The theme ‘shop local’ is not a new one. Readers of Ealing Illustrated in 1893 were introduced to the concept.
It was argued that ‘the very life of a town lies in its business thoroughfares, and accordingly as these show indications of prosperity or stagnation, so does the town wear a cheerful or depressed air’.
The ‘perilous proximity of the gigantic metropolis’ was a concern, but it did not stop businesses from purchasing goods for sale. Yet, there was another and equally important side of the equation: ‘It is for the residents of the district to do their part as well, and as pertinaciously as business men have done theirs, and the success of Ealing is assured…let it be known that you will purchase locally if you can, and you will certainly not lack the opportunity of doing so’.
Similar comments were recorded in the Ealing Borough Guide, 1925, which noted, ‘residents often make purchases in town [London] solely because they are not aware of the facilities afforded them by their local tradesmen…By giving their custom to Ealing firms whenever possible they will be helping to promote the general welfare of the community…It is realised that only can the trade of the town be kept within the limits of the town, while the service rendered to the shopping public is of the highest character. Ealing shopkeepers therefore ask the residents of and visitors to the town to help them to carry out their desire to give of their best in every way’.
The two old campaign’s mottos were: ‘Ealing can provide for Ealing’s wants’ and ‘Be this our Aim alone: Each other’s Good’.
This originally appeared in Around Ealing winter 2011