MR C.J.COLE, manager of the Chepstow Co-operative Stores, looks very pleased with his Christmas displays.

The society, started in 1896 with 77 members, had flourished under his management and a brand-new premises was built in January 1905.

It was then said to be the largest shop in town, had its own bakery at the back and was lit by electricity.

Turkey was still a luxury in Britain, and goose had long been the Christmas bird of choice.

Mrs Beeton suggests that turkey was already gracing the tables of the middle classes throughout the empire in the 1860s.

But it wasn’t until the 1950s that the turkey’s supremacy as the Christmas centrepiece seems to have been secured.