Author Topic: the shops of brum city center in the 50s  (Read 36900 times)

roy one

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Re: the shops of brum city center in the 50s
« Reply #110 on: March 22, 2010, 12:34:26 PM »
the co op shops it seems that you could get any thing from the co op  milk bread coal off the rounds man
food from there shops and the odd thing that stands out is they would plant you to and you would get div so you would get money back i wonder if they do any thing like that today if you was a long standing member would you get a discount on your box
each day is a blessing and I bless each day when it comes

Barry worrall

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Re: the shops of brum city center in the 50s
« Reply #111 on: March 05, 2020, 03:13:23 PM »
Does anyone remember a Gladys Davis or married name Gladys Jenkins who worked in the ladies clothes department in Lewis's from about 1950s or 1960s

Scipio

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Re: the shops of brum city center in the 50s
« Reply #112 on: March 07, 2020, 09:13:30 PM »
Phil if you look in, the answer to your question to post 26 . In the 60's the snooker hall was owned by Rex Williams the snooker and billiard player casino upstairs belonged to him as well .
If voting made any difference , they wouldn't let us do it.
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ErdingtonBoy

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Re: the shops of brum city center in the 50s
« Reply #113 on: October 27, 2020, 12:47:33 PM »
When I left school in the early 60's, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I enjoyed using words but seemed to have no particular aptitude for anything and no aspirations.  Somehow, I got a job in the advertising department of Lewis's which was one of a chain of large department stores --- not to be confused with John Lewis. One of my jobs was to walk every floor of the store with 'proofs' of 'copy' due to be published in the local newspapers in Lewis's weekly full-page advertisements. I was trained to write some of this. Every proof had to be signed off as correct by department managers.  My job was to get this done. Lewis's advertisements were never what you might call 'sophisticated' affairs. That was not the demographic we targeted. One truly memorable event happened  on the morning of what was known as a 'Mammoth Sale' which had been 'splashed' across pages in the previous day's issue of local newspapers. These were a type of occasional, frenetic one-day event during which the store aimed to shift unsold or over-stocked items at knockdown prices. They were very popular and hordes of shoppers came from miles around to start queuing outside all the entrance doors for hours before opening time. As soon as the people at the front saw the staff moving towards doors to open them, word spread and the crush started. On one unforgettable morning I had started at 8am in the basement with my sheaf  of proofs for next week's advertisement. I always started down there and worked my way upwards, using the escalators as I went. I had just started touring each department on the ground floor when a bell sounded and the doors were opened. Have you ever seen film of a herd of thirst-crazed wildebeest raising clouds of dust as they charge en-masse across an open plain towards a distant source of water? I took one look at the several sets of doors as they were thrown open by staff who leaped aside and ran for cover to avoid being crushed by the onslaught. Separate tides of wild-eyed, baying shoppers surged forwards; every individual almost frothing at the mouth in anticipation of bargains galore. They either spread out like a tsunami of psychotic savages on the rampage, or they converged in phalanxes at the bottom of the single escalator.  The next few minutes saw me running for my life up escalator after escalator as hordes of rampaging old women hurtled after me to get to whatever floor they intended to pillage. Sod getting the proofs signed, I just wanted to avoid being trampled underfoot! I didn't stop until I reached our office on the top floor and could slow down. Many years later, after watching a particularly aggressive coach-load of bad-tempered pensioners at a supermarket checkout, I wrote an especially cynical poem titled 'The geriatric mafia'.  It wouldn't surprise me if some of them were offspring of the Boudica Bargain-Bagging Brigade in Birmingham:
                                                                     
The Geriatric Mafia are gathering
with Zimmer frames, sticks and bags.
They're off on a shopping coach trip.
A reunion of Macbeth's hags.

On the journey, conversation's restricted
to outdoing others whinging about pains
caused by haemorrhoids, arthritis or ulcers
and the problem of stubborn stains.
 
In the moments before arrival,
the coach falls ominously still
as each wrinkled soldier of fortune
invokes inbred instincts to kill ...


On rare occasions, if a really big event was due to happen later that week, I was able to earn some overtime money by working after hours. This usually meant going down into the store to assist those few managers who needed to work late to organise stock. By then the lifts, escalators and most lighting had been turned off. There were just islands of illuminated stands here and there where someone was working. That was a wonderfully eerie experience, especially at Christmas when the only other light came through windows which faced out onto the street where flashing coloured lights had been hung on the sides of the store as decorations.  The mannequins on display stands seemed to suddenly loom out of shadows like solid areas of darkness in the gloom.  Brilliant!

ErdingtonBoy

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Re: the shops of brum city center in the 50s
« Reply #114 on: October 27, 2020, 12:56:45 PM »
This is a long-shot.
Does anyone remember or know the name of an opticians in Birmingham City Centre in the early 1960's. What made them unusual was that downstairs they sold professionally mounted microscope slides so I suspect they supplied the local university and/or local high school teachers and pupils? New Street/Broad Street/Corporation Street MAY have been their location. Beyond that, I can recall nothing.
Thanks for any suggestions.

Scipio

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Re: the shops of brum city center in the 50s
« Reply #115 on: October 27, 2020, 06:30:25 PM »
This is a long-shot.
Does anyone remember or know the name of an opticians in Birmingham City Centre in the early 1960's. What made them unusual was that downstairs they sold professionally mounted microscope slides so I suspect they supplied the local university and/or local high school teachers and pupils? New Street/Broad Street/Corporation Street MAY have been their location. Beyond that, I can recall nothing.
Thanks for any suggestions.


ErdingtonBoy  Welcome was Hudson and Howard that was on the Smallbrook Ringway ? I got my first pair of non National Health glasses from there . The only other opticians of note was Scrivens that was located close to the Gaumont , I hope this helps .
If voting made any difference , they wouldn't let us do it.
Mark Twain

ErdingtonBoy

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Re: the shops of brum city center in the 50s
« Reply #116 on: October 27, 2020, 10:20:23 PM »
Thanks Scipio.
Might be either. I was hoping a name might ring a bell but it was always a longshot.
Using your info, I have found that microscope slides were manufactured by Edward G. Howard of Kings Norton . . . bot no association with 'Hudson'.
Separately, your info helped me locate slide makers James B. Howard (York/Frome) and (again separately) F.T. Hudson of Hudson & Son (Greenwich) ... but again, no association linking both names.
It might just be EG Howard, but I'll not assume so.
Thanks for the follow-up and the 15 minutes of enjoyable research it gave me.
All the best.