You can tell a lot from shopping trolley protocols

The first customers at the new John Lewis at home/Waitrose store

The first customers at the new John Lewis at home/Waitrose store - Credit: Archant

Are the trolleys at your supermarket neatly stacked or are they higgledy-piggledy? An unscientific survey reveals some are better than others.

Since the arrival of Waitrose in Ipswich, last autumn, my attention has been drawn to trolley etiquette.

Now I have been in supermarket car parks where shoppers have abandoned their trolleys in car parking spaces and, in the designated trolley areas people have tried to stack big trolleys into little ones and vice versa. I often find shopping lists, unwanted vegetable bags and, occasionally an empty crisp packet, presumably left by someone who couldn’t wait until they left the supermarket before getting their cheese and onion fix.

I have even seen trolleys left in the street and in the river.

At Waitrose (to date) I have found all the trolleys left in neat lines of like size with no remnants left behind. Even in the snow, they were lovingly returned to the place for trolleys.

Now either Ipswich shoppers are being extra careful not to upset the store – after all we had to wait a long time to get it – or there are special Waitrose elves who scuttle about, unnoticed, and tidy up after us.

It is election day today and we all have the opportunity to change or keep our county councillors. Meanwhile, I have been canvassed by one of the three major parties. It was nice to have a visitor, to be honest. You don’t get many neighbourly people knocking at your front door, these days.

Most Read

We used to have the football pools man, the insurance man and the milkman call for their money each week. The Corona man, the Co-op grocery van and a fish van used to pass every so often.

We still get the well-dressed ladies and gentlemen of the Church of the Latter Day Saints popping round now and then. The Betterware catalogue appears and disappears but I never see anyone leave or collect it, and occasionally a young man will arrive at my door with a large holdall and offer to sell me a chamois leather or a tea towel for an extraordinarily high price.

So its a nice change to have a local politician on the doorstep, hoping to represent you on the county council.

Anne Hayward has emailed from Stowmarket with some more high street names we have loved and lost.

In Tavern Street she recalls Ridleys outfitters, Woottens barbers and the Picture House cinema and restaurant, Westgate Street featured The Louvre dress shop, Purdy’s Coffee Shop, Mac Fisheries (also in Carr Street) and Smith and Daniel Ironmongers.

Carr Street had Hawkins fabric shop, Seagers butchers and Albert List for cycles and prams.

Sneezums jewellers and pawn shop was in Fore Street; Star Supply Stores and the International were grocers in Upper Brook Street. You’d find Alderton’s and Parnell’s shoe shops in The Buttermarket, also No 33 which sold expensive skin care products.

There was a florist in Carr Street and a men’s outfitters on the corner of Carr Street and Northgate Street which I think at one time was called The Fifty Shilling Tailor.

“Then the streets had character!” writes Anne.