grocery shelves were here. then cakes on that side. the till was this side, wasn't it? no, the same side, here. but i remember, wasn't
10:34 am
it out this way? no, that way. 0h, 0k. it out this way? no, that way. 0h, ok. i remember us sitting here, right? yeah. for me and my sisters this was our counter. the shop was our home. our library, our play area. what year did you buy the shop? 77. the year i was born you bought the shop? you were four months old. 77, yeah. the corner shop was clearly in my dna. but little did i know that i was being born into a much bigger history. you often hear that phrase we are a nation of shopkeepers, a nation that's been built on entrepreneurs and that wealth and drive of ambition, but i don't think i ever realised any of that when i was a kid here in this corner shop. i didn't realise that we were part of a much richer history, a history that dates right back to the victorian era. in the 19th century, suburbs were
10:35 am
created to house an increasing urban population. but they needed a local food supply. and the victorians came up food supply. and the victorians came up with an ingenious solution. town planners created rows of houses and terraces in which the house on the corner of a junction of roads was designed specifically to be a shop. it would often have a large window, a door on the corner, in order to attract the largest flow of traffic and to serve that local community.- on the corner of the street. corner shops became the backbone of the 19405 urban community. but it seems their success was a product of circumstances, we literally had no choice. dooring the second world war when
10:36 am
most food is rationed people have to register with their local shop in order to receive their food. register with their local shop in order to receive theirfood. this is a period where the local shop really thrives, in part, as a result of rationing. added to that, you have really much more restricted movement, in part, because of petrol rationing, but also because men are away at war, women are working and so away at war, women are working and so people are spending less time travelling to the centres of town, there is less money available. so there is less money available. so the local shop comes into its own at this time. an oldcorner shop has been preserved at the folk and transport museum in northern ireland. this is what it would have looked like. chris wilson grew up in the belfast of the 19405. this to me is the late 19405, early 505. this to me is the late 19405, early 50s. all the sweets! in those days we didn't worry about
10:37 am
oui’ in those days we didn't worry about our teeth. during the war sweets we re our teeth. during the war sweets were on ration. he regularly helped out as anner and boy in his corner shop of the shankill road. because of course the war must have had a big impact on what the corner shop was selling. yes, it did have, that's true. there were coupons, you had a ration book and you could only buy what the coupons allowed you to buy, eggs were in ration, cheese, you had a cheese wire you lifted up the handle and the wire came down and cut the cheese. really sharp. sometimes you cut your finger. you didn't tell the customer there was blood on the cheese, you just wrapped it up! health and safety didn't exist in those days, neither did the nhs. but the corner shop stepped in to
10:38 am
provide a myriad of cheap over the countermedicines. i and all my friends in little houses were lined up friends in little houses were lined up by friends in little houses were lined up by our mothers on a saturday morning and we were given either liquid paraffin, milk of milk mag nesia or syrup of figures. on a tablespoon line up the wee ones and you got it and a piece of orange after. the corner shop was kind of a pharmacy and news agency and butchers. yes, you could buy anything ina butchers. yes, you could buy anything in a corner shop. morning, well, what do you want? a pound of pickled onions. during the 19405 people shopped every day and the corner shop was where you came to meet your neighbours, hear all the local news, and, of course, the local gossip. neighbours, hear all the local news, and, of course, the local gossiplj
10:39 am
believe a bit of trouble yesterday. there was. the corner shop was the social centre of two or three streets. people talked about things. they talked about interesting things, have you heard about him, he is off with so and so, have you heard about her? have you heard about so and so, she's lording it over us about so and so, she's lording it over us because she's an artificial fur coat. all that sort of talk. all this is happening as people would come in to a place like this and be chatting away. it was a social gathering of the area. it was better than the local bbc, it picked up all the news. even well into the post—war era we shopped into this very personal way. this shop is a minute from the main shopping centre in rotherham. people rely on it from anything from sugar toa rely on it from anything from sugar to a paintbrush. customers pop in for one or two items. the retail landscape in britain is completely different to what we know today. you
10:40 am
