The goods were delivered on Thursday or Friday, beautifully wrapped in parcels with brown paper and string
The Co-op shops were situated where Amici’s Restaurant is now. That was the grocer’s shop, fitted out with good quality wood and brass fittings. The scales were brass too. Next door was the greengrocery and hardware shop while on the opposite corner next to Carrigan’s the Chemist was the bakery shop with the butcher’s shop next door. The food was always good quality.
I used to hand in at the counter on Tuesday, my weekly grocery order and the goods were delivered on Thursday or Friday, beautifully packed in cartons or wrapped in parcels with brown paper and string. I would go to the shop on Saturday to pay the bill. There was consternation among the customers when the Co-op decided to charge sixpence (that’s 2½ pence today) for the delivery service, but everyone agreed to pay it.
Other shops in the area included Wilkinson’s Grocery Shop on Station Road, (where the Percy Hedley Centre, the workshops are now situated). This was a branch of a Gosforth firm of very high-quality produce. Sometimes the prices were slightly higher, but the older residents considered it to be well worth it. Their bacon and ham were particularly good. This was in the Embassy Ballroom building, which was destroyed by fire probably in the 60s.
In Forest Hall village there were numerous small shops; those on the south side of the road were demolished to make way for the building housing Kwik-Save and Bookless etc. Law’s Stores, a small store on the north side, probably where the post office is now, was the first shop to go self -service in, I think, 1959. Finally, there was Kirkley’s, a large hardware store on the north side.