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Co-op high st bham

pmcc

New Member
does anyone remember those great girls in the typing dept, big top site furnishing dept during the 1960`s or any memories from the big top in the 60`s
 

changinman1

master brummie
Hi i was an apprentice butcher there in 1982 working for Bob Marston, the food hall manager was Pete somebody , cant think of his surname, marion were you there in 82/83 ???
 

Brummieletts

proper brummie kid
I have many memories of the Co op in Brum. My dad, Bill Letts worked ofr them for many years from Baker to Finance.

I know he was awarded his long service award for over forty years when he left.

Think he started with them @1940 and was a baker delivering bread....at some point he moved to the top floor department, working in Kingstanding collecting money for the goods people purchased. I remeber the lifts well:) When dad had to go in to do his banking, i would go with him and told to sit there quietly whilst he did the banking:) That was during the early 70's

He was also in a dance band from the 1940's, that would play in the basement restaurant at christmas and new year for staff does. Mum worked for the co op too, so i would get to go along as well. I loved arriving early, having the whole dance floor to myself whilst dad and the band tuned up:)
The band had several names, including the Hal Letts Band and just Bill letts band.
There were four or so members, dad on drums, a piano/organ, saxophone and bass, occassionally a singer too.

If anyone remembers the band, let me know, i have some pictures which i can attempt to upload!

Brummieletts.
 

Chris B

master brummie
Hi,
sorry to say I don't remember the band, but during my time at High Street, which was from 1967 to 1979, In my day I am sure Billy Letts was what we called a Club Collector, in other words he called at customers houses collecting the repayments from customers who shopped using Club Stamps he had sold them to purchase goods, it was sort of a deferred payments scheme operated by the Co-Op, also I am sure that he was also a Union Representative, It was such a long time ago now, but as I remember him he was a short chap, always ready with a joke, and he had a way of chatting up the lady customers to sell them Club Stamps, and if I remember rightly at times he wore a natty little trilby hat, because like I am now his thatch had worn thin. If I was asked what famous person he reminded me of I would have to say the comedian Charlie Drake. Hope I have got the right person, and no offence meant by any of my comments. He was a proper card and an out and out Brummy.
Kind Regards Chris Bryan
 

Jaffa

knowlegable brummie
Hi,
I was at High Street (BCS Central) from 1979 - 1981 where I worked in the Mens & Boys Wear warehouse on the first floor. My job was to unpack & check all the menswear that came into the department and put it into stock. We also used to handle all the menswear requests for the branches.

The head of the menswear warehouse was Bob Taylor, a real off the wall character. Also working in the warehouse during my time there were Ken (can't remember his surname), Michael Cloonan, Roger Boden (who went on to work for Domec) and me; George... Also tucked away in some small offices located within the warehouse were: Harry Chambers (bespoke tailoring), Clem Owen (menswear buyer), and the head of everything menswear; Mr Mumby.

I'll put a list of people I can remember at the end of this message.

I also got roped into playing football on Sunday mornings for BCS Central with Dave Cutler (Co-op Bank) and Andy Lees (Menswear) at the rather wonderful Co-op Sports & Social Club... That was such a bonus to have that club for free, you wouldn't get that these days.

Things certainly have changed since the 70's... I would join a bunch of the menswear sales staff virtually every lunchtime for a couple of pints & a 'pie, chips 'n peas' at the Yard Of Ale in New Street, then we'd all come back to work and breathe lager fumes over the customers for the rest of the afternoon!
I can remember getting so bladdered one lunchbreak around Christmas time, that when I returned to the warehouse the older guys laid some suits on the floor between the racks of clothing and I was ordered to get my head down & sleep it off!!... Truly great days from a by-gone age.
Here's a list of people I can remember, if you recognise any of them, please let me know!



