Turn Back Time (2010) Episode Scripts

N/A - 1930s

1 One typical British town.
Its high street was once its heart and soul.
Not any more.
But what if we could turn back time to the days of the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker? A group of shopkeepers and their families have left the 21 st century behind.
You are going to discover what the high street was really like.
Your aim is to make this town fall in love with its high street again.
Today's mantra is"Sell, sell, sell.
" Each week, they're living and trading through a different era - Lift it.
from Victorian to Edwardian Rabbits, pheasants.
through peacetime and wartime the Swinging '60s to the shocking '70s.
100 years of high street history.
It's absolutely magical.
Can they sell the products of the past to 21 st-century customers? Oh, the poor creatures.
I'd be frightened to give this to the birds.
Pimpin'.
And can they make a profit while they're at it? This is unbelievably hard.
I don't know how they did this in the old days.
If I'm really being honest, I hate it.
This time, the shops move into the 1930s.
Happy Days! For some, times remain tough.
The children are working harder now than they've ever done.
But for others, life is sweet.
That's £1.
25 please.
Easiest money we've made all day.
And competition That's interesting takes hold on the high street.
The grocers strike again.
But can the shopkeepers win over a whole new set of customers? I wish I could be in olden days.
These 21 st-century traders have been kitted out for the 1930s.
I've got no idea what's gonna happen.
I've got no knowledge of the '30s at all apart from Jeeves and Wooster, that's about all I know! For some, it was the golden age of shopkeeping.
The 1930s high street was filled with mass-produced brands and cheap imports from the British Empire.
As the demand for hand-crafted goods disappeared, life for shopkeepers got a little easier.
But will that be true for the families of our shopkeepers? They're all heading to the historic heart of Shepton Mallet in Somerset - where their 1930s shops await them.
Making sure they stick to the rules of the era will be their very own Chamber of Commerce - social historian Juliet Gardiner, Tom Herbert, a fifth generation baker and Gregg Wallace, a successful greengrocer.
Welcome back to the 1930s High Street.
Now we're out of the shadow of the First World War and the worst of the Great Depression.
Although it's pretty tough for a lot of people, the country is beginning to get on its feet again.
Those that are fortunate enough have found that life's little luxuries are becoming affordable again.
Now, you've actually come together as a strong community of shopkeepers.
But this week, we want to see a real lift in your takings.
A real rise.
And you are going to have to cater for a whole new breed of customer - children.
This is an era of fun for children.
All right, go to your shops.
Have fun with this.
Put your all into it.
Good luck.
Off you go.
The biggest change to the grocery store awaits the Sergison family in their stock room.
It's stacked floor to ceiling with boxes of well-known brands.
- We've got Maltesers! - Oh, my God! And Cadbury's Roses! And Liquorice All sorts! Ha, ha! The 1930s saw a boom in confectionary, thanks to a glut of cheap sugar arriving from Britain's colonies.
Oh, my God! Quality Streets! Do you know what? I'm so glad I'm not wearing a corset, or I'd not be able to eat anything.
Most of the chocolate bars sold today were invented between the wars - among them Aero, Crunchie and Smarties.
Now they're going to have so many packaged goods.
And also they're brand names that people recognise.
Oh, my God! We've got HP! - I could pee my pants, I'm so excited! - Ssh! I could! I'm so excited.
They're really proud of their sales so far.
I think they could really now come into their own, they could rocket.
And now they have so many packaged goods, they'll have to do far less bagging up of sugar, biscuits, all that sort of stuff.
The Devlin family are hoping for an easier time too.
In the Edwardian era, they struggled to combine baking bread with running a formal tea room.
Caroline, a gourmet breadmaker in the 21 st century, had to bake a product she knows little about.
Please, no more cakes.
- Oh, no! - That's not bad.
My God.
Why didn't the Chamber of Commerce tell us? You know why, don't you? Because they thought I'd go running from the square! In the '30s, people in work had more disposable income and so they were prepared not just to spend on the necessities but a few luxuries - and, of course, what's a finer luxury than cake? We've expected great things and I'm not sure they have delivered.
They've found it tough, they think due to technology.
In the '30s, they've got a better mixer, electric oven and a bread slicer.
I don't believe it, boys! Whoa, look at that! All of a sudden, chuck, I just feel so much better.
We've got electricity.
Oh, my gosh.
We can produce anything now.
OK? All of a sudden, all of my concerns are lifted.
The butchers, too, are about to benefit from the way technology was transforming the high street.
One of their problems before was keeping the meat fresh.
Now they've got refrigeration.
Most people didn't have refrigeration in their homes in the '30s, but it was coming in to commercial premises.
Andrew Sharp, a butcher by trade for 30 years, quickly feels at home in his new shop.
We know what we're doing.
The challenge this era is actually specifically about making money.
The others, it was kind of a by-product.
