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Blundells of Aston

Johnbell

master brummie
Anybody have any memories or stories?
Did any of you work for John Blundell's in Aston, Kings Heath, or Handsworth?
I wonder if you recall Dave Dudley and his wife Liz? Dave was my boss when i started work as a supervisor at Aston. I think the shop was above the old Elbow Room club, or next door.
What happened to all you girls that were in my teams? You all had minivans at that time.
I learnt more about life in the 1st month in that job than in10 years at school!
 

Linda Jennings

master brummie
Anybody have any memories or stories?
Did any of you work for John Blundell's in Aston, Kings Heath, or Handsworth?
I wonder if you recall Dave Dudley and his wife Liz? Dave was my boss when i started work as a supervisor at Aston. I think the shop was above the old Elbow Room club, or next door.
What happened to all you girls that were in my teams? You all had minivans at that time.
I learnt more about life in the 1st month in that job than in10 years at school!
I didn’t work for Blundell’s however, I do remember the store. It was in the old Woolworth building on New Town Row.

Regards
Linda
 

Johnbell

master brummie
I didn’t work for Blundell’s however, I do remember the store. It was in the old Woolworth building on New Town Row.

Regards
Linda
Thanks Linda. I had forgotten about the Woolworths connection. I worked at the Woolworths Bull Ring store for a couple of years as a "Trainee Mngr", also known as a dogsbody!
I did security in the store for 2 Christmas Days, as i was the only unmarried manager on the staff. The store manager rang me on Christmas morning from his home and told me i could take a frozen TV dinner from the foodhall and cook it in the canteen, and it would be free! What a life we lived.
 

Radiorails

master brummie
John Blundell Ltd. had stores all over the country. There were some four, as far as I know, in Devon. Always based in towns or cities but serving people who lived in rural areas, where there were few, if any shops and the large estates of the towns and cities. They were nominally known as Credit Drapers, however, furniture, house furnishings and a large variety of good were sold by them by their travelling salesmen - generally known as pack men (from the days of horse travel), Tally Men (they kept a book of the debt)and in more recent times as Club Men (less discriminatory) I guess. The jobs were usually high pressure - keep up sales, or else but the shop and office staff were not under such constraints.
Anyone who works as an agent for such companies would have many a tale to tell.
A Birmingham based company that operated in a similar manner was S&U Stores (who had, in their owners a great 'Blues' investment.
There is a liknk to S&U here:
https://birminghamhistory.co.uk/forum/index.php?threads/s-and-u.27959/#post-264946
Another is Provident, a bit about them in this thread:
However, most small and large clothiers, home furnishing and electrical suppliers did offer terms, in one form or another.
 
Last edited:

Johnbell

master brummie
John Blundell Ltd. had stores all over the country. There were some four, as far as I know, in Devon. Always based in towns or cities but serving people who lived in rural areas, where there were few, if any shops and the large estates of the towns and cities. They were nominally known as Credit Drapers, however, furniture, house furnishings and a large variety of good were sold by them by their travelling salesmen - generally known as pack men (from the days of horse travel), Tally Men (they kept a book of the debt)and in more recent times as Club Men (less discriminatory) I guess. The jobs were usually high pressure - keep up sales, or else but the shop and office staff were not under such constraints.
Anyone who works as an agent for such companies would have many a tale to tell.
A Birmingham based company that operated in a similar manner was S&U Stores (who had, in their owners a great 'Blues' investment.
There is a liknk to S&U here:
https://birminghamhistory.co.uk/forum/index.php?threads/s-and-u.27959/#post-264946
Another is Provident, a bit about them in this thread:
However, most small and large clothiers, home furnishing and electrical suppl ers did offer terms, in one form or another.
That is exactly correct, i did get "poached" by Provident at one time, but only lasted 2 days! They gave me all the slow and bad debts they had,( including M . Mouse, Fanny Craddock, and Isaac Hunt), and told me to get the accounts closed and paid in full. They also gave me a Ford Escort Estate which broke down twice on the way to the 1st call, and had no lights, which i found out on the way home from Coventry on the 2nd evening of my employment. I left it at Stonebridge island with the keys in it and got a bus home to Bordesley Green. I really enjoyed telephoning the General Manager the next morning and listening to him explode! They threatened all sorts of dire consequences, but a neighbour was a secretary in a Solicitors office and a Letter from them got me a month's wages and bus fare returned.
In those days jobs were plentiful, and i think i had 10 or 12 in a few years. Pick and choose until you foundsomething you liked.
 

Williamstreeter

master brummie
I used to have my new term school uniform financed by the provident from The Co-op in town , I also had my first record player from the Civic cnr Paradise St/Easy Row what an ache that was in the early 60's my parents being seperated they wouldn't accept my mothers signature for a HP agreement
 

Morturn

Super Moderator
I remember the man from the provident calling each week. My mom would end up with a book of stamps that she exchanged at the co-op for items such as clothes etc.
 

nickcc101

master brummie
S&U and Times furnishing were our saviours when first married end 1970 as we had absolutely no savings and poorly paid jobs, thank goodness times changed for the better. I can remember when we moved into our rented flat in Water Orton and sleeping on the floor in a sleeping bag, my soon to be Wife was still living at home I might add.
 

Dave89

master brummie
Hi,

S & U Stores, -that's the name that's been on the tip of my tongue!
Our tallyman was a nice chap called Don Norton.

S & U changed at some point from selling goods on credit to lending cash,
but I can't remember what date that would have been.

Kind regards
Dave
 
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