August 6, 2014 § 5 Comments
Apologies to any reader who thinks this post is going to be a history of the Co-operative Society in Walsall, sorry to disappoint, but is not, merely observations accompanied by some of my photographs. As a lad growing up in the 1950s one number I never forgot, apart from our house number, was Mom’s Co-op divi’ number….12530. It’s still embedded in my brain today, no prompting required!
My local branch was a grocery store on the corner of Sandwell Street and West Bromwich Street and I was in and out of there like a ferret down a hole doing errands for the older women who lived by us. Mrs Tombs was one, she lived to be about a 102 if I remember correctly, a grand old lady who always had a good tale to tell, another was Mrs Lockley from 228, Mrs Clayton of 224, my gran at 226, Dora Johnson who lived with her brother and dad at 222, Mrs Lewis, a widow at 218 and two sisters who lived at 216, Miss Stokes and Mrs Wynne. The latter pair were daughters of Alfred Stokes who was captain of Walsall Swifts football club and forerunners, along with Walsall Town, of Walsall FC, proudly known as the Saddlers. I’ve done some miles on my Gresham Flyer, a three-wheeler bike, whizzing up and down Sandwell Street fetching groceries for the ladies mentioned for a tanner a time. Our local Co-op always had their black delivery bike with a large basket up front parked in the entrance of the shop, ridden not by Granville but a chap named Graham I think. Another thing the Co-op was really good for were combustibles in the shape of cardboard boxes, ideal when bonfire night came around in November! « Read the rest of this entry »