3 lbs of loose-leaf tea packed in ¼ lb bags was recently delivered to my office in Halkett Place. Apart from the Imperial weight measure, you’re probably wondering “So what”?
Well, what is remarkable about this is that the Tea was supplied by Cooper & Co. to “Ballarat stores” on Trinity main road which was run by Mr. and Mrs. Marett. It was probably delivered to them sometime in the late 1950’s, or early 1960’s and has never seen the light of day since. Ballarat stores traded on the main Trinity road and was located next door to what is today a garage. It has long since been converted into a family home but still retains the name.
We have Sarah Marett a relative of the original owners to thank for this find. So much of what Cooper’s did has been lost in the annals of time but one person who still remembers the store is the ex-Constable of Trinity, John Gallichan. He recalled that he and his wife went shopping there on many occasions and used to get their Gammon delivered from town on the bus for collection from the store. He also recalled that the shop would be open from 5am to 8pm to accommodate the demands of the French farm workers who at the end of the working day would sit down with a bottle of wine or a beer.
Turning to the packet of tea. As well as being “Quarter pound net” it has been pre-priced at 9 ½ D. “old money”, that’s around 4.5p in “new” money. It also has the original telephone number “352”. Although the packaging doesn’t say so this would have been the old central exchange, on other packaging I’ve seen the term “central 352”. Today our telephone number is 733352 which reflects how the population has grown and how popular the telephone has become. Finally, the address is “47 Halkett Place”, today we trade from 57 Halkett Place. The company moved to its “new” address in 1971.
This package of tea is like a time capsule. How Jersey once worked, when life was a lot simpler.