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Co-op high st bham

gingerjon

master brummie
there was a building called Grand Louvre Buildings which housed many other business's from Kelly's 1940
 
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Corinna

Guest
John Houghton said:
there was a building called Grand Louvre Buildings which housed many other business's from Kelly's 1940
Thanks John. Is the Co-op drapears just one of many business' in the Grand Louvre in 1940?
 

changinman1

master brummie
Hi ,,,has anyone got any pics of the co-op in the High st City centre...I worked there early in the 80,s and it was a lovely old building....shame it had to go.....it had the old style lifts with a concertina inner door and the sliding solid doors......and a lift attendant....happy days..
 

Chris B

master brummie
Hi there should be a book in the library entitled THE CO-OP IN BIRMINGHAM AND THE BLACK COUNTRY by Ned Williams which has a lot of photo's and testimonials from former employees, very interesting book. I worked at High Street from 1965 untill 1979 in the basement of the Big Top Site
Regards Chris B
 
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oldgoose

Guest
My cousin, Barry Brain, was a lift attendant at the Co-Op for many years. He had slicked back black hair and wore 'owl glasses' and the Co-Op provided him with a very smart uniform. This was the only job he ever did as far as I know, because he was disabled.
Does anyone remember him? I lost touch with him many years ago.
 

Frankf

knowlegable brummie
Hi, I worked at the Co-op at the 'big top' site in the High St in town - 1970 - 1971 and remember lots from there from the different departments and some of the things that went on! Happy to share memories with anyone.
 

Alf

Gone but not forgotten. R.I.P.
My cousin, Barry Brain, was a lift attendant at the Co-Op for many years. He had slicked back black hair and wore 'owl glasses' and the Co-Op provided him with a very smart uniform. This was the only job he ever did as far as I know, because he was disabled.
Does anyone remember him? I lost touch with him many years ago.
I worked with a Brain who thick Black glasses at BCT Tyburn Road and was a good cricketer. 1958/60
 

Bojalu

master brummie
A Slide Show including a talk about -
The Birmingham Co-op back in time
will be on in Birmingham City Centre on
Wednesday 20th May 2009. Time 7.30pm.

Details in Carl Chinn's April Brummagem Magazine.

Bo
 

Frankf

knowlegable brummie
Hi, I too am looking for pics of the high st coop - big top site - pref in the 70's but any are good - esp if anyone has interiors.

I worked there in early 70's and remember lots of people and events.

Thanks in advance

Frank
 

Chris B

master brummie
Hi Frankf,
Here are some pics' of the Big Top Site Basement in the Hardware and Gardening Dept where I was the Gardening Buyer and the basement Supervisor. In the background of pic' 1 & 3 you can just see the subway entrance leading to the Restaurant and the old building across the the other side of High street. These photos were taken when I was leaving in about February 1979. The person in the grey/blue suit was Mr Eric Preece the Hardware Officer, he had worked for the
Co-op for getting on for 40 years
Regards Chris B
 
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Frankf

knowlegable brummie
High Chris, many thanks for those pics - excellent! I remember the tunnel to the other side of the road too. Wasn't there an electrical dept in the basement also? near the entrance to the tunnel?

Also, Neville - I remember Terry Andrews - didn't he work in the basement somewhere also?

I'd be very interested ina ny more pics anyone may have of the various depts on the big top side.

Frank
 

Chris B

master brummie
Hi All,
yes Terry Andrews was a member of my staff on the Gardening Dept in those days, unfortunately he had a "problem" and left suddenly, I think his dad used to work over on the mens tailoring at one time. The electical department, white goods and small appliances were alongside the hardware at one time before the refit, T.Vs and lighting were on the first floor then, we used to share the display area in the tunnel 6 months about, Gardening during the spring and summer and electrical during the autumn and winter, after the refit they opened up the 3rd floor on the old side of the road, for a complete electical dept, the 3rd floor was originally only used for paying out the dividend 4 times a year plus the toy fair at christmas time, which when you think of the price of floor space in the city centre keeping this area unused for the best part of the year was not financially sound.
 
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cornwall col

Guest
Hi All,
I worked as a Trainee Sales Manager at the Co-op from 1977-1979 and moved around departments including the basement on tools and the long lonely days in the Picture Gallery where we had pictures and tea trolleys for sale.
The canteen on the top floor was always good for food and I remember one Christmas the Evening Mail advertised the wrong date for the opening of the grotto and staff worked through the night to complete it on time.
Does anyone remember that comedian Don McClean visited the store on some promotional execise
 

Frankf

knowlegable brummie
Hi Chris, thanks for that info - what year did the refit take place? Also, do you remember someone called Margaret Wallace, who worked in the electrical dept in the basement, 1970/72?

I'd be very interested in seeing any more pics anyone might have - esp the tv and lighting dept on the first floor.
Does anyone remember Bill Dove the senior manager for electrical I think, or Dave Rollason, the manager of the TV dept?

All memories and stories greatly appreciated.

Frank
 

Chris B

master brummie
Hi Frankf
I can't put a face to Margeret Wallace, (one of my failings names), the refit at a guess was in the early to mid 70s. I well remember Bill Dove, I had many run ins with him, I found him to be very ignorant and heavy handed, fortunately I didn't work for him directly otherwise it would have been a case of pistols for two and coffee for one. Mervyn Manley who before he was Store manager was in charge of the Whitmore Road T.V. repair centre, he then became Doves number 2 and John Blackband became the repair centre manager. Dave Rollason was a great little guy in charge of the T.V. dept etc lighting supervisor was Ivy Snowden on the 1st floor, Peter Lovell was in charge of the basement electrical. The basement electrical were always short of change, bags, wrapping paper, string etc, and they were always sending someone over to me to help them out. Peter had to take early retirement through illness only a couple or three years ago.
Castle street passage before it was the picture gallery was the kitchen furniture dept run by a character named Jack Cook who had worked for the Co-op for many years, and his pal Cyril Joyce.
On the Big Top site ground floor I think Len Billingsley ran the record dept, Shirley Jones the china and glassware, somebody(Bill?) Clucas the jewellery and clocks, Alf Freer the toys etc,
The goods entrance supervisor was Harold Cooper and his mate Alan Wolverson.
 
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