Down the decades and through the centuries Abergavenny has been home to many a unique and well-loved family businesses. Some are still with us and others have disappeared into the ether of time gone by.

Before we were collectively seduced by the sheer convenience off being able to buy everything under one roof, we shopped at grocery stores. And back then Basil Jones High Class Grocer and Provision Merchant was the oldest and one of the most popular grocers in town.

Like the old tuck shops, the grocery stores of yesteryear had an elusive charm. In contrast to the bright light neon and sterile blandness of the supermarket aisle, the old shops always appeared dimly lit and atmospheric.

Standing like an old sentry in front of the shelves, which offered a beguiling array of stacked products, a cheerful gentleman would be on hand in a white coat with a welcoming demeanor and an encyclopedic knowledge of the goods his shop stocked.

If you’re shopping experience has always been limited to a trolley dash around some multinational or other you’re in for a treat, because courtesy of these pictures by Tom Dodd you can take a butchers at how a shop once looked before mass production and faceless corporations tightened their stranglehold on the world of commerce.

Tom who used to work as a delivery boy for Basil Jones Grocers between 1953 and 1956 told the Chronicle, “The pictures are of of Jerry Jones. I took them in 1986 I think. Jerry was the surviving brother of John and Betty - Betty was the ’boss’. The three of them ran the business as far back as I can remember and was one of a few grocery shops in Abergavenny after the Second World War.

“It was probably the smallest. I did the ’open all hours’ bike deliveries after school for about three years in the 1950s. Interestingly there was a good relationship with some of the other grocers - Morgan and Evans and Davies Bros just across the street. I remember we ran out of sugar, which along with tea, was weighed and packed on the premises. I was sent over to one of the other grocers with a sack truck to borrow about half a hundred weight until we would get a delivery the following week!”

Yet despite all pulling together for the common good the little man in the little shop didn’t really stand a fighting chance against the multinational hordes. Small businesses may die or thrive on merit but when it’s an uneven playing ground and the game is rigged it’s difficult to keep your hand in.

Since the days of Basil Jones Grocers and others, our shopping habits have changed irreversibly, but as in all things it’s nice to see how we once lived.

Although Basil Jones Grocers has long gone the premises where it once operated out of hasn’t. It is now a popular cafe called Cwtch.

And if you fancy the full technicolor experience of Basil Jones Grocers get yourself down to Abergavenny Museum, where there is a small reconstruction of the shop, including much of the original fittings and stock for you to immerse yourself in.