This one is solely about making money.
During the Edwardian era, 14-year-old Michael was left in charge of his father's shop and discovered a passion for making a profit.
In one day, I took more money than we took all week.
And it looks like Michael's luck is in.
In the 1930s, frozen imports meant meat with every meal was more affordable for all.
Especially a modern day favourite - beef.
They've got an item that everybody knows and loves - beef.
They should clean up.
If they can't make money in the '30s, let's face it, they never can.
Simon Grant Jones doesn't yet know what kind of shop he'll be running.
In the Victorian era, he ran an ironmonger's and made stock for it himself.
A blacksmith in the 21 st century, he proved his skills once had a place right in the heart of the high street.
But by the early 20th century, there was already less call for his craft - his business was basically an Edwardian pound shop.
But now, it's something for the kids.
This is a bit more like it, isn't it? Fantastic.
Yeah.
This is a proper toyshop.
By the 1930s, concerns about child welfare and declining birth rates meant that the government and parents were giving children more attention than ever before.
It was good news for the British toy industry.
But according to the manual of rules which each shopkeeper has to trade by, it won't all be fun and games for Simon.
I've got to be in the shop from 9-5.
Hm.
I don't like being closed in, for a start.
I prefer to work outside.
So it will be a bit of a hardship.
Simon, as a blacksmith, is not used to interaction with customers.
He makes things.
That's what he loves to do.
But he's got to learn the art of the shopkeeper.
I've got to make a profit.
I can't give the stuff away, as much as I'd like to give all this away to kids.
Dressmaker Gill is also facing change in her rooms above the toyshop.
Wow! The fashions are a lot freer than any of her Edwardian outfits.
This is all really nice and all really wearable.
The Edwardian stuff was great for dressing up in but this stuff people can wear today, I can sell this to real modern women.
Not only are the fashions more accessible, but Gill won't have to hand make everything as she did in the Edwardian era.
By the '30s, the typical high street was selling cheaper, mass produced clothing.
Having off-the-peg stuff to sell, for me, is going to be novel.
I mean, I'm not really a salesperson who's just about selling for the money.
I'd only want to sell something that I was completely confident was right for that person.
She's got products up there that are off the peg.
And that is what's going to drive her business.
That's where the bulk of her income will come from.
But for Gill, who's a dressmaker at heart, there's a welcome bit of kit.
Oh, there's the sewing machine.
Excellent! Oh, what a relief.
Fantastic! Now I've got an electric machine, I can make proper dresses.
The shopkeepers have a lot to do before the shops open.
They've started to tempt people back to this unloved high street but can they now make their shops even more profitable by upping sales? I don't like the Maltesers there.
I think the Milk Tray looked better there.
They've got to work hard this week, for sure, but there has never been a better opportunity to bring this high street back to life.
The emphasis on service is still important That didn't sound good.
That didn't sound very good.
That sounded like something blowing.
Something's gone.
Three elements blown.
In fact, one half of the oven is now kaput.
So we cook in one half? Not even that.
It won't reach the temperature.
- Great start! - Fantastic start.
I feel another late night coming on.
1930s technology has let them down.
There is no guarantee, given the situation we find ourselves in, that we're going to have any products to sell for nine o'clock tomorrow morning.
Yet again, we're on the back foot.
Unlike the Devlins, the other traders can relax, knowing they've got ready-to-sell stock in their shops.
We'll do exceptionally well with what we've got to sell.
The customer experience is gonna be a lot better because we've really got things they're gonna want.
When I first walked in, as soon as we started to see the sweets and chocolate, I fell in love.
It was really good.
I just love everything about the '30s so far.
Girls, time to wake up.
Everyone's up early to get ready for their first day of trading as 1930s shopkeepers.
At the butcher's, they've got to turn a dead cow into saleable cuts.
Andrew is keen to give customers an authentic taste of the '30s.
We are going to cut it up in a manner that would be more accustomed to those days, which will make it harder to sell but more realistic.
- No, just - Michael.
Cut it how you normally would cos then we can sell more.
Seeing as though the challenge is to make money, it seems stupid to do that.
No, it'll be easy.
- You just said it wouldn't! - It'll be easy.
In contrast to the pre-packaged steaks most of us buy today, '30s customers would ask for cuts like flank, blade and point end brisket.
Bollocks! I've cut it wrong.
What have you done wrong? I've took that bone out.
I didn't mean to do that.
It's because I haven't done this for 20 years.
Cutting up meat the traditional way might be tricky but it's drawing in shoppers.
- That's not a bad bit there.
- Morning.
Morning, Mr Sharp.
The first customers have been regulars since the Victorian era - a group of locals who have promised to shop only on the historic High Street.
It's such a treat to see meat that looks like meat.
It's rather good to be able to see it before instead of it's already cut up.
Andrew's relishing the chance to show off his old-fashioned expertise.
