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Last edited by John Bamford
July 3, 2017 | History

A Most Excellent Dish 1 edition

A Most Excellent Dish
Marjory Houlihan

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About the Book

It's a small history of tripe in Lancashire, the working-class food that used to be widely available from small shops in Lancashire towns and Greater Manchester. As with many things hanging over from less prosperous times, tripe went into a rapid decline after the 2nd world war, as standards of living of the working class improved with the growth of decent housing and services, 1950's paternalistic capitalism, better pay and conditions and improved job security in nationalised industries. Many tripe shops were small businesses located in working class streets, and people would get a small bag of tripe to eat on the way home from the pub, as an alternative to a bag of chips. Others were classy city centre establishments and had cafes, dining rooms and restaurants attached. A proper treat.

There is a real sense that MacMillan was right about "You've never had it so good" in the 1950's - shame it didn't last very long. Why have tripe when you can have beef steak? Working class people always make hay while the sun shines - you never do know how long it will last, and therein lies the roots of decline, and decline tripe shops did over a relatively short period. You can still get tripe in most covered markets, and certainly at Morrisons supermarket, along with pigs feet (Feet not trotters - trotters are sheep's feet)

Like other good stuff, this started from a discussion at a WEA local history class - like the one in Nottingham in the 1960's that lead to Coates and Silburn's seminal study of poverty in an inner-city area of Victorian terraced housing and cobbled streets called St Anns - the book is Poverty: the Forgotten Englishman.

Wonderfully well written in the style of all Neil Richardson's local history publications about the North West working class and their work, haunts (Neil published a huge amount of material about local pubs) and habits before he sadly died in his mid-50's in 2006. Well worth a read for a topic that has been so-far mostly ignored.

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A Most Excellent Dish

Published June 1988 by Neil Richardson .

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History Created December 11, 2009 · 2 revisions Download catalog record: RDF / JSON

July 3, 2017 Edited by John Bamford It is a "What's it about - there wasn't one
December 11, 2009 Created by WorkBot add works page