Gibbo 04

Gem at West Bridgford

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Gibbo 04    182

Anyone remember the old Gem, which used to be where Asda is now in Bridgford? I can recall my Mum taking me shopping there in the early Seventies. It seemed quite a trek walking there from Abbey Road! Don't suppose anyone knows when it closed?

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jackson    292

I remember the place Gibbo, vast wasn't it? It was known as a Superstore then but hardly that being as occasionally produce was left in boxes on the floor - and the boxes were piled up.

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Beefsteak    259

Didn't we just cover this topic too !!????

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mick2me    2,953

Long time since I was there but Wasnt GEM at the back of the car park then changed to ASDA and they built a new store to the front right of the car park?

What Year?

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Beefsteak    259

That's the one , (I knew it was about cars but couldn't find it !!,,, bad night !)

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Cliff Ton    5,649

Don't suppose anyone knows when it closed?

As mentioned in the other thread, GEM never really closed. It became ASDA and gradually got bigger as extensions were added and the building was modified beyond recognition.

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mick2me    2,953

OK, what year did it change :)

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VWGolf    15

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I remember those buses from Clifton - sometimes we used to go on them for a free ride. I think they used to say on the side West Bridgford Urban District Council. And by the looks of that picture, that photograph was taken when Broadmarsh was an open bus station.

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plantfit    2,835

Number 68 used to terminate just below our house near the top of Farnborough road, that picture has bought back memories now for me, thanks for posting

Rog

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Gibbo 04    182

I only watched that clip the other day.....filmed in the year of my birth, ( I didn't spot my Mum though!!!)

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DAVIDW    1,047

Bumping this thread to post some pics .

Next year 2014 it will be 50 years since the UKs first out of town shopping centre was opened at West Bridgford. As mentioned before I had an involvement with the store from its opening .

OK I know the store was only a large windowless box but this is the U.S. / Canadian version from 1961 , on which I am sure the GEM at West Bridgford was based . Planning was started in 1962 and the store opened in November 1964 .

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My father was area manager reponsible for the building of the GEM in 1964 . Here he can be seen on site with the skeleton of the old GEM / ASDA store in the background (not sure if the guy on the plank in the bottom left pic would have passed Health and Safety today !) :8570176292_0a4fc73d71_c.jpg

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DAVIDW    1,047

The story of the opening in November 1964

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mick2me    2,953

Excellent David :)

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DAVIDW    1,047

Much later from the ASDA internal newspaper of 1977 of the West Bridgford store ,the only one at the time in Nottingham . A closeup of the checkout operators top and the full double page below it .

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Cliff Ton    5,649

Not a test but a genuine question. I used to know the answer but I've forgotten... the letters G E M stood for something but I can't remember.

Like Giant Enormous Massive (but obviously not that)

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DAVIDW    1,047

Not a test but a genuine question. I used to know the answer but I've forgotten... the letters G E M stood for something but I can't remember.

Like Giant Enormous Massive (but obviously not that)

Government Employees Mart .(or Market).

In the USA , GEM was operated on a membership basis .

To be able to shop there you were supposed to be either employed by the Government , be in the armed forces or police etc. Though they had 34 stores in the USA and Canada they had 1 million members but by the mid 70s the entire chain had ceased trading .

GEM in the UK didn't follow this idea and neither did they follow a deep discount method , so prices were much the same as in town and apart from the opening melee it wasnt that successful . Hence ASDA taking it over in 1966 .

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Commo    802

For four lads passionate about motors but with very little money, wandering around the Motoring dept aisles on a Saturday afternoon was a regular pastime, so probably ambled by you David on numerous occassions. I doubt that this activity would be seen as worthwhile by the Yoof of today but it was all we could afford!

Each Saturday afternoon we would each contribute a Half Crown to the kitty and drive down in friend's father's car to the Agip petrol station on Castle Boulevard and for ten bob get enough petrol for miles of weekend motoring.

Just about the time that GEM transposed into ASDA, I was working for an Insurance company in town and on a Saturday was conscripted into manning a counter that my employer had set up within the store, What a waste of time that was! The only communication I ever had with anyone was to direct them to the loo!

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DAVIDW    1,047

Yep I would have been there on a Saturday as I was there from the beginning aged 15 . Though I wouldnt have had a clue about many of the more technical or replacement parts , I was dab-hand at selling nodding head dogs for the back parcel shelf !
The other thing we used to sell a lot of were those large Lucas Halogen fog and spot lights .Think they were about a fiver and your Mini just wasnt right unless you had a couple of those screwed to the front grill .
A bit later when my mates all had cars we would spend all day messing about with them , I had a 63 Mini and 2 of my mates had Moggy 1000s that they "customised" . Another pal had a lovely red MGA .
I was known as the Holts king as I had just about every Holts product there was . Remember Radweld for a leaky radiator ? Then there were all the paints like red-oxide for the rust and the rubbing compounds etc. The biggest selling Holts product though was their anti-freeze . As soon as the first autumn frost came we would have an anti-freeze Saturday . We would sell hundreds of gallons of the stuff as in those days everyone did their own servicing .

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DAVIDW    1,047

A few more pics of GEM at West Bridgford from the opening feature in November 1964 ,starting with a glimpse of the motor accessories (specially for Commo ) at the bottom of the first image . That brings back another memory of Desmo wing mirrors ......another popular seller ! I guess a lot of cars didnt have wing mirrors as standard in those days .

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Why GEM chose Nottingham .

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carni    7,325

I am not sure if i have mentioned this some where on site before,so i apologize if i have, I used to work at a textile factory called Raywarp it was on Alfred St North in the early 1960s,we used to make a variety of things,i used to operate a machine called a Bar tack making mainly bath caps, hair bands,thick hair nets (like the one Ena Sharples would wear in Coronation St)etc,When the Gem had been built but not open to the public,we were taken there as work over time to get it all stocked up with goods for sale,i had never seen anything so vast and we were all overawed by it all.I do not know what the connection with Raywarp was,or why we were chosen to help with the preparation.Unless the store was selling some of their products which sounds probable.

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