What we're going to do is to cut this into flat bits like that.
Which is a round of beef which is what that is.
It was very nice to go into an independent butcher again and actually see what it is you're buying.
It's the colour, the texture, the quality of it and also some cuts you don't normally see.
Unlike his dad, Michael wants to take a more modern retail approach.
And he's making use of a 1930s technological breakthrough: Cellophane.
I can sell everything and anything out of a packet.
In the morning, if we get everything prepped, wrapped up, if somebody comes in, "I want a steak," "Thank you very much, ready packaged for you.
" It's the easiest way of making money.
It's the start of the end.
Well, it is.
It's the commencement of the shop not being a butcher's any more and being an addendum to the grocer.
Righty-ho, let me see what you've got for us that you recommend, then.
Could I interest you in Aberdeen Angus steak? Is it going to be packaged like that? It is packaged like that.
More like modern times, proper wrapping.
No, thank you.
What is that? But not everyone's ready for modernity.
I really didn't like that.
I'd prefer to have my meat in brown paper, to be honest with you.
I don't need the packaging, I don't want it.
At the grocer's, the Sergisons are preparing to target the younger consumer.
Today's mantra is is sell, sell, sell - especially to the little ones.
Be careful.
If it loosens and they go everywhere, we've had it.
Like so much else that was once made in store or locally, by the '30s, even unbranded confectionery was mostly factory made.
The new sweets could be a huge money-spinner even though Saffron's already eating into the profits.
It's just really cool because I can just eat all I want, there'll still be loads for the customers.
And Karl wastes no time targeting his junior customers.
Chaps - would you like a little sweetie each? - What do you say? - Just one each, though.
I think behind the counter would be a far better place for the sweets.
I think that in the '30s, they've already learned about impulse buying for parents.
Very similar to nowadays when you get to the checkout and then bang! They shove sweets in your face.
For the first time, the grocers can tap the lucrative pocket-money market.
I hate kids, absolutely hate kids! But if I make money selling stuff to kids, I'll be the nicest chap on the planet.
Every kind of sweet you can think of.
But then I can't wait to get them out of my face.
- What would you like? - Blue sherbet, lovely stuff! Can I have some raspberry sherbet? What's your fizzy thing? That's £1.
25 please.
Thank you.
- I've got a red tongue.
- I've got a blue finger.
Sherbet pips are the best.
It's the best shop we've had in Shepton, I'd rather this shop than any other.
It has everything.
Karl may not like children but today he's brought them joy.
I can't stand them but if I'm taking money off them, I'll smile all day long, ha ha ha! Thank you very much.
Now I want to see all the schoolkids go and buy best prime cuts of beef off the butcher! Do you all You all eat meat at home, yeah? - What's your favourite meat to eat? - McDonalds.
Right.
The butcher's may not be a hit but there is one other store which should be an obvious magnet for children.
Yes, great, I love them! But it remains to be seen whether, in the age of computers, there are any customers for traditional toys.
What if I said to you, give up all your modern toys for a week and play with these? Never! I would feel quite happy to, like, try something new out.
How do you think, Mum, they'd get on without their modern-day toys? I think it's going to be a struggle to keep them entertained and I'm not sure Comi is going to react very well either.
I think he's physically attached to his DS at the moment! And Simon isn't exactly giving his stock the hard sell.
I love this.
I could stay here all day.
I love those - they're brilliant.
They're one of my favourite toys, they are.
Even when the after-school crowd arrives, Simon seems more interested in being one of the kids than in making money from them.
That's really pretty.
- Whoa! - Simple, isn't it? I sometimes feel as if I ought to give the kids the toys because I really want them to have them.
When they haven't quite got enough money to buy the toys, it's quite upsetting for me because I really want them to have it.
It's definitely better than today's toyshops.
People tell you about these things but you've never seen them so don't know what they're like.
I like the fact that he just flips over so easily.
I wish I could be in olden days.
But customers are less impressed with the baker's.
- Do you have actually bread? - We don't have any bread.
- Have you any bread? - We don't have bread, no, not at the moment.
It's a flipping nuisance to come back tomorrow for the bread.
I've got to go to work.
I suppose people didn't have to.
Their oven is still not working - and there's another obstacle they have to overcome.
Their big money-spinner should be cakes but Caroline loathes making them.
I came in here actually hating cake making - I mean with a vengeance.
If you said that was the only thing I could do other than I don't know, kind of fight crocodiles or something, I'd more have a go at fighting crocodiles than making cakes.
So the Chamber of Commerce have sent her to learn the art of 1930s cake making at a country house hotel.
Her teacher will be pastry chef Jason Hornbuckle.
- Hello there, nice to meet you.
- And you.
Welcome.
So we're gonna make some cakes today.
Excited? - Very.
- Good.
I feel so nervous that my stomach is up here at the minute.
