smcgilchrist

GEM and ASDA

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Hello

It's great to read everyone's recollections on here, especially because I am working on programme about the history of shopping in the UK from the 1950's onwards. Things have changed so much in a relatively short period of time, it's fascinating...

I am also looking to interview anyone who shopped in ASDA after it took over from GEM in 1966, or anyone that worked in the store at that time, because it was the first UK superstore. So if that's you, please do get in touch

The programme is a BBC2 history series that'll be broadcast in the autumn

Thanks!

Sonya

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There's quite a long thread on here re Asda/Gem in West Bridgeford. Also the connection with the second series of Auf Wiedesien Pet part of one episode being filmed there in the early /mid 80s

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Snap

There's a further link into our coverage if you scroll down to the link to the Padleys Motor Auction thread.

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I worked at this ASDA from 1983 to 1989 . Can remember the filming of The Auf Wiedesien Pet episode .At the time i was working on the fresh food department where most of the filming took place . ( mary from the george hotel posing as a customer ) .

Jimmy Nail came into the prep area in the back where i was working and asked if he could make a quick telephone call . How could i say no to this figure from our TV screens ? I wished now i had done . His quick call lasted over 45 mins ., Resulting in me having to tell him he had overstepped our friendship !! He was most rude . Using the works telephones back then was a very big NO NO , even if you were off the telly .

Looing back then to how things were working at ASDA and how thing have changed . We were closed Sundays , closed every Monday and i think the latest night we did was on a Friday till 9pm . Now its full on 24 hour operation . Not for me thank you

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Ayup Andy, where have you been for the last couple of years or more ..........LOL

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Didn't GEM have a store in the Victoria Centre, somewhere near the Clock Tower entrance?

I bought a Black & Decker hammer drill from whoever's shop it was in about 1979/1980, which was recently brought out of retirement when my more modern (German) drill burned-out. And despite being over 30 years old, and not being used in over 20 years, it still works perfectly. :)

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I think you're thinking of "Scan"

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For last two years ive been trying to find a different job, one that allows me the time to partake in activities such as this . And guess what , i found one . So here i am .

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Well welcome back mate. I'll ask you what you're doing now in a PM

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Hi Carltonfox , there is also this thread on GEM with some further pictures I added last week from 1977 . Some of those folk may have still been there when you worked there ?

http://nottstalgia.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=9182&hl=asda

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When I lived on Glapton road in the Meadows we did all our shopping at the corner shop. When GEM opened we went there instead, the corner shop bloke was so mad all the family was banned from his shop, it saved us pounds.. :)

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Thanks for the heads up on that programme tonight . Will look forward to it , though we have already seen all the old video of the GEM opening from that Pathe news reel on youtube .

From the clip they show in the article there seems to have been some clever editing . They have used the busy opening day of GEM in the Pathe news clip of 1964 to make it appear that they are Asda customers some 2 years later when sales improved .

Half the info in the BBC article is stuff I passed on from that newspaper of the opening day that I have kept all those years. I was in email contact with the researcher for ages and then got "dropped" .

Chris Stockdale , the chairmans son , shown in the film was a non-food manager there for a number of years and I was a "hard goods" manager under him .

From the clip shown it appears to be a good free advert for Asda . Hope the full programme features some of GEMs American roots .

As mentioned above there is this other thread here with more of the news cuttings

http://nottstalgia.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=9182&hl=asda&page=2

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Never realised that West Bridgford had been a world leader in something for a few months. I will now definitely watch the programme to check out the changed scenery. If they've got old film of customers, I might see a much younger version of myself with my parents.

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Cliff Ton as I said in the video sample of the programme on the above BBC link , they only seem to have the video of the opening day in 1964 so unless you were there on that day unlikely to spot yourself .

There is some old footage of some closed down shops that they seem to have edited to suggest that Asda was the cause of their closure . Whether those shops are actually in Nottingham or just stock footage I'm not sure but might be worth keeping an eye out for .

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Well that was a waste of time .

At the beginning of the year ,the BBC researcher contacted me about a comment I had made on the youtube video of GEMs opening, as I worked there from the start and my dad was in charge of its construction .

After numerous emails and phone calls ,, I spent hours back at the beginning of the year giving the Beeb researcher info and images on the original store as well as trying to find the little information there is out there on the original GEM chain in the USA . All for a 5 minute slot in an hours programme !

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David, I am of the same mind, having expected a good 20 minutes or so of good nostalgic footage and memories of Gem, instead we had a 50 minute advert for M & S ! :glare:

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I didn't see my Mum pushing me in my wheelchair....oh well, never mind!

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The film last night only showed a few of the Pathe news clips , if you want to see the whole original news report its here and you have the option of viewing it as stills ( though doesnt work very well on my android device)

http://www.britishpathe.com/video/high-st-under-cover

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In the programme last night they intimated that the opening of the GEM / ASDA forced the closure of a number of shops in the vicinity and showed some closed up shops . The first clip showed what I assumed was Clumber St. but I wonder if the pictures below were actually Nottingham shops and if so , wonder what that newsreel was ?

Theres a very distinctive upstairs window in the next door property in the bottom picture .

9666091900_bfb033daea_c.jpg

9662861087_310248f01b_c.jpg

9666092356_46f54c6ca7_c.jpg

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The first photo is definitely Clumber Street. I can't place the location of the other two but the name Turner for shoe shops is something I remember. Irritating, but there's a street nameplate in the top right corner of that photo but it's unreadable. (I've looked back at the original but it's no better).

We need our trade directory expert.

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