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Interesting . The most likely reason would have been a Courtaulds connection . Steada Raywarp was part of Courtaulds and they had many clothing divisions and you were probably drafted in to help with merchandising one of their other brands . I can't think offhand who had the clothing concession in GEM but there was probably a Courtaulds link.

My wifes first job there was on the tights and stockings bar and she was a Kayser Bonder consultant . Kayser Bonder also owned by Courtaulds

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BUMP Next week its coming up to the 50th anniversary of the opening of GEM Supercentre on Loughborough Rd in 1964 (now Asda). That building though replaced by a new store in 1999, had the distinctio

Great , thanks for the heads up on the story Katyjay . Just phoned my brother and as it happens he has bought todays Post and has seen the article and is saving it for me . Cheers !

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 brin

Davidw, many thanks for #24, I must have missed this when you first posted but it don't arf take you back. In 1964 when we were there then it was so terribly modern, whilst the pic shows something from another era !!

Where have the all the days gone to? it seems like just a few years back :unsure:

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Tell me about it ! :)

Its a bit heavy going but if you've a spare 5 mins I did a youtube video using those still photos and some text on the original chain in the USA and Canada that no one else seems to have researched.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1mGrYnfz0Q

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siddha , sorry those names don't ring any bells .

I left in 1977 and for virtually the whole of my time there worked on the non-food sections . Where did they work in the store ?

Can't remember if I posted this on here before but there is this photo from the mid 70s of some the non-food staff , (me with 'tash) . Looking at the signs , when you could buy a Qualcast Suffolk Colt Petrol mower for £59 and a Punch for £69 .

8569011345_cee8b671df_b.jpg

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May as well post these photos that were from the ASDA in house newspaper of 1977 featuring the West Bridgford store . You never know someone googling might be pleased to see a photo of themselves (or their grandad / grandma !)

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Close up-This one the checkout operators

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This one Non-food soft-goods staff

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This one management staff . Store manager Russell Fanaken on the far left .

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My mum worked there part-time when i was a Kid must have been around 67? seem to remember was it the first centre to have late night trading as early as the 1960's not everyone had a car in those days so they were quite forward thinking

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Sheridan , you are right it was the first centre to have late night opening , not only that but it was also the very first out of town shopping centre in the country . First to have free parking, a petrol station , free bus , car wash, travel agent , hair dressers,etc etc.

Initially it was just late nights on aThursday and Friday till 8pm. They still maintained the local half day closing on a Wednesday ! Though later probably when ASDA took it over they went to being closed all day Monday . Sunday trading was still decades away.

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BUMP

Next week its coming up to the 50th anniversary of the opening of GEM Supercentre on Loughborough Rd in 1964 (now Asda). That building though replaced by a new store in 1999, had the distinction of being the UKs very first out of town shopping centre complete with petrol station , restaurant , tyre bay etc.

Some will say it was the start of the decline of the high street but my interest as mentioned previously is that my dad was in charge of the construction and I worked there from the beginning , as a Saturday lad and stayed on for some 13 years .

Tried to get Asda interested as I would have thought it would have been good PR for them, as by buying GEM it was estimated it gave them a 5 year lead over other supermarket chains in out of town shopping . However they don't seem interested .

Not sure whether it will be in the Post or in Bygones but I think the Post are possibly running a story about it within the next week . Would be interested if anyone sees it .

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Thanks Michael , I will keep checking their website but not every story from the paper makes it to the web .

I have actually contacted Asda on three different occasions about it and got nowhere . I have a feeling their PR people are on the young side and don't really understand the significance so have given up with them .

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Thanks Cliff Ton for the link to the pictures . Some I have already used , one of the bus ones with permission of the owner .

Some photos that show up are ones posted on this site by me . Cheers !

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Great , thanks for the heads up on the story Katyjay . Just phoned my brother and as it happens he has bought todays Post and has seen the article and is saving it for me . Cheers !

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Strangely the GEM article has been repeated in this months Bygones ? (According to my bruvver). He tells me there is also a piece on famous Notts folk though he says there are some omissions .

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I have fond memories of shopping at Gem in the mid to late 1970s with my parents and grandparents. My grandad used to pick us up in West Bridgford from Clifton and we'd all shop together as we didn't have a car. I remember the black and white buildings on Loughborough Road, still there now.

Food in Gem was just left in boxes on the shelves and not 'presented' as it is now.

I found it all a treat and a great trip out!

Happy memories.

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David just picked up on this thread,and if you were there in 64 can you remember a lad with the surname carty?  Think first name doug not sure, anyway was working with me at the time and left Marsden to join gem

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Thanks cliff-ton................think i found Doug Carty,...........on#30.....3rd from right middle row.........and 31#  1st on left bottom row........smart chap in suit with long hair............could be wrong as its over 50 years..........perhaps David W....can confirm?

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