It's about lack of confidence, that I don't like making cakes.
It's because it's out of my comfort zone.
I just want to make sure I don't cock this up.
No, that's lovely.
That's looking fantastic.
If you're stressing too much about the cakes, that's the problem.
You've just got to relax and enjoy it.
If you enjoy it, the cakes are going to be better.
People say that but it's true.
By the 1930s, Britain's consumption of sugar and butter was up almost 50 per cent on the Edwardian era - yet home baking was in decline.
It was high street bakers like the Devlins who now filled our cake holes.
- That's fantastic.
- Gosh! Look.
And how easy is that? It's easy.
You're right, it's about confidence.
- I do feel so much more confident.
- There we go.
And it does feel good and I do feel more relaxed.
Great.
Just amazing.
Absolutely amazing.
Caroline returns home not just with new skills, but something the bakery can sell until the bread oven is fixed.
- Look what I made.
- Well done.
Very good.
Look.
- I quite like them, they look kind of nice.
- From scratch.
This is Battenburg! It was amazing.
They are quite nice.
I never thought I could make that.
- Nor did I, chuck! - I know! - Well done.
- It's fab.
At the dressmaker's, Gill has been commissioned to make a dress from scratch.
I'm making Harriet a summer dress out of this pink cotton with the little turquoise flowers on it.
It's very nice to be making my first dress of the era, it's like coming home, doing something bespoke.
Oh, it's so enjoyable, isn't it? You just sit here and somebody takes your measurements.
And it fits you And you know it's unique.
Nobody else is going to have that dress.
But bespoke clothing isn't where the biggest profits lie: Gill should be maximising her takings by selling off-the-peg stock.
Any takers? Oh, I don't know, I'll have to have a little think.
If there's anything you want me to put to one side, I'd be very happy to do it for you.
Have a little think, it'll still be here tomorrow.
I don't like doing the hard sell thing.
I think if people want stuff, especially one-off stuff, then they'll have it.
They don't need to be talked into it, it speaks for itself and sells itself.
Gill has rapidly reverted to what she knows best.
I'm taking commissions this week for bespoke dresses, so if there's nothing on the rack you particularly like, I could make you something.
I would like one.
I go to a lot of young farmers' balls and it would be nice to have something no one else has.
If it's fitted here, just here, that's OK.
And then flowing after that, if you know what I mean I think that would be perfect.
The luxury of having something made just for me, that's something that I've never got to do before.
So I can't wait and I know I'll treasure it and keep it forever and all that, so I can't wait.
At the baker's, there's finally a product for sale.
I think it's going very well, actually.
The people are really pleased to see the variety of cakes.
I don't think one person has left without a cake which is there's a money-spinner there.
Oh, that is glorious.
That really is nice, you can really taste the spice in that.
And there's more good news - the oven is now working.
We still need to play around with the temperatures as we don't have a thermometer.
But yes, it's an awful lot easier.
An awful lot easier.
So they can get on with baking bread.
Once we get the bread and people get to know that the bread is back, I think we're on course to make more money this week.
Although the 1930s high street was still dominated by independent traders, the big brands saw it as a place to advertise.
The Chamber of Commerce have sent packaging historian Robert Opie to teach the shopkeepers the art of the hard sell.
What goodies have you got? Lots of wonderful things.
Promotional material.
- Point of sale material.
- They're so big.
Things to get your public, excite your customers, to engage with the things that you've now started to sell.
Karl spots another chance to take money from the pockets of junior customers.
If you put this in your window, all the children will come in to get their free Sunny Jim masks.
And hopefully you'll sell a packet every time.
Obviously this was definitely aimed at children.
They'd come along the street with Mummy and Daddy, see this and say, "I want one!" Even in the '30s, there was pester power.
As Robert Opie delivers posters to all the shops, the High Street is about to embrace the art of advertising like never before.
The butchers start a leafleting campaign.
Aberdeen Angus beef, it's been hung for three weeks.
No speak English.
I from Bulgaria.
OK, thank you.
But the grocers are thinking bigger.
You know what? Over there will fit it, it's the perfect size.
- On the butcher's wall? - Yeah.
I'm sure Andrew will be happy with that.
Debbie's so sure, she doesn't actually ask the butchers first.
That's interesting.
I feel a rental issue coming on here.
It definitely stands out I think we're going to run out of sardines tomorrow, Harry.
Well done.
The only thing that'll stop me taking that down is if they let me put a flyer in every corner of their window and on their door.
Hello, Mrs Sergison - tell you what we'll do.
We'll have four of these in your window.
If they're in a ridiculous place, I'll come back and change it.
OK.
Thank you.
Have a good day.
But Debbie doesn't keep her side of the bargain.
Only one flyer appears in the window.
- He's going to go mental, isn't he? - Ape! I'm not best pleased about that, seeing as since the beginning, we've always had rivalry with the grocers.
