Memories of Shopping

Every quarter of the financial year subscribers could look forward to collecting what was known as the dividend.

Dorothy’s earliest memories of shopping as a young child was going into a general dealer shop to buy a newspaper for her parents; this was in Hawkey’s Lane. Later on, as an older person, she remembers going to the Co-op Store in Lower Camden Street to buy things. It was also the place where every quarter of the financial year subscribers could look forward to collecting what was known as the dividend. This was credited to you by the number of purchases you made in the past months by way of retaining your check number; depending on how much you spent at the Co-op this could amount to quite a lot of money, this was a happy day!

Another nice shop Dorothy went to was Walkers at the top end of Borough Road, a very good quality shop. On one occasion her mother decided to buy a new hardwearing passage carpet running up to the front door, Dorothy didn’t lose out because she was given a new pair of shoes and a new skirt.

Dampney’s shop on Saville Street sold paint and wallpaper. Dorothy remembers cutting the edging of the wallpaper before pasting it to put on the wall. She also remembers how her dad showed her how to match a short length of paper with another length by making an uneven tear where the patterns matched then sticking one over the other, this way the join was almost invisible; a good tip I thought.

T & G Allan in Bedford Street was another shop Dorothy remembers. She bought games and birthday cards there and they also sold many different household articles. Dorothy knew a person who owned a small shop in West Percy Street called Doreen’s; she sold underwear and blouses. Glenton’s wool shop, located next door to Allan’s was another popular shop. Dorothy, who was a very good knitter, knitted a full-length dress.

Also well remembered was Holmes the sweet shop on the corner of Nile Street opposite the station; a very popular shop. Near the top of Stephenson Street, there was Hunters the bakers; they were well known and produced wonderful cakes, scones, teacakes and lots of other cookies.

Dorothy remembers especially the great hall above the shop that could be used for weddings if you used the products from their bakery. A shop known as Mercers, also in Stephenson Street was well known for repairing electrical goods and they sold parts for Hoover vacuum machines.

Barry Noble’s was another shop remembered by Dorothy. This was an enormous shop, you could have played football in it the floor was so big! They sold fruit and vegetables. The shop was in Bedford Street.

One of Dorothy’s favourite places was the Albion Cinema, located as you would expect on Albion Road. The thing she remembers most is the cigarette smoke highlighted in the beam of light coming from the projectors.

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