Epworth needed a large range of shops, as travelling outside the town was difficult in the days before good transport links. Most necessities were available. There were food and clothes sellers, cobblers and blacksmiths, hardware shops, a chemist, Post Office and agricultural traders. Residents also had lots of pubs to choose from!
Most shops centred on the Market Place, High Street and roads nearby. The Market Place is hundreds of years old. Cattle fairs were held twice a year here with amusements and stalls.
It was not unusual for shops to be housed in modest surroundings. Both Herbert Gravel of Axholme Stores on Battle Green and the town’s first hairdresser, Phoebe Gravel, on High Street, ran their businesses from wooden huts.
In the early 1900s, passengers could catch ‘Making’s’ horse-drawn bus to Doncaster at 7.30 am on a Saturday. With the arrival of motor buses, Epworth residents could travel further afield to shop. Local bus companies ran services to Doncaster, Thorne, Gainsborough and Goole. Customers could also have their shopping delivered three times a week by local grocers Cawthorne’s and Barratt’s.