Queueing for horsemeat on Coldharbour Lane, Brixton at the Horse Flesh shop

Queueing for horsemeat on Coldharbour in Brixton at the Horse Flesh shop

This busy scene on 384 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton shows crowds queuing outside a store advertising  ‘Horse Flesh for Human Consumption’  while a lorry unloads more meat.

The photo was taken on January 11th 1947 when post-war food rationing was still in full effect, and according to Budgie Byrne, the meat was on sale in Brixton for many years:

Used to be able to buy Horse Meat in Brixton Market in the 50’s and 60’s. I remember my grandmother buying chunks of it and cooking it up for her dog. Was a staple in some areas during the war. Have had Horse meat steaks in France, rather nice.

Horse meat is of course still widely available in many UK supermarkets, although these days they like to call it ‘beef’  🙂


Here’s the scene today, courtesy of a slightly wonky Google Maps image.

Discuss this topic on the urban75 boards.
Also: Horse Meat found in Tesco Beefburgers

[Credits: Archive photo from TopFoto/The Image Works, ETPM 0013957, and thanks to Siren Of Brixton for finding the story]

11 Comments on “Queueing for horsemeat on Coldharbour Lane, Brixton at the Horse Flesh shop”

  1. I wonder if there were any complaints at all in those days. Of course horses were still being used for labour back then, so people’s attitude to them may have been different.

  2. There’s a 1922 film called A Couple of Down and Outs in which an ex-horse trooper saves his old horse by stealing it from a line of ex-Army horses being shipped to Belgium for meat…..there’s an unspoken disgust about eating horsemeat even then.

  3. its not the fact it is horse.. its the deceipt of it being put in to food without consumers being aware and who says the horse used was fit for human consumption…. THAT is the concern

  4. I think it’s best to avoid ready-meals and processed takeaways altogether. Horse-meat is the least of my concerns when it comes to what’s put into processed food.

    Far healthier and tastier to cook real food for yourself!

  5. I wonder if back then those people knew the horse meat they were buying were the millions of war horses who went through years of war,suffering shell shock,injury and mental trauma just to end up brutally slaughtered for food in the country they fought so hard for.Human consumption? Humans disgust me,I’d rather see a human starve.

      1. If you check;you will find that there were hundreds of thousands of war horses used in both wars;Thousands were drowned after being sunk by Hitlers U Boats while being transported to England from the USA as part of Americas help with the war effort to be supplied to the front.Thousands more survived the crossings and went on to serve on the front and at home because Britain was not fully mechanised at the outbreak of ww2,In fact 80% of Hitlers own war machine relied on horses,the other 20% made up from man and mechanised machines,Much of the post war horse meat came from British and German horses.Just because a horse is forced to drag heavy guns and munitions and not being rode into battle doesn’t make that horse any less worthy of being treated with the same respect.They are all still war horses forced into an environment only men will ever understand or try to justify and all should be treated with the respect given to all war victims.

  6. great stories as a child I remember the shop I was about 10 I remember a old guy coming up our road Geneva with his horse and cart shouting ANY OLD IRON OR RAGS as kids we would go and stroke the horse named George on Monday he and George would deliver our coal lift the lid and pour it down into the cellar I don’t care what folk say they were great days

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