King's Cross Voices

Memories (Peter Gardner)

Local butcher, Peter Gardner, was born in 1946 and grew up in North Road, Islington,  by the cattle market. He recalls how he started work in a butcher’s shop. He was interviewed in 2006.

“I got to thirteen or fourteen my mum said it was about time I went out to get a job and bring some money in and I got a paper round. That was early mornings - I only done mornings. Then I saw an advert in the local butcher's window 'Lad wanted to learn trade' and I went in there and asked him how much money it was and I felt like a millionaire, it was £1.50 a week - in them days - 30 bob! That was before school every morning and after school every night and all day Saturday.

[The butcher shop was] in York Way. It was Cramer's, there were two butchers' shops next-door to one another in York Way then.  Mr Cramer offered me five shillings a week more than the Post Office was going to give me so I took it although the hours were twice as many - shop work hours - worse than they are now. Butcher's shop hours and I'm not saying anybody else's hours because they're open 24 hours a day today. We used to start at like half-past six every morning and the shop never shut until six every night and there was a lot of us used to work in the shops then. Every shop you'd have six or seven butchers and every one got a living…"

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