Sadly just after Gordon posted these memories to us he died of cancer so we will be always in his debt for taking the time to pass them on when it must have been difficult for him.
In about 1972 I’d bought the lease of a shop in Rodbourne next door to what was Bob Units, the Butcher next door to the Dolphin. The previous tenant had converted the shop to a fruit and vegetable shop, but it hadn’t been too successful, he had it up for sale, and I decided to give it a try. I had a few contacts and bought a half share in a lorry, so along with Don Saunders from Wootton Bassett, we used to go to Southampton wholesale market at 5 am every Wednesday morning. Buying this way, and cutting out the local wholesalers i.e. Hughes, Collier’s etc we were able to sell much more competitively than the other local shops, of which to the best of my memory there were four others just in Rodbourne Lane.
The shop became quite successful, and being next to Bob Unit, who was the most popular butcher around it was all going very well. In fact I employed three local girls on a Saturday to cope with the queue.
It transpired that Bob owned both buildings, so I only paid him a small rent as at the time he was only interested in the place being kept clean and tidy. After about eighteen months Bob decided to retire, and hand over the business to Glyn Hunt, the present occupier. Bob used to call for the rent once a month. After about six months retirement became a bit boring for Bob, and as he was unable to open another butchers in the area ( lease agreement ) he started making me offers to sell him the business. I could see a good profit in it, and the chance to open a new shop in Cricklade, so the deal was done.
Bob soon found that fruit and vegetables from local wholesalers was not an easy game he thought it was, so after a few months, he sold it to Ray Girling who had it until very recently. By now enough time had elapsed for Bob to go back into butchery and he took over a shop on the other side of the road just below the mini market on the corner of ? Street. That’s all I can tell you, I really enjoyed my time in Rodbourne, ( I lived in Lydiard at the time ) and still keep in touch with some old friends from there.