They've got it easy, they don't have to prepare anything.
They walk into their shop every era, and everything's on the shelf, price list "There you go, I'll have a bag of flour, that's a fiver.
" - It's an easy life being a grocer.
- Like shelling peas.
Shelling peas, aye.
Government legislation now limited how late shops could open, and how long staff could work.
So the shops are shutting at five.
For the Sergisons, it's a chance to put their feet up.
Don't really want to say it but I thought it was an easy day.
And it's only a nine to five, which is a doss, instead of, like, seven or eight in the morning till seven or eight at night.
But even when their shop is closed, the bakers can't stop working.
Nine to five? More fun? Plenty of recreation? Uh-uh not for the Devlin bakers.
Unlike other shops on the high street, they can't take advantage of mass-produced goods.
They still make all their stock themselves.
What have you got in there now? We've got the rest of the bread which should be about ready now.
I don't need those.
And the arrival of electricity hasn't saved as much labour as they'd hoped.
It's just really, really long thankless hours for very little return.
If I'm being really honest, I hate it! I hate it! After a long day trying to be a salesman, Simon's at the back of his shop doing the work he really loves.
He's moulding some toy soldiers.
When I'm here in my forge, I'm like a kid in a toyshop.
In the 1870s High Street, Simon's skills were at the heart of his business - and the community.
But history is leaving blacksmiths like him behind.
The forge is not really working to its full capacity.
In the Victorian era, it was very much in demand for making everyday items.
In this era, the 1930s era, there's a lot of mass-produced things and the forge is not necessarily needed on a daily basis any more.
In an attempt to prove his craft still has a place, he knocks up one of the most traditional of toys.
It can still entertain, but even in the 1930s, when toys from Lego to Monopoly were already being mass produced, iron hoops were not the way to make a fortune.
But then, that's not really Simon's ambition.
I'm not too worried about making an absolute fortune.
As long as I make enough money to keep going, and keep my shop stocked and keep everybody happy, that's fine for me.
I'll never be a millionaire at what I do.
Others on the High Street are more focused on putting money in the till - and putting one over on each other.
I think we took more money than the Sergisons today.
That's always a plus, we always want to beat them.
I was chatting to the butchers earlier and they reckon they took nearly £300 today.
We could still take the most amount of money but it'll be really close.
Come on, Simon, don't break it.
By the middle of the week, the '30s High Street is in full swing.
Come on, Saff, your breakfast.
Such an early start, no make-up, yet.
The butcher's - with their new cuts of beef- is proving particularly popular.
Michael's determined to prove his skills as a salesman.
- Well, this is a topside - Ah, right.
It's a gorgeous roast.
So roast it the normal way? Not too much.
Don't overdo it cos it'll be horrible.
Though sometimes wisdom does come with age.
No, that's silverside.
And whereas normally they'd say, like, 20 minutes a pound, this probably needs quite a bit longer.
Silverside's got a lovely flavour but is very dry if you don't do it properly.
- How wrong can you be? - And tough if you don't cook it long enough.
At the Devlin's store, one of their key ranges is definitely outselling the other.
It's interesting.
We're selling very little bread at the moment.
I haven't had to bake during the day.
I think the emphasis is now on cake production.
Jack, you need to be out here! Sort out this bit here, this is your area! Sort it out.
The '30s saw less work and more play for most kids.
But interwar laws preventing children working didn't extend to family businesses.
So, just as in previous eras, even eight-year-old Chloe is mucking in.
Chloe, come and do this with Dad! Given the fact that all the girls and the boys are contributing to this, it's working really well.
Can you get two bowls? Get two bowls, wash your hands, get two bowls.
I'm ignoring you, Raif, when you're like this.
The Chamber of Commerce are visiting town to see how the shopkeepers are getting on.
Fifth-generation baker Tom Herbert starts with the shop he knows best.
In some ways, we were lulled into a if you like, a bit of a false sense of security.
Because it seemed to be that things were slightly more relaxed and less full on.
We're still working 17-hour days.
Plus the added issue of lack of staff serving in the tea rooms.
So the children are actually working harder now than they've ever done.
How do you feel about that? We feel extremely disappointed that life for other children was better but life for our own children was significantly worse.
My grandfather, during this era, all you hear about was them working in the bakery.
The highlights were doing deliveries on the horse and cart - it's all work.
I guess you're just living proof of that.
At the toyshop, Simon admits his salesmanship still needs work.
When the kids are in here looking at stuff, I do get involved myself and I do find myself wasting quite a bit of time.
Possibly I'm not such a hard-nosed businessman as I should be.
I've actually given a few toys way as well, which I probably shouldn't.
We'll bear that in mind when we look at your books that some things were given away.
Let's face it, he's not really being a salesman.
