Mills’ Butchers Shop, Schofields

by Beryl Teale

Mum and Dad, Jack and Grace Mills, had a butchers shop built at Schofields in 1950. There were four of us in the family, myself and three brothers. The money for the shop came from a prize in a raffle. Mum bought a ticket and won first prize, which was a MG motor car or the value of the car. As neither Mum nor Dad could drive they took the value of the car, which was £1000. They bought a vacant block of land in the main street of Schofields from Wally Williams for £100.

The shop was constructed from concrete bricks, which we made at home at Marsden Park. The eldest two boys and I had to make twenty concrete bricks every night after we came home from work, forming them in square moulds, to be tipped out of the moulds the next day when set. They were eventually transported to the block at Schofields by horse and cart. I think that Mum’s brother, Jack Dwyer built the shop itself. They moved into the shop at Easter in 1952.

The shop was built as a butchers shop, and included a small cool room at the back. Dad was a self taught butcher, having learnt while working at the Riverstone Meatworks. Dad used to buy the meat from the Meatworks and served in the shop, generally without assistance. Mum and Dad made their own corned beef by putting the meat into brine. Mum made sausages to her own recipe and made deliveries as far out as Marsden Park and Box Hill on a Tuesday and Friday. She started off using a horse and cart and then in 1954 they purchased a car and both learnt to drive.

They ran the shop until Easter 1960. When Dad developed thrombosis he sold it to Mum’s younger sister Freda and her husband Jimmy Andrews. They continued to operate the shop for a number of years. It remained as a butchers shop until the 1990s when it became a bakers shop, which it remains today in 2003.