Mr Mumby (God of Menswear!)
Clem Owen (Menswear Buyer)
Ray ? (Menswear Buyer)
Chris Potter (Menswear)
Trevor Graham (Menswear)
Michael Dukes (Menswear)
Ron Smith (a.k.a. ‘Bengie’) (Menswear)
Andy Lees (Menswear & BCS Central football team)
Ian Wilson (Menswear)
Jonathon Whitlock (Menswear)
Wendy ? (Mens Underwear & Shirts)
Harry Chambers (Bespoke & Alterations)
Bob Taylor (Menswear Stores)
Michael Cloonan (Menswear Stores)
Roger Boden (Menswear Stores & Domec)
George (Menswear Stores & BCS Central football team)
Ken ? (Menswear Stores)
Janet North (Footwear)
Christine Stapley (Footwear)
Dave Cutler (Co-op Bank & BCS Central football team)


 

Jaffa

knowlegable brummie
Just found this photo taken on the Menswear Dept; first floor, High Street in 1980/81.
From left to right:
Trevor Graham - Michael Dukes - George (me)
This photo is clearly dated by my hairstyle!... Luckily I was 'behind the scenes' for most of the time, but my looks did raise some eyebrows amongst the old-school type management at the Co-op.... It really was like working at Grace Brothers. :)


Click photo to enlarge. Edit 35 1981.jpg
 

carolina

master brummie
Here is a picture of The Grand Louvre's china department which was part of the Co-op on High Street but was on the opposite side of the road to the main store.

High Street The Grand Louvre.jpg
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Now that's what I'd call a proper china/glass department Carolina. I expect the 'rivetted' feature was appealing because of it's reflective qualities. Since the disappearance of many department stores, these displays are not often seen. Even in existing stores, the glass and china department is not what it once was. Viv.
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Me neither Carolina. Sounds 'fancy' to me. It was mentioned in this BHF thread

https://birminghamhistory.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=39537

Also this ad shows the High St Co-op to the right and the GL building to the left (it has the BCS sign up so it must have been some time after BCS bought out GL).

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1375551773.399944.jpg


The BHF link above includes this photo of the Midland Arcade with an entrance to G L on the left.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1375551847.689194.jpg

Viv.
 

changinman1

master brummie
I remember him he was on the staff lifts as they were the old type with bars and doors , he had a arm issue or hand
 

pmcc

New Member
Hi, did you work in the co-op basement big top site during the late 1960`s -- early 1970`s.
It would be nice to here from you.
 

trevor graham

New Member
I see my name on this list and it was probable me that got you smashed at the pub, who's missing from your list well there was:-

Gwen Brennan [ school uniforms] with Chris Potter
Selwyn Tudor [ mens wear floor manager]
big Judy [ mens underwear]
little Judy [ Blackwell [ mens wear ]
pearl [mens wear and shirts]
Beryl [ mens wear shirts school wear]
Dolly Andrews [shirts]
Big Tom [ window dresser]
Sandra [window dresser]
Carol [foot wear]
Carol [ 1st floor offices ]
Albert Protty [ mens wear ]
Lynn Williams [ perfumes ]
Rose [ store's ]
Myra Jonson [ ladies wear]
Annette Rabin [ wedding dresses ] my wife
Ken [ photo ]
Kevin Redmond [ menswear ]
Julie Redmond [ ground floor ]
Trevor Tansie [ mens wear ]
Monica Tandie [ mens wear] married Trevor Tansie
Roger [ mens underwear ]

regards Trevor Graham
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Welcome Trevor. That's a great addition to this thread and lots of detail. Thank you. Hopefully former colleagues will see your post. Enjoy the forum. Viv.
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
This thread has many missing images. If anyone has any of those images please let me know or if you are the original poster, grateful if they could be replaced. Many thanks.

image.jpeg
Meanwhile here's one of what looks like a tailor's service at the Co-op. Sorry no date.

Did the High Street Co-op have a food hall as I don't remember one? Viv.
 
Last edited:

Janette B

New Member
Hi,
I was at High Street (BCS Central) from 1979 - 1981 where I worked in the Mens & Boys Wear warehouse on the first floor. My job was to unpack & check all the menswear that came into the department and put it into stock. We also used to handle all the menswear requests for the branches.


The head of the menswear warehouse was Bob Taylor, a real off the wall character. Also working in the warehouse during my time there were Ken (can't remember his surname), Michael Cloonan, Roger Boden (who went on to work for Domec) and me; George... Also tucked away in some small offices located within the warehouse were: Harry Chambers (bespoke tailoring), Clem Owen (menswear buyer), and the head of everything menswear; Mr Mumby.

I'll put a list of people I can remember at the end of this message.

I also got roped into playing football on Sunday mornings for BCS Central with Dave Cutler (Co-op Bank) and Andy Lees (Menswear) at the rather wonderful Co-op Sports & Social Club... That was such a bonus to have that club for free, you wouldn't get that these days.