I see Simon standing there with his thumbs in his overalls smiling benignly at people.
Fine, but that's not being a shopkeeper.
And that's what he's got to do.
The Chamber of Commerce also has a major change in trading laws to announce.
In the 1930s, the law decreed that you must take a day off every week.
So tomorrow, Sunday, there is no work for any of you.
Yes! Just look at the children.
- You're going to have a day off tomorrow.
- Really? Not everyone is happy about this government interference.
I don't want a day off.
I just want to sell all of this beast, maybe order some more and sell that.
Meanwhile, in the advertising war, Debbie the Grocer's wife is resorting to underhand tactics.
We've got the butcher's flyer here - and the beef is absolutely amazing.
But if you take that flyer over there, you're sure to get a discount as well.
That's 15 16, 17, 18.
There you go.
Thank you.
- Let them know I sent you over.
- I will do.
- Thank you.
- Have a good day.
Bye-bye.
We just came over from the grocery shop and she said if I produced this leaflet, you'll give me a nice discount on some steak.
- Did she really say that? - She did really say that.
- Yes, she did.
- We'd get a discount.
Erm As the competition mounts, the Sharps are more determined than ever to get ahead of the grocers.
One way to maximise their profits is to sell every last bit of their cow.
So, we have a bit of a cunning plan for Michael's commerciality.
We're going to beat the Sergisons at their own game.
We're going to utilise something that's pretty negative, kidney fat, and we're going to make it into a lovely set of puddings.
Grating the hard fat from around the cow's kidneys produces suet.
Mixed with flour and steamed, it forms the basis of traditional stodgy puddings that kids have loved for generations.
Everybody wins they get something lovely to eat, we get something lovely to sell and the poor grocers won't know what's hit them.
This is gonna be our time to shine.
That evening, looking forward to their first day off, there's high spirits on the High Street.
Michael's getting his own back on Debbie.
- Look what he's doing! - Michael, you're such a tosspot! I honestly don't know where he gets it from.
Cheers.
And with no trading in the morning, the men drink late into the night.
Very good.
Snookered.
Oh, you little rascal.
It's the morning after, and there are a few sore heads on the High Street.
I think I'm going to be in trouble, actually.
I did my video diary, most of it in the pub last night.
Mr and Mrs Devlin, good evening! It wasn't me, it was my twin brother.
It's amazing how alike we are.
I'm the quiet one, he's just a little bit less quiet.
Karl takes advantage of the calm and sneaks out to change the poster.
Look, the sign's done.
- Perfect! - Very good.
Who did that? "50 per cent off all orders.
" There's news about their day off from the Chamber of Commerce.
What's this a greetings telegram? We have a telegram, chaps.
"You'll be travelling to the seaside in 1930s style.
" We're off to the seaside.
- The seaside.
- Sing-song, bottle of beer, you know.
But before they can enjoy their leisure time, there's another trip they can't get out of.
Church attendance in the 1930s was double what it is today.
Well, actually, it's a bit of a chance for a sit down and a bit of time off.
All our shopkeepers are present and correct - with one exception.
The law banning Sunday trading allowed shops to open if they sold daily necessities, such as milk, fruit and veg - something Karl wants to take advantage of.
It's really cool and the thing that's really groovy is the butcher's can't open and I can.
So I've got an extra few hours trading before I go off to the beach.
So whilst they're praying and singing to God, I shall be taking God's good money.
Thank you very much! Knowing the butchers have sold so much beef this era, Karl sees an opportunity to cash in.
Now what about some lovely horseradish? I only want one of those! - I think one's enough.
- Yeah, one's enough.
Can I tempt you into buying one? Thank you, sweetheart, you take care.
Sold the lot, butcher's closed, I'm happy.
I've taken my dosh, he's at church, happy days! With the church service over and most shops closed, there's still no rest for those making goods by hand.
I'm very busy today - I need to go back to my workshop and finish a couple of dresses.
So I'm not going to be joining everybody else at the seaside, I'm afraid.
We're under real pressure to produce for tomorrow.
Consequently, my good wife won't be joining us either.
I won't get to go to the seaside.
I can't go out and play today.
At least for the kids, for the first time this week, life is going to be a picnic.
What are you looking forward to? Splashing! It wasn't just on Sundays that workers were taking time out.
By the late 1930s, some 11 million Britons were entitled to paid holiday - albeit only for a week.
Like our shopkeepers, often whole workplaces would down tools the same week and head off together.
You can imagine, people never bloody been anywhere in their lives, not out of their town or village, getting on this would be like flying to the moon, wouldn't it? What better place could you wish to be, eh? On a sunny day with all your mates, going to the beach.
The shopkeepers are heading to the traditional seaside town of Clevedon.
Cheers, old boy.
Some of the traders are understandably shellshocked to be beside the sea.
After all, they haven't had a day off since the 1870s.
