pemberton

Austerity

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Can anyone, I'm sure lots of you can, remember the very austere times of the 50's just after the war. My mam would send me to the grocers shop for a pound of spec fruit, and I can remember going into our local beer off where you could buy draft beer if you took your own bottle, grocers would weigh out sugar and tea and put it into a brown bag, they would test your eggs for freshness on a rack with a light bulb under it which would shine through the shells and show up bad eggs, light bulbs would be tested before you bought them, you could buy 'blood' oranges - eh, they were the days!

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At the Co-op on the corner of Aspley Lane and Robinswood Road they used to have a contraption for testing the light bulbs. It was permanently swittched on and the bulb was pushed into it and hopefully it worked.

My mum used to go to a house somewhere on Barrack Lane off Derby Road to buy dresses for herself. The woman, I seem to recall the name Dolly, had dresses piled up in her front room, these were on a billiard table.

My mum used to knit cardigans for my sister and me. When we grew out of them they were unpicked and knitted up again with another colour mixed in with a pattern.

They may have been hard times but we always had new shoes and plenty of good food on the table. The meals were home made and not the pre-packed stuff of today.

I think today is not so much harder to cope with, but the priorities are different. We want things now and are not prepared to wait for anything. We all either work hard or have worked hard in the past but it is still handed to some on a plate.

A ;)

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Your right about the Coop light bulb testing.

I was an apprentice/electrician for the coop 1968-1975.

Whenever I work on the construction or renovation of a Coop Store, The small

check outs would be fitted with such a device.

A small wooden plinth hand made by the joiner, on which I would mount and wire

a power point (for the till) a switch and lampholder for testing the bulbs.

I suppose knowing the coop, this was to prvent people bringing back their duff bulbs for refund!

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Many memories stirred by the above posts….

As a teenager in the late 50’s, I worked a few Saturday stints at JD Marsden's on Broxtowe Lane....straight out of 'Open All Hours'!

A conniving Branch Manager, as if from the pages of a Charles Dickens novel, who imposed strange demands upon on his staff, such as “…only sweep up the spilt loose sugar off the floor and put it back into the big bag, when no customers are looking….” “…learn how to lightly press your little finger on the scales as you weigh…”

Whilst I was rarely allowed into the serving front line, I witnessed some wonderful dialogues between customers and staff:

“Have you got any John West tinned salmon?”…..”No”(smiling)….”When you getting’ some?”….”Dunno”…..”Let me know when you get some”….”I’ll put you on the list”….”What list?”….”The list of all the folks who have already asked today....."

"Half a dozen bananas"..."You can only have 3"..."Who sez?"..."The Manager...."

My usual Saturday exercise came from making the deliveries on the old bike, designed for the purpose….a la Granville!

Deliveries at the top of the Lane involved the huge climb of about 1 in 4, invariably to surly and dismissive customers….”Don’t put it there, put it there!” etc. The freewheel back to base was much more enjoyable.

Perhaps in general terms, we were not too aware of the austerity which applied then – primarily as we had never experienced anything that was different or better, so that was the ‘norm’. Easy to condemn today’s generation for having it so good, but their present day lifestyle is nothing more than today’s ‘norm’.

Could be that, 50 years hence, they’ll tell stories of their relative deprivation at the turn of the century!

Cheers

Robt P.

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Marsdens shops, I'd forgotten all about them.They sold a really yummy tart.Pineapple on the bottom then filled with pineappley cream stuff and topped with(yes you've guessed)pineapple iceing,ooh lovely.Seem to remember their bakewell tarts were good too. B)

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Marsdens - Farrands- Savemore - yes so many of them and all the same firm eventually as one bought out the other.

At one point in time there were 120 coops grocery shops belonging to N.C.S. reaching right out to Skeggy. leaving school I worked first at Branch 38 on Commercial Road at Bulwell (just round corner from home on Dove Street) and for at least a year I was not allowed to go behind the counter and serve the customers. That year was spent in the back weighing up sugar, flour,dried fruit,lard,butter and cheese. We had a storage upper floor where the things needing to be weighed out into bags were kept and tipped down a shoot - I stood at the bottom operating a lever and filling the bags - sugar into 1, 2 & 4 pound blue bags.

All the ladies used to come with their order books already written in listing the things they wanted and most repeated the same list each week with a few extra's added on - you had to enter the prices down the right hand side of the page and add up what they owed you. This was often put on the slate till pay day.

From there I went to Bestwood Village Coop ( riding back and forth to Bestwood from Bulwell on the heavy delivery bike) then to branches at Main st, Bulwell, Bulwell Hall Estate ( now video shop) and then to foreign areas like West Bridgford (Musters Road). By now I had been promoted to hatchet man - when I appeared the staff knew the shop was to close within a couple of weeks as it was my responsibility to supervise clearance of stock before closing down.