Things certainly have changed since the 70's... I would join a bunch of the menswear sales staff virtually every lunchtime for a couple of pints & a 'pie, chips 'n peas' at the Yard Of Ale in New Street, then we'd all come back to work and breathe lager fumes over the customers for the rest of the afternoon!
I can remember getting so bladdered one lunchbreak around Christmas time, that when I returned to the warehouse the older guys laid some suits on the floor between the racks of clothing and I was ordered to get my head down & sleep it off!!... Truly great days from a by-gone age.

Here's a list of people I can remember, if you recognise any of them, please let me know!





Mr Mumby (God of Menswear!)

Clem Owen (Menswear Buyer)

Ray ? (Menswear Buyer)

Chris Potter (Menswear)

Trevor Graham (Menswear)

Michael Dukes (Menswear)

Ron Smith (a.k.a. ‘Bengie’) (Menswear)

Andy Lees (Menswear & BCS Central football team)

Ian Wilson (Menswear)

Jonathon Whitlock (Menswear)

Wendy ? (Mens Underwear & Shirts)

Harry Chambers (Bespoke & Alterations)

Bob Taylor (Menswear Stores)

Michael Cloonan (Menswear Stores)

Roger Boden (Menswear Stores & Domec)

George (Menswear Stores & BCS Central football team)

Ken ? (Menswear Stores)

Janet North (Footwear)

Christine Stapley (Footwear)

Dave Cutler (Co-op Bank & BCS Central football team)



]
Hi Jaffa
I worked on the ground floor on the toiletries department from 1978-1983. Pat fall was the section manageress, Mollie Longmore was the buyer. I remember Ray he used to do the tote, he was a fun guy.
People I knew from ground floor
Marion Ambrose
Nora Worth
Sue Payne
Betty knee
Nancy
Pat fall
Lyn Brown (Williams)
Corina Wilkinson
Angela Rowland
Diane Webb
Harry Fletcher. Ground floor manager
Mr Wall Ground floor manager
Sylvia cleaner
Barry and Janet from the lifts
I can add more as I remember a lot
From most departments, I started there from school.
 

Janette B

New Member
In the late 1960's I worked in the cosmetics department on the general counter on the ground floor. I remember Pat Fall and Mollie Longmore, we used to sell stuff like Nivea cream and Oil of Ulay etc. There were specific counters for Max Factor, Coty, Revlon and Yardley who had beauty consultants who worked for those specific companies, we wore pink or blue gingham overalls and each sales girl had a wooden drawer with a mortice lock for a till, every sale was written down in the ticket book and we had to write the customer's co-op number so they got their dividend, we had to add everything up in our heads as I don't think calculators were invented then never mind computerised tills that are in the shops nowadays.
Hi
Do you remember Mabel,Nora Worth,Betty Knee, Nancy, May Riley?
 

Chris B

master brummie
Now that's what I'd call a proper china/glass department Carolina. I expect the 'rivetted' feature was appealing because of it's reflective qualities. Since the disappearance of many department stores, these displays are not often seen. Even in existing stores, the glass and china department is not what it once was. Viv.
I think the "riveted neatly" refers to the fact if an expensive piece of china got cracked or broken they use to drill and rivet it so that it could continue to used or displayed
 

Chris B

master brummie
I see my name on this list and it was probable me that got you smashed at the pub, who's missing from your list well there was:-

Gwen Brennan [ school uniforms] with Chris Potter
Selwyn Tudor [ mens wear floor manager]
big Judy [ mens underwear]
little Judy [ Blackwell [ mens wear ]
pearl [mens wear and shirts]
Beryl [ mens wear shirts school wear]
Dolly Andrews [shirts]
Big Tom [ window dresser]
Sandra [window dresser]
Carol [foot wear]
Carol [ 1st floor offices ]
Albert Protty [ mens wear ]
Lynn Williams [ perfumes ]
Rose [ store's ]
Myra Jonson [ ladies wear]
Annette Rabin [ wedding dresses ] my wife
Ken [ photo ]
Kevin Redmond [ menswear ]
Julie Redmond [ ground floor ]
Trevor Tansie [ mens wear ]
Monica Tandie [ mens wear] married Trevor Tansie
Roger [ mens underwear ]

regards Trevor Graham
and Alan Rawlins
 
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