Although Crediton had lost its pannier market, it was still the shopping centre for the district. All the shops kept to their own speciality; "shops of all sorts" were only found in small villages. Crediton had bakeries, grocers, greengrocers, ironmongers, chemists, haberdashers, boot shops, dairies, drapers, fishmongers and butchers, to list the main ones.
One of the ironmongers still had the traditional sign of his trade - a large kettle suspended over his door. A chemist had the large glass containers of coloured liquid in his window to show his vocation. One of the chemist shops was a branch of an Exeter firm - the manager was a Mr Morgan - Jones, a Welshman, and many would be advised to see him if they felt "under the weather".
At the bottom of Church Hill was a butcher's shop run by Ainey (Henry) Elston and his wife. Unfortunately they would occasionally have an unholy row and their shouting at each other attracted onlookers. It was said that they would throw joints of meat at each other and sometimes a piece would land in the street and be taken away, I never saw this, as I did not stay long as I found their rows rather frightening.
The larger grocers sent their sales assistants on a weekly round of district farmers, gentry and others to obtain orders and then, a couple of days later, they delivered the orders by horse and van and later, by motor vehicles.
The milkman came around the town twice daily with a churn or two of milk in a hand cart or pony trap and later, in a small motor van, People took their jugs out and had the required amount dipped from the churn. Bakers making their deliveries were a familiar sight, as was the coalman delivering the hundredweight bags of coal. Bottled beer or cider could be ordered with the grocery order and most pubs had a "jug and bottle" door where, during opening hours, a jug could be filled or bottles bought for consumption at home.
My Uncle Jack (Dad's brother) was a market gardener and Saturday mornings he came into town (he only lived two miles away at a village called Venny Tedburn) with his pony and cart loaded with produce which he sold around the town. I helped him for a small and useful amount of pocket money. Potatoes were always sold by the "score" ( 20 pounds) so many a score have I taken out of the sack, weighed and delivered.