At the turn of the twentieth century John Taylor, a Yorkshire apprentice grocer, was out of work. Half a pound of butter on a table in the front window of his home, and his wife's delicious jams made from fruit from his brother's market garden were the beginnings of his village shop. Half a Pound of Tuppenny Rice shows how the village shop was at the centre of the community and far more than simply a supplier of essential stores. The friendliness and warmth that existed meant customers were cheered up with a gossip and a bag of broken buns if they were feeling down, and given a sympathetic ear if they needed to put their purchases `on the bill' when money was tight. The commercial travellers who called were similarly entertained, even enjoying a meal of bacon, eggs and HP sauce if they were feeling hungry.