mercurydancer

Co op Parliament Street

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I worked for the Co Op in Lower Parliament Street (on records and gardening) and also Ascot Road delivery. I can remember the ball room from going there with my mother when very young to have tea. Later I worked there with the banks opposite the lifts, and the ball room having the gardening department which was moved from the basement in about 1977.

Ascot Road was a happy place. The old Bedford vans worked when they wanted to. I dreaded moving bedroom fitments as they were the heaviest to carry upstairs. A simple drop off of a washing machine was always a good number.

If anyone has any photos or the vans, or any information abut Big Stu, Wilf, Dawn Topham, Lee Roy Nev Bradley I'd be grateful

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Hi Mercurydancer, wasn't the big Co-op on Upper Parliament Street a magnificent structure - both inside and out? So full of everything; and that Art Deco staircase? Brings tears to the eyes that the place no longer exists - absurd! :ohmy:

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Until I saw your sex as being male, I thought you may be Kathy Hemsley.

But you are also not the famous Rob Smith?

Both of whom worked in the record department coop house in the 60s/70s before it moved upstairs.

I bet you even know Ted Perfect (Mr.Perfect) :)

I was an apprentice/electrician for the Nottingham/GNCS 1968-1975 often working at 'Central'

Welcome to the forum

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Ah - the big co-op. Yes - it's always the staircase that comes to mind - and also the staffed lifts "Mensware, haberdashery, garden gnomes, Continental cafe..." My mam made quite a lot of our clothes. She always bought the material at the big co-op and there was a distinctive smell in that department. Remember there was a second revolving corner door at the back entrance on Wollaton (one floor up from the one on Parliament Street) right opposite the bottom of Hanley Street.

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And the 'Scoop Shop' in the basement )

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I used the bank on the top floor in the late 70s

Always fancied one of the cashiers. Managed to take her out to lunch once, but never followed it up with any other offers of dates.

What a pr4t! she was really pretty. :(

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The co-op was a great store, yes the staircase was great, the lifts also had people working the lifts for you. You always got good service from the staff not like now days, apart from john lewis[jessops].Always used to remind me of Are you being served the tv comedy.No disrespect to the staff who worked at the co-op.At least the building is still standing

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Stephen, fair lovely, the memories you provide of the Co-op, years back. :)

Do you recall the Haberdashery Department, first area that you came to when entering the store from Parliament Street? My mum used to take my sister and myself in here and kit us out with liberty bodices, vests and pyjamas ready for the Winter. I recall the beech fittings along the walls with their numerous drawers. Whilst my mum was stocking up, I'd peer above the counter wondering what treasures those drawers held. :)

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The shoes department in there with the X-ray machine on a stand. You could look down the scope at your feet and how the shoes fitted as well as viewing holes either side for your Mum and the shop assistant to coo over how nice a fit they were! OH&S would have had a fit.

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Health & Safety!

I never saw one of those in Notts but when they took over the Long Eaton Coop, I saw one rusting away at the back of Long Eaton Coop House.

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I am harking back to the early 50s, mick2me. Big things about the size of your average washing machine with a space at the front to slide your feet in. Could look down the scope at your green feet. Surely there is someone out there who actually used one???

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I used to have some X-Ray specs as a kid, did pretty much the same thing.

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Until I saw your sex as being male, I thought you may be Kathy Hemsley.

But you are also not the famous Rob Smith?

Both of whom worked in the record department coop house in the 60s/70s before it moved upstairs.

I bet you even know Ted Perfect (Mr.Perfect) :)

I was an apprentice/electrician for the Nottingham/GNCS 1968-1975 often working at 'Central'

Welcome to the forum

Definitely not Rob Smith.

Ted Perfect is a name I have not heard in years.

I loved the Art Deco staircase in Co Op House. I recall that there was a Co-Op warehouse just over the road on Wollaton Street, and although it was not used, there was a cave connecting Wollaton Street with Parliament Street.

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I don't remember the cave, but I remember 'Benham's Passage' Which was below coop house around where you want up the left side of coop house.

It was where all the Fridge/freezer plant was.

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I was a maintenance Electrician at Coop house

Looking at Google streets, I see square mark on the building (above the door where the new brickwork is)

This is where we screwed a metal Illuminated Coop sign in 1970.

