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28 October 2014

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The store as it looks today

Step back in time

Take a walk around Elliott's Grocery Store in Saltash which remains unchanged since its closure in the early '70s. Enjoy the photo gallery and listen to our audio feature from inside the shop.

The famous Elliott's Shop has been in Saltash since 1903. Before that it was a butcher's shop although it changed to become a grocery in the late 19th century.

Frank Elliott traded in the shop until 1973. He disagreed with the idea of decimalization and he decided to shut up shop. The local council still claimed the new business rate even though the shop had ceased trading so wily Mr Elliott turned the shop into a museum to avoid having to pay the rate.

BBC Cornwall has paid a visit to Elliott's Grocery Museum in Saltash. Use the links below to hear our reporter Matt Shepherd in conversation with Ruth Gilmore from The Tamar Protection Society as they walk around the museum.

You can also take a visual tour around the shop online, thanks to our photo gallery.

Use the links below for the audio and gallery options:

Step back in time in Saltash >
audio Audio tour around the store >
Audio and Video links on this page require Realplayer

Frank Elliott was one of Saltash's memorable characters. He spent nothing and saved everything. In his spare time he enjoyed photography, taking pictures on his trips to the Middle East, Europe and all over Great Britain.

Outside Elliotts store in Saltash

Never one to stay in the shadows, Mr Elliott would write to local government advising them of his recommendations on a regular basis.

When he was in his '90s Frank Elliott requested that The Tamar Protection Society took over the running of the shop's museum.

Just one day after the agreement between the shop-keeper and the society Mr Elliott passed away, safe in the knowledge that his beloved store was in safe hands. There was one condition to the society taking over Elliott's store, that it remained unchanged.

The society has kept to Frank Elliott's wishes and more than 30 years after the shop closed its doors as a business, it remains a popular museum.

Stepping into Elliott's store really is like taking a quantum leap. You immediately leave the Saltash of today and re-visit the town's past.

Packed shelves at the old store

The simple scales, the delivery bicycle propped up against the wall, and the stacked shelves take you back to when Elliott's store was a genuine 'Open All Hours'.

And the shelves house a lifetime of memories. Can you remember 'Red Ring' self-raising flour...or maybe Crosbie's Strawberry Jam? Did you enjoy a tipple of Imperial Bond Sweet Sherry or Whiteway's Wine?

All these products of yesteryear sit proudly on the shelves as they would have done when Mr Elliott's faithful customers did their daily or weekly shop in his store.

Thanks to The Tamar Protection Society this amazing shop has been preserved to help people understand what it meant to go shopping in the years before 24-hour opening, self service tills, and buy one get one free offers!

Essential Information

Elliott's Store is open between May and September on Wednesdays 2pm - 4pm and on Saturdays 10am - mid-day.

Outside of these times arrangements can be made to view the museum by contacting 01752 843388 or 07767 444816

last updated: 28/10/05
Have Your Say
Did you visit Frank Elliott's store when it was still trading. We'd love to hear your memories of shopping there. We'll add your thoughts to the story
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Bernard Stewart
Shamefull ? Yes !But the waterside boys would often call in at "Franks" to scrounge a few broken biscuits etc and Have to admit on many occassions pieces of gravel were dropped into the coffee grinder when the goodies were not forthcoming.Frank would always be seen at Xmas scurring around the town at 3am in the morning delivering his Xmas orders in his Ford Anglia. The only way I ever remembering the darn thing starting is when Frank pushed it towards the steep hill to Waterside when he would leap in at the last minute. happy days BS

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