It seems really strange to be doing nothing.
I really feel as if I ought to be doing something.
It's going to take quite a bit of getting used to to actually have some leisure time.
Right, come on, girls, in the front.
As more of Britain took a holiday, more people wanted to take holiday snaps.
A bit tighter in together.
An early form of plastic, Bakelite, was used to make cameras cheap enough for ordinary people to afford.
Cheese! He hasn't said go, yet! But not everyone is in the picture.
I've had quite a productive day long but productive.
And not over yet.
Gill is still at work on the same three dresses she's been making all week.
It is labour intensive, really labour intensive.
That's why I work such long hours.
Because you take the commissions when you get them, and then they've got to be finished.
I've got something here for you.
Wow! Have we got swimwear? Swimwear.
- This is horrible! - I don't appear to have one.
- Here's mine! - This is Saffie.
This is impossible.
How are you meant to put them on? You will never ever live that down, Jack! Keep your arm straight.
All right! It's itchy and it's tight and it's uncomfortable.
Commando! But while the boys might feel overly covered up, Debbie is feeling quite the opposite.
I've literally gone from being a Victorian grocer's wife, where I've been literally clothed from the neck right down to the floor.
And now just today having a lovely bikini on, I do feel very liberated.
I'm sure when these women put these bikinis on, they would have felt the same.
Go on, Raif, go for it! Can you imagine being in the '30s and actually having a day? It would have been such a planned event and it would have been amazing on the coach trip.
You can't work and work and work all the time.
You have to have family time, you have to have leisure time.
Why are you working if you haven't got time to spend your money and have fun with the family? We've come to the conclusion that we're facilitating the more well-off lower classes' and the middle classes' leisure time.
We're actually working our socks off so that they can come in and sit and eat nice cake and drink cups of tea and just take life easier.
And we're not getting any of that.
As Caroline and Gill have discovered, more leisure time just wasn't an option for traders who had to make what they sold.
The recipe for an easy life is to deal in mass-produced goods.
So it's been a grand day out - for those who could afford to take it.
Did you have a nice time? - No, because you weren't there.
- You look tired.
Tomorrow is the final day of 1930s trading and despite a welcome break, the shopkeepers can't keep their minds off business rivalries for long.
I know we won't take as much money as Michael thinks we will from a few puddings, but it'll give us a giggle and it'll give the Sergisons a bit of a stick in the ribs.
That'll be quite funny.
The last day of trading will be a special occasion.
Shepton Mallet is going to experience a national event that Britain has long since forgotten.
Empire Day was held annually on Queen Victoria's birthday.
The hope is that the Empire Day celebrations will draw crowds into the High Street - giving all the shopkeepers a last chance to make some serious money.
Today we're gonna give 50 per cent off for the Empire Day special.
I want the raffle ready, hamper ready, sweets ready for nine o'clock.
And the race between the butchers and grocers to make most money has reached fever pitch.
This is Aberdeen Angus - absolutely beautiful.
This is absolutely everything we have left.
We have rump here and it'll be the best steak you've had in your life.
There's no more than this.
I think the 50 per cent off is working.
I daren't go in cos it's absolutely bunged.
In ten minutes, I think I've just made at least 80 no, more, about 100 quid in ten minutes.
You'd think his life depended on getting all that beef sold.
I'm not the boy any more - I am the man.
It was the butcher's boy that was so good at selling it.
He absolutely convinced me it was what I needed and what I wanted and how good it would taste.
Last bit of beef! Ten pounds' worth of braising steak for a fiver, come on.
There you go, thanks.
Too slow.
At Gill's dress shop, there's rather less bustle.
During the week, she's concentrated on making rather than selling - her off-the-peg stock remains unsold.
- Hiya, how are you doing? - You look lovely.
And that's meant she's been working 15-hour days.
But at least she's finally finished the bespoke dresses customers ordered.
You're all ready, you look amazing.
Oh, wow! Ta-da! Brilliant! Good, I'm so pleased.
You look wonderful.
And your shoes are perfect with it as well.
Very '30s.
- Thank you.
- You're welcome.
Children celebrated Empire Day by dressing up as figures from British myth and history.
With so many young customers in town, it's no surprise that Simon's toyshop is packed.
This is really to commemorate Empire Day.
I've made these in the forge, and they're little skittle soldiers.
So I've cast these.
Oh, they're beautiful! I'll keep them for my whole life.
You've got to share them with your brother as well.
Do you think you can swap it for his DS? Hey! No way! And for the first time all week, Simon's giving it the hard sell too.
To attract custom to his store, he's arranged for a giant outdoor display of some of the 1930s' most popular toys.
I think this is a fantastic example of British ingenuity - especially for kids.
The bakers are also targeting the young consumer.
We're going to overdose the little darlings on jammy, icy, glacé cherry ridden kind of It's just going to be sugar heaven, isn't it? Wow.