would go into an independent shop and one or two people would serve you, reaching goods from behind a counterand packaging them up and serving you, it was a slow encounter, a personal encounter. and three pounds of potatoes, please. few people have fridges, only 50% of people have fridges in 1969 so the corner shop provides a local close by service to buy perishable goods. god forbid if you forgot anything as the corner shop was closed on saturday at midday and didn't open again until monday. time you were off. right, see you. good night. a shopping revolution was on the horizon. the little corner shop was about to face its first big threat. a transatlantic phenomenon has made itsz mark in british shops, the
10:41 am
self—service store. according to experts it's here to stay. someone once compared the self—service store with a lending library and you have to buy the goods, that's the principle it works on. choose for yourself. there is no doubt self—service completely revolutionised the way that we shop. some people reported at the time they felt less scrutinised, they weren't being judged. now it was often the case with people who were perhaps poorer or working—class. particularly if they haven't been able to afford many goods, they would have felt more judged able to afford many goods, they would have felt morejudged in able to afford many goods, they would have felt more judged in the environment of the small local shop. in the supermarket, you sort of wander freely. because everything is on show and easy to reach housewives are finding shopping easier, quicker and more convenient. there are about 50 in1950. and more convenient. there are about 50 in 1950. by1969 there is and more convenient. there are about 50 in 1950. by 1969 there is 3400. it grows really quickly. housewives hope that it will cut out queues. the glamour of self—service made the
10:42 am
corner shop seem the glamour of self—service made the corner shop seem small and outdated. it's now engaged in a david and goliath battle with the supermarket. many corner shop owners simply decided that they had had enough and that it was time to sell up. how was the corner shop going to survive? fortu nately survive? fortunately help was at hand, waiting in the wings were a new generation of proprietors, including my parents. mum came from dehli in 1971 to marry dad. a great uncle convinced mum she should take on a corner shop. why did you want to have a shop, you were never there, dad. you were always in the factory. he said, you sit at home, you are not doing anything! did you say i have three kids to look after? she had to do something. 0k, why you
10:43 am
don't do a small shop and when the customers comes the bell will ring and you know the customer, go and serve. serve the customer. hold on, you are at the back of the shop looking after me, four months old and if the bell rings you will run and if the bell rings you will run and leave me! charming! so, why did so many asians become shop keepers at this time? so, i guess there is no inherent link between south asians and running shops. there is a set of circumstances that have historical circumstances. a lot of the migration to britain after world war ii comes because of a labour shortage in britain. we see obviously the northern milltowns, huge recruitment from the subcontinent for workers. that's partly because the white labour class in the north doesn't want to do that night shift. there is a —
10:44 am
asians are recruited to do that work. but this was the 1960s. if you we re work. but this was the 1960s. if you were an immigrant the chances of gaining promotion were slim. the labour market is much more difficult for asians than their white counterparts. facing discrimination in the labour market, one of the only options was to work for yourselves, that's one of the reasons asians did go into running corner shops. the asian corner shop provided a wealth of exotic goods that couldn't be bought anywhere else. but to be really successful depended on whether it could break out of a specialist market and take on the arkwrights of this world. we have never met. open all hours tackled this transition shopkeeper—to—shopkeeper. tackled this transition shopkeeper—to—shopkeeperlj tackled this transition shopkeeper-to-shopkeeper. i have just the thing for you. try this. three times a day after meals. the
10:45 am
name is... 74p. don't don't get me wrong. we are colleagues. i am don't don't get me wrong. we are colleagues. lam in don't don't get me wrong. we are colleagues. i am in the same line of business. me too, i am a yorkshire shopkeeper. as it happened, the very success of the supermarket revolution, which so threatened the corner shop, would 110w threatened the corner shop, would now come to its age... the rise of the supermarket in the late 19605 and through to the 19705 is, in part, because of increased amounts to ca rs part, because of increased amounts to cars on the roads, people can travel further to their supermarkets, a cause working habits are changing. women work more, and doing one weekly shop makes life much easier and because slowly people have refrigeration and are able to shop less frequently. this meant we still needed a local place
10:46 am