The old coops shops disappeared so fast as they were replaced by supermarkets ( as did Marsdens, Farrands etc) Closure of all the coops in West Bridgford and surrounding areas came following the opening of Gem (Now Asda)

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I can also remember going into the bigger department stores in town, I think the co-op on Parliament st was one, where, when you paid for an item they would put your dosh into a tin like container and shove it into some sort of piping system, presumably this went upstairs to the accounts dept. and if any change was due it was 'whooshed' back to you, fantastic!

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I can also remember going into the bigger department stores in town, I think the co-op on Parliament st was one, where, when you paid for an item they would put your dosh into a tin like container and shove it into some sort of piping system, presumably this went upstairs to the accounts dept. and if any change was due it was 'whooshed' back to you, fantastic!

Pullman's huge store on Huntingdon Street/Lower Parliament Street was another...

Their overhead piping system was a veritable Clapham Junction! The cylindrical containers seemed to whoosh around at the speed of bullets.

Cheers

Robt P.

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if you look in Tesco in Ilkeston when they are emptying their tills you will see the same principal in use. They put the money in shuttles and push it in the pipes by every checkout and it wings its way to the office, never to be seen again.

Do you remember Beech's and Roughtons stores. one on Derby Road and another on Radford Road. They had a similar system but it was put in a cup and a rope was pulled and the pot went along cables to a small accounts office to be entered into the book and the change sent back. If you had a Provident cheque this would be sent along with your paying book and the amount was deducted from your cheque and the balance put in the book. My mum always had a Provy cheque to buy new bedding and towels.

A ;)

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;) I believe TOBYs on Friar lane had a simular system.....or is it me just wanting to join in................ !hand!

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In the early fifties the farthing was phased out...all I can remember you could get with it was a third pint of still orange off the milkman.So that's 4 bottles for a penny...240 pennies to the pound...960 bottles for a quid...cheap or what??

Did the Saturday morning job for a grocers on Nuthall Road...shilling an hour and the shop bike weighed more than me.The old sod used to stack it high too...nearly killed me.

Wool was a hell of a price in the early fifties,no wonder they re-used it over and over.I remember the rag and bone man offering £1 for a full carrier bag of wool clothing...and a pound then was a lot of money.

Got a goldfish off him once for a pair of new slippers my Mum bought me.She legged it down the road to get 'em back...then used 'em to tan my behind for swopping them.

Nicked a pound out of her bag once and spent it on a HUGE bag of coconut ice and some lead soldiers.Got a thrashing off my Dad for that .....and to this day can't stand the sight of coconut ice.

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often wondered how the hell young lads managed on those huge heavy bikes!lol. also i didnt know that they used the money pipes back in the day!(born 69)they use them at my sainsburys local and also in hospitals for sending paper work but with bigger tubes

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often wondered how the hell young lads managed on those huge heavy bikes!lol. also i didnt know that they used the money pipes back in the day!(born 69)they use them at my sainsburys local and also in hospitals for sending paper work but with bigger tubes

Hi cooljoolz. Just goes to show, kids today think that they invented everything!

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In the early fifties the farthing was phased out...
.

I never did know when the farthing was phased out, but when I started work as an apprentice plumber (1963), my wages were 1/5¾ per hour.

I knew there was no such thing as farthings now - so nearly caused uproar when asked why 'they' don't make it up to 1/6 per hour ?!?!

Obviously knew now't about union rates etc.

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Legal tender maybe,but not used for several years, all the cheap kids sweets then were a halfpenny.

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I can remember being able to buy 4 'Fruitsalads' or 'Black Jacks' for an old penny !!!. Bloody decimalization did for that !!!!

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Shortly after decimalisation they were still available at 4 for a penny (new one) lots of lovely extra profit for the manufacturer....lovely jubbly.

I was at a top secret meeting of crisp manufacturers in Lincoln when I worked for Smiths Crisps.A packet of ready salted with the blue bag of salt was 3d (30 drams)...Golden Wonder and other manufacturers were proposing a larger bag at 6d and wanted Smiths to follow suit,which they did.

Over the next year...surprise surprise...the 'New' bag was reduced in weight back to the original 3d bag...No wonder they wanted to keep it quiet.Double your money...lovely jubbly.

30 drams is around 2 ounces...not that the public knew that.

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yes I bet 4 fruit salads went down well after climbing up all the insides of those chimneys,lol

!rotfl! Or carrying the gunpowder to the gundecks on Victory................

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To be honest I thought I'd perhaps gone OTT there? Of course such was no laughing matter but 4 fruit salads for 1d or 12 shillings nowadays for a bag of crisps seems same to me, always was and still am skint!

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Have you noticed how old timers (keep forgetting I'm one myself now) when they go on about going out to the Palais...getting drunk...and getting fish and chips all for a quid.They never mention the fact that they were only on five quid a week at the time.wink.gif

I still find it hard to believe that when I got my first car I only got 8 quid a week,and never remember being short of money blink.gif Mind you Jet petrol was five gallons for a £1 then...now it's the other way round ...1 gallon for 5 quid.

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