And even the butcher has something for the kids.
Ready for the good children of Shepton Mallet, the big ones and the little ones.
Though the suet puddings were planned as a grocer-beating money-spinner, the butchers' hearts are melted by the children's festival and they end up giving their product away.
Who's for suet pudding, Cumberland pudding? Jam roly-poly.
Put your hand up.
It tastes a bit like Christmas pudding.
It is really, really, really nice.
It didn't taste like there was any meat in the one we had.
- What is suet? - It's just fat, basically.
What fat? It's fat that's around the kidney so it's really hard.
But it's not always from the kidney.
- So there's meat in my pudding? - Yeah, there is.
That's the idea.
We knew we'd get away with that.
We're not confectioners, we are butchers.
Yeah, I forgot.
Did you like it? - I love it.
- Exactly.
With the party in full swing, the Chamber of Commerce have come to judge the performance of the 1930s High Street.
Da-da! St George? Is your mummy a dragon? Follow me.
The people of Shepton are clearly enjoying Empire Day.
Lovely community spirit which was there in the '30s.
It really was just like stepping back into the past.
I think getting all the kids together on an event like Empire Day is brilliant.
It'd be great to do more of that nowadays.
If they start as kids it'll grow and develop and you'll get much nicer, tighter communities.
The people have bought into the 1930s experience but have they bought into the products? Time for the Chamber of Commerce to look at the shopkeepers' trading figures.
Gill's are the first to be scrutinised.
The takings are £325, it's not that great.
She had off the peg fashions to sell which were affordable - and she hardly sold any.
I think you're being a bit hard on her.
She's proved what the demand for a dressmaker is.
It's not to sell what everybody else is selling, it is to sell those special things for special days.
I gave myself a little mission to bring glamour to Shepton Mallet and I think I can safely say, mission accomplished.
The High Street's other artisan faced a similar challenge.
We asked Simon to take the transition from maker of product to seller of product.
I've got to say we're never ever convinced about his salesmanship but there's no arguing with that man's trading figures.
My grand total is £790.
25 which I think is absolutely amazing.
It's more or less double my total for the Edwardian era.
Simon's triumph is partly down to his Empire Day display.
Unlike Gill, he didn't have to spend hours making what he sold.
I have to say, I think the products almost sold themselves, they were so attractive.
Basically, he stood there with his hands in his pockets, smiling benignly.
The bakers have produced the centrepiece for the Empire Day celebrations - You'll be fine.
- Absolutely delicious.
- It's nice.
But have they also made a decent profit? The bakers have most certainly got the toughest job.
And I just don't want them to get down because people do love the shop and they are producing some very good stuff.
They're just not taking the money the others are doing.
They just can't produce and sell in enough quantity.
They've clearly not got the sales.
They did just a smidge over £300 for all of that effort.
Excellent cake, Mrs Devlin, very nice.
The bakers remind us the '30s were a tough time - it wasn't easy for everybody.
I've found it more heartbreaking in terms of what kind of life bakers had and their families.
It was still very hard work, relatively little profit and that was really a '30's experience.
Is it worth it? And yet you're locked into it because this is what your business is and you can't walk away because, to what? You have to stay here, you have to stick it out and this is your life.
But this decade there have only been two real contenders for the most popular shop on the High Street.
Those butchers are doing an outstanding job, their takings are going up and up every week.
Not only do you get quality meat from them and people are flocking to them, you actually get real information.
The mystery has got to be, with that butcher's shop as popular as it's becoming, why there aren't butcher shops in every high street.
How are the sweets, kids, are they good? - Come on, I can't hear you! - Yeah! That's better, thank you very much.
Very kind.
Now I'm going for a pint.
The grocers are just having an armchair ride because they now have produce on their shelves people recognise.
They've got kids here, we've got a shop stacked full of sweets as well and, of course, as a lot of the stuff is pre-packaged, it's so much quicker.
In the end, there's no arguing with the final accounts.
The butcher's takings this week are virtually double what they were the week before.
Incredible - he's taken £600.
But, as in the Victorian and Edwardian era, it's the ancestors of today's supermarkets who have come out on top.
They've made a killing this week, again.
They're way out in front of everyone else with £1,300 plus of sales.
Ladies and gentlemen, you've now completed your third week.
And really we wanted to see if you could make the people of this town fall in love with the 1930s shopping experience.
I think you have given shopping and the high street a whole new lease of life to a brand new generation of shoppers.
There's a whole new generation whose image now of the high street is of something quite exciting, a place of fun.
Wonderful, wonderful achievement.
Next week the High Street is World War II.
And shopkeepers were right at the forefront of the British war effort and relationships between shopkeepers and customers got very strained.
I would prepare yourselves, if I were you, for a fair bit of flak.
Good luck, a bit of bulldog spirit - you're going to need it.