At least I left my mark somewhere in Nottingham :)

coophouseNottm.jpg

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It is so sad that this iconic store no longer exists. I too remember all of the features people have been posting about.

What was it that eventually caused the Co-Op to close ?

Most Saturday's I used to go to the record department in the basement and have a coca cola in the cafe. They had one of those machines where they put a bottle of coke in one end and an ice cold one would immediately come out of the other.

I never could work how it cooled them so quickly!

The Co-Op was truly the store with everything.

I can even remember having a meal with my dad in the very posh restaurant on the top floor.

One final note, I actually worked for a short time at the Co-Op servicing department which was located in Sneinton Dale.

I believe it only closed a few years ago.

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Are you talking about Coop Radio and TV Department top of Oakdale Road?

I wired it in the early 70s.

I believe Coop lost their way in the retail trade, failed to adapt to modern times, with the obvious competition such as Morrisons and TESCO!

Pretty poor management.

I saw the signs on the wall when we completed Coop Broadmarsh in 1974.

For sale in the window on opening day was a fancy coffee table with a glass top and twinkling lights, priced at over £300 then!

How many Coop stores closed down since.

And they still cant price to compete with the competition!

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Yep. That's the one Mick. It was on the corner with Douglas Ave - which was a very steep road down to the railway line.

I was there very briefly in '74 I think it was.

They used to do all the radio and TV servicing.

I can remember going to a site where wiring was going on - it might very well have been Broadmarsh. I was a trainee at the time.

I guess you're right about Co-op stores not being competitive.

Even now, they tend to be more expensive than everywhere else - even after they took over Qwiksave.

I suppose they survive mainly by being convenience stores rather than 'weekly shop' places. Like Tesco Metro where the prices are much higher than Tesco supermarkets.

My brother lives in Breaston and the Co-op there does very well, not because of reasonable prices but because it's open late.

(It's actually quite expensive).

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I well remember going to Co Op House on Parliament Street both as a child and later to buy some bedroom furniture when I was married. The top floor toy department at Christmas was wonderful. Why should the staircase be so memorable as that is the one feature I remember well. Had little fountains at the bottom at one time didn't it. One of the men who operated the lifts for you was a WW1 veteran who had lost am arm and my dad knew him somehow. Sad it went but the general public obviously deserted it and made it no longer economical to keep open

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I have vague memories of a one armed lift attendant though I can remember the face of a younger ginger haired guy!

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Co-op are a shadow of the company they were in the 60s and 70s. They've closed down many of the places they had back then. When Parliament Street and Broad Marsh closed they had nothing in the city centre; they had two stores on Clifton which no longer exist; likewise many others around the suburbs. Seems like they don't want to run the business any longer.

And you can't fail to notice that they are more expensive than all their competitors, so how long will it be before they disappear completely.

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I thought they had made a bit of a resurgence around the suburbs, especially after buying out (was it) Somerfields? Would agree they do tend to be a few more pennies but like all the supermarket chains they do some things well. Their wine selection is excellent I am told. As mentioned here before, their policy for selling off near sell-by date goods means for excellent bargains are to be had most days in the stores I ever visit (Sherwood, Lowdham and Southwell).

I'm a fan of the Co-op concept and probably like many on here was brought up with the store. I hope it is one that doesn't die.

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The Co-op management have got to be to blame for living in the past and not forseeing future trends.In the sixties they had over 130 stores in the Mansfield/Sutton district alone.Distinctive buildings,many being used nowadays by other trades.I bet they wish they had retained some now as Tesco and the rest are opening up Express stores by the dozen in exactly the same areas...and making a bomb.

Co-op and Woolworths just never got the hang of modern retailing, and much of their stock particularly occasional furnishings always seemed cheap and outdated.The public wanted Ikea type products with some style,they still seemed to have shares in Formica.

They have/had the buying power of the other supermarket giants and there was/is no reason why their prices shouldn't be competetive.The fault has to be at the very top in the boardroom.

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their policy for selling off near sell-by date goods means for excellent bargains are to be had most days

I am a specialist in that habit at the local Morrisons. I have based an entire lifestyle on my ability to buy things cheap at the last possible moment. I regard "use by" dates as a challenge, not a warning.

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