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Cambridge Grocer
Cover - Cambridge Grocer

Cambridge Grocer
The Story of Matthew’s
of Trinity Street 1832-1962

by Judy Wilson


ISBN 978-1-874259-02-2
156 pages, Perfect bound, with over 92 illustrations.
Price:- £12.99 Post & packing FREE in UK

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 Frontage 19-21 Trinity St 1913

Matthew & Son’s high-class grocery shop, trading in the premises now occupied by Heffers book shop, was a feature of Trinity Street until the early 1960s. This book tells the story of the well regarded Cambridge grocery and wine merchant and of the family that ran it for three generations.

Judy Wilson, second daughter of Bernard Matthew, its last Managing Director, has written an absorbing account of the firm’s history over 130 years, vividly brought to life by personal recollections of staff, customers and members of the family and by many illustrations.

Cambridge Grocer is also social history, portraying a past way of life led by Matthew’s customers, from both the University and the town, in Victorian and Edwardian eras and in the first half of the 20th century.


 A horse-drawn delivery van on Trinity Street,
with St Johns College in the background, c 1910.


A full-page advertisement in the Cambridge Chronicle, promoting seasonal goods and advertising the many different departments, December 13th 1922.

What the Reviews Said

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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.

Kenneth Lee


“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

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