49 thoughts on “Was this your local Co-op?

  1. The Facade of many Co-op stores country wide were built to a similar pattern, Imposing yet Austere, it could imply quality goods at reasonable prices, it is quite possible people see their local shop in the picture but that is LEVEN ROAD.
    My Parents friends lived across the road from that Emporium as many were called, Mr and Mrs Seaton we visited them often in the 1930’s-40’s and I was always impressed by the imposing frontage.
    It was also the place that led to my love of Ballroom Dancing, my Parents were competition dancers when money and goods could be won at the local dance halls. I was taken there as a boy (The Baby sitter thought me a handful) dressed in my Sunday best upstairs into what to me was heaven and told to behave or else?
    There was no need for the warning as I sat amazed at the live band, the lights, glitter ball, coloured spotlights and the lovely Ladies in ball gowns men in suits swirling round the room to music it was Hollywood pictures come to life, Ginger Rodgers Fred Astaire style.
    During the breaks between competition there would always be some lady get me up to dance, a quick learner i could do most of the old fashioned dances and even some modern which was played during the mid dance interval.
    A lot of the Co-op emporiums had ballrooms I danced in many including Billingham and Darlington which had a sprung floor plus many in other towns, the Co-op served all your needs I think was the motto, it did for me.
    Frank.

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  2. I am sure you will have a lot of replies to this question. I am pretty certain this is the Co-op in Leven Road, Norton. I was born in a house in the northern part of Eamont Road in 1931. So this place was a part of my growing up. Could write an essay of my memories. Vera Markarian

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    • Hi Vera, I had many friends who lived on Eamont Road. I was born in 1928 on Greta Road, so we more than likely went to the same schools. Did you have an older sister named Rita?

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  3. Could it by the old co-op in Dixon street? It looks very similar to that building. We lived in St. Bernard Road from 1963. I can’t remember it ever been open when I was a child.

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  4. Yes this is the Leven Road store? My Uncle Charlie Waistell used to drive his wagon up to the door on the right and unload crates of jam. The upstairs rooms were sometimes used for square dancing and social events. The Summers family lived next door and used to sell toffee apples. I lived on Greta Road and would pass this store every day on my way to school.

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  5. The picture posted 4th Nov. of the co-op is the branch on Leven Road, Norton, between Greta road and Eamont Road. It was a general store with the butchers next door

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  6. This is 29 branch on Leven Road in Norton.
    My first job was as delivery boy at this branch, complete with butchers bike.

    I delivered all of the area from Raleigh Road to Countisbury Road.

    In 1961 the grocery manager was Arthur Bolland from Billingham, the under manager was Don Bird from Tilery, that is his motorbike parked outside, other staff were Rhoda Swindon from Billingham, Ann Walmsley from Thornaby and the butcher was Bill Brown, Mrs Truman was the caretaker for the hall upstairs..

    I remember Don Bird buying a three wheeled Bond car which had no reverse gear and he had to get out and push if he wanted to reverse, this was because he had a motorcycle licence, Don joined the police force in later years.

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    • Hi Bruce. Do you happen to remember my Uncle, Charlie Waistell. He used to deliver the crates of jam to the store when I was a child living on Greta Road. I do remember the name Arthur Bolland. My Mom shopped at that store for many years.

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      • Hi Dorothy

        I don’t remember the name Charlie Waistel but I do remember the deliveries, one of my jobs was the unloading of the vehicles when deliveries arrived, Don Bird used to help me because I was too small to lift the hundredweight barrels of butter and sacks of sugar, the main deliveries were brought on the Co-ops own maroon coloured wagons usually driven by a short dark haired young man who was always laughing and joking, I seem to remember he lived somewhere along Darlington Back Lane near to the end of Norton Avenue.

        If the shop ran short of anything before the delivery was due I was dispatched on my bike to the warehouse in Dixon Street Stockton to collect what was needed.

        Your uncle may have been a Co-op employee as they made their own jam as well as many other products under the CWS and Pelaw brands.

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        • Thanks for replying Bruce. Yes, my Uncle was a Co-op employee. He was very tall, about six foot four. My sister Kathleen worked at the Northcote Street Co-op for many years. Maybe some readers will remember Raymond Hawkey, he was a carpenter who worked on the woodwork in all of the area Co-ops… He met my sister at the Northcote Street store and they later got married. I was born at at 89 Greta Road where my parents lived for many years. I left England many years ago but have so many treasured memories of my childhood days in Norton.

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          • Dorothy, I knew Raymond Hawkey we went to the Richard Hind School 1941-45, his wife was also at the Richard Hind Girls School.
            He was a Joiner and a Forman over the ICI joinery shop also having a set of Kennels down Letch Lane, we bumped into each other over the years as I was also at ICI and put my dog in his kennels when overseas.
            Are we talking about the same person or were there two Ray Hawkeys in Stockton?
            Frank.

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            • Frank, Ray Hawkey was my foreman at the ICI. He did have the kennels at Blakeston Lane and he trained his daughters horse in over the jumps races and won a couple of big ones. He retired to Middleton in Teesdale and passed away some years ago there.

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              • On taking over the Heavy Fab section at ICI there were two old wartime huts on ground I wanted to park stills on so phone Ray Hawkey to get rid of them. He came to my office asking for a scrap chit for the wood which I gave him, the huts duly disappeared and I had my boiler parking area.
                Taking my little dog to the kennels Ray and Kath showed me around and it was deja vu I am sure I recognised those huts in different form. That was Ray he could talk the birds out of the trees.
                Frank.

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            • Hi Frank. Ray was my brother-in-law and he and my sister Kathy had a great life together. Their twin daughters, Carol and Susan, helped run the Kennels at their Blakeston Lane property. The horse that Robert mentions in his post was called Sunset Christo. Ray loved horses and was blessed in his life that he was loved and respected by many who knew him at work and in the racing world. My cousin, Doreen Garbutt, went to the Richard Hind School in the years you mention, but my sister Kathleen went to the Norton High Street School. It was lovely to see the posts from you and Robert.

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    • Well done Bruce – with details like that it HAS to be right! I lived in Norton as a child but my mother always used the co-op at ‘Blandfords corner’. I don’t know what if is now. I can even remember her divi number, haha! I was fascinated by the way the cash went along strings above your head to the cashier. This was the 1950’s. I like the details re Don Bird! 🙂

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  7. I just have a vague memory of a similar looking building on Dovecot Street that was used as a ‘Business Centre’? Having taken a look at Google Earth it looks like, if it was the one I’m thinking of, it’s been knocked down. (On the same side as, but further up from, the old Gas Board/Radio Tees building.) Although why they would have one there when there was one on the High Street I don’t know…. Lots of houses there then of course though. Does anyone know for sure where this is?

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  8. The ones we used were near the station in Eaglescliffe (until 1954) and near the green in the centre of Billingham (from 1954) but it doesn’t look like either of those.

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