to top up our shopping and buy our newspapers. events in east africa we re newspapers. events in east africa were about to change the corner shop for ever... on the 4th of august 1972, is uganda dictator idiom moeen ordered the expulsion of the country's entire asian population... they have kept themselves apart, as a closed community and have refused to integrate. he condemned the asian minority, calling them "bloodsuckers". they made up only 1% of the population, but controlling 90% of the wealth. the reasons the ugandan asians rhaney lot of the
10:47 am
trade and commerce was not inherent link but part of the system of colonial garment. in uganda, in the early colonial period, africans were not allowed to go into trade, banned by law, and asians were not allowed to land at that point. there was a racial division of labour through colonial control, meaning the ugandan asians expelled in 1972 and who came to britain have experience in the trade. a ready-made nation of shopkeepers was about to arrive on oui’ shopkeepers was about to arrive on our doorstep. among the first was abdul, and his family. his father was a successful shop owner, and he was a successful shop owner, and he was one of the first people in uganda to own a mercedes and he employed over 200 workers. he was a close friend of idiom moeen, he never thought that he would be kicked out... your father thought
10:48 am
that being a friend of him he would be protected and ok, i am a wealthy businessman, but that did not matter... he told him himself, i cannot control my generals. in the end, my father decided that we had to get out. we only had seven days left before the deadline. they abandoned everything and came to london with six children to support, and only £50 in their pockets. we we re and only £50 in their pockets. we were literally riches to rags, overnight. we ended up in a refugee camp in somerset. in a little village. it was one of 15 rehousing camp set up by the government, in an effort to show british culture and help assimilation, they came up with some interesting entertainment. good
10:49 am
evening to you all, tonight we have a different kind of entertainment from what we've had before... mrs jones and her merrymakers from newbury portray the kind of songs that my grandfather and grandmother used to sing. # henry viii used to sing. # henry v!!! i am, iam in uganda our lifestyle was good. but here we were, on the begging bowl. it was not easy drying clothes in winter but in uganda, she had serva nts in winter but in uganda, she had servants doing everything. cutting onions, washing clothes. overnight, their lives were more difficult than oui’s. # i oui’s. #iam oui’s. # i am henry viii oui’s. # i am henry v!!! i am # . abdullah # i am henry v!!! i am # .abdullah and his family spent four months in the detention centre and his father was determined to start
10:50 am
again asa his father was determined to start again as a shopkeeper. my father was one of those guys who said, you are not going on to the welfare system. i know if it gets into your blood, you will never work. you will enjoy it. he said one day, i'll start my ownjob, and it. he said one day, i'll start my own job, and he it. he said one day, i'll start my ownjob, and he did. it. he said one day, i'll start my own job, and he did. they got enough money to rent a small shop in bristol where rents were cheap. he would work from half past seven in the morning until half past one at night. he would selma canned bread in the morning, then at night, taxi drivers would want their chicken palau or biryani. there were no onion bhajis. what we ate in africa was what he could and people loved it. —— what he cooked. but not everybody received such a warm welcome. during
10:51 am
the early 19705, 27,000 asians came to the uk, sparking a wave of protests from far right groups. we have taken our petition to the home office. we are asking for some common sense about this. we have many unemployed, we cannot squeeze in any more. leicester city council took out an advert in the ugandan press, warning migrants not to come as they were full. where will you live? ireland, orw12, london. i will not go to southall lester, other places, where there is an influx already of immigrants. not everybody was so well—informed. .. this actress is a familiar face playing character massoud in east enders. —— character. he arrived in kenya at the age ofjust three. his family
10:52 am
moved to coventry, but little did they know that they were setting up shop next door to the national front... when they first came over, we re front... when they first came over, were they accepted? no, not at all. we were the first asians in the neighbourhood. and there was a lot of races, that was at the time when the national front were based in coventry. —— a lot of racism. shops we re coventry. —— a lot of racism. shops were targeted and i remember people throwing staff at the shop, trying to smash it down. my mother was spat at, my dad was beaten up... witty enough, as you grow up, you go, that is just enough, as you grow up, you go, that isjust normal, enough, as you grow up, you go, that is just normal, right? enough, as you grow up, you go, that isjust normal, right? —— strangely enough. asian shops are particular targets for attacks... i feel sorry for the little shop man. they'd been targeted six times. the asian
10:53 am
