What a book! Meticulous attention to detail is clearly evident throughout, and the inclusion of the many photographs illustrating such a well written account of the family business is an additional bonus for the reader. There will no doubt be many other such companies who in the end to bow to a new age and many of their stories will perhaps be similar to that of Matthew & Son. The book evoked lots of memories for me.
Arlene Hindle, Harrogate
As an undergraduate at Emmanuel in the early fifties, my drink of choice was not beer, but Sherry. One day, after visiting at Trinity, I decided to visit Matthew’s which was just across the road. I bought some cheeses and a bottle of their own excellent brand of Sherry. This soon became a weekly pilgrimage from Emmanuel for me, as my friends in College learned to look forward to my pre-Hall offerings.
The décor and levels of personal service had a charm and a grace that said “Edwardian” in a post WW2 era just emerging from austerity and rationing. After graduation I emigrated to Canada and was saddened to learn, much later, that Matthew’s had closed. Therefore it was with great interest and nostalgia that I purchased and read this delightful and upbeat paperback, Cambridge Grocer, the story of an institution which was a part of my three unforgettable years as a Cambridge undergraduate.
“Matthew’s for quality, Matthew’s for good service”
Whether you remember Matthew’s shop, as I do, or you are simply interested in local history, this book is for you. Written by Impington resident Judy Wilson, daughter of Bernard Matthew, the last Managing Director of the “Cambridge Grocer” Matthew & Son, this well written and very readable book is full of detailed information, and fascinating anecdotes, well supported by a wealth of photographs and examples of the shop’s advertisements.
The story of the “Cambridge Grocer” is brought very much to life through a rich tapestry of individuals - family, customers or staff - the grocery shop and its vast array of goods, the context of local and social history, the benefit of valuable personal reminiscences, and the many accompanying illustrations.
Judy Wilson’s informative and delightful book is a fitting tribute to the “Cambridge Grocer”, and to the achievements of three generations of her family.
Barbara Parr, Histon & Impington Crier October 2010