shopkeepers that we met were too scared to speak. it is a shame what they do to them in there. it was hardly the start that nitin and his family believe they would have in britain, farfrom the fairy family believe they would have in britain, far from the fairy tale. there was no fairy tale, we had no money. mum was wearing flip—flops in winter, we were catching the bus to go to the cash and carry to fill up the shop with stuff. i was four or five years old and would be carrying boxes of crisps. it was through sheer hard work. there is nothing romantic about it. taking ona there is nothing romantic about it. taking on a corner shop catapulted immigrants like nitin‘s family onto the front line of racism in 19705 britain. in the corner shop there was nowhere to hide, so why do they
10:54 am
do it? it is in our dna, we were born to do this. the principle for most indians were that now we are free of the colonials, we will be our own masters. we will not work for anyone else. it is a small, emotional and political revolution foran indian emotional and political revolution for an indian mentality, to push that through line all the way through to becoming an entrepreneur and being your own boss. and having your own shop? and having your own business, whether a shop... whatever it is, you are your own boss and the way that my father would say in gujarati, i do not want to be bending my knees to anyone else... but how did we turn a profit when others had failed before us? well, we opened on sunday. we also imported our business model which included and costed free family labour. —— uncosted. in ourshopping
10:55 am
reading, nobody got out of doing a shift and there was no pay in doing this work, other than eating as many sweets as we could, in secret of course! but my parents remember things a bit differently... i did a lot in this shop, stacking the shelves... no, the girls didn't. in this shop we stacked all of the shelves! sometimes... but we would do pedigree charms... toilet rolls, cigarettes... silk cut, lambert and butler... do you not remember that? so, that was how my childhood was spent in my parent's cornershop. in
10:56 am
the next part i pick up the story from the 19805 and a new generation of corner shop owners. we have some great weather out there today, certainly good enough to go about for a nice stroll in the crisp sunshine, especially if you were indoors yesterday with all of that rain, perhaps sleeping off new year celebrations. crisp and cold today, the next few days will be quite nippy, especially the mornings... this is what is happening now, colder air over us. arctic air,
10:57 am
chilly enough and this blob of relatively less cold air is heading in the direction of north—west scotland. more cloud associated with that, coming off the atlantic and a few showers, the buzz majority of the uk has a beautiful sunny day out there. let's look at the middle of there. let's look at the middle of the afternoon, in scotland a different story, not so sunny and cloud in western areas, some rain and chilly at four or 5 degrees in the lowlands. similar in belfast, wherever you are today it will be on the colder side. temperatures into low single figures but wherever you are, it is sunny down here. now, this is try out which makes it feel colder than the temperature actually suggests —— dry air. it will be feeling better. this area are applied pressure means that clear skies across england and wales, and off the atlantic brings in cloud.
10:58 am
some blue here, widespread frost on the way and some icy patches develop like last night. these temperatures are right in the middle of cities, meaning that everywhere in these rural areas could mean it is colder. for 5 degrees so tomorrow morning, a real ha rd for 5 degrees so tomorrow morning, a real hard frost for many. a touch of eyesin real hard frost for many. a touch of eyes in a couple of places but noticed this brings in cloud from the atlantic, a large chunk of the uk tomorrow will be a lot more cloudy, more clouds in the sky by the time we get to the early afternoon. the middle part of the week, high—pressure which is elongated into iceland. they, wintry lows across europe, bringing in snow and rather than snow, it will be mist and fog in the morning on wednesday and thursday but by day, we will have some sunshine. still remaining on the colder side but i think it will be the mornings that will be chilly, the daytimes will
10:59 am
not be quite so frosty. whatever it is you are doing today, enjoy some sunshine if you can! this is bbc news, i'm reeta chakrabarti, the headlines at 11: average rail fare increases of 2.3% across britain are condemned by passenger groups as a kick in the teeth for travellers. it's already expensive, so if it goes up i don't know. i think it's a disgrace, particularly as the railways aren't that efficient. well, around the rail network there's a lot happening, billions of pounds being spent, and nobody wnats to see a fare increase, but costs rise. funerals are held for victims of the gun attack on an istanbul nightclub. the so—called islamic state claims it was behind it. five men are arrested after a hit—and—run in oldham in which a 12—year—old girl was killed and her 11—year—old cousin left fighting for her life.
11:00 am

164 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on