Web Page 2058
1st June 2014
Top Picture: Remember the Coalman?
Middle Picture: And the Paraffin heater
Bottom Picture: Ted Heath and his band at the Savoy.
It’s the old argument or is it just a trick of the memory or are Wagon Wheels really that much smaller compared with the ones bought at the old FW Woolworth store that once stood in the High Street in Cosham?
Not only did the chocolate and marshmallow sandwich seem much larger but for fans of the biscuit there was the added attraction of being able to save up the wrappers and send off to the makers for an enamel lapel badge showing a covered wagon pulled by a team of horses. I never had one of those!
This was during the early 1960s when local youngsters - including me - would head off to Woolworths to spend their pocket money on a Saturday morning.
It was only a small store but despite its size this Woolworths seemed to sell everything its young customers wanted to buy before they walked up the High Street for the children's film show at the Odean cinema.
Sweets were always popular and Cosham's Woolworths had a wide selection to tempt the sweetest of tooth including bars of Fry's Five Boys Chocolate which featured five faces on the wrapper under which were the words: " Desperation, Pacification, Expectation, Acclamation and Realization It's Fry's.'' Trebor Sherbet Fountains were another treat and like a Wagon Wheel which were only eaten by nibbling off the chocolate first before tackling the biscuit, they too could only be enjoyed in a certain way.
Sherbet fountains consisted of a paper tube filled with lemon sherbet, and a narrow liquorice "straw". Theoretically, it was supposed to be possible to suck the sherbet up through the liquorice, but the stickiness of liquorice tended to make that impossible.
No matter you could just keep moistening the liquorice, dipping it in the sherbet and picking it up that way. Then, when the sherbet ran low, you could knock the last of it back as if you were finishing a drink, and then finally eat the liquorice straw.
As an aside, the name Trebor was acquired from the house Robertson & Woodcock, the original manufacturers, occupied in Forest Gate, London in the companies early years. As it also spelt the first name of Robert Robertson backwards, the location was regarded as particularly appropriate and a lucky omen.
However, the Woolworth shop in Cosham was not so lucky as a short story in the local paper stated that Cosham Woolworths, along with all the other outlets, was to close.
However, it was on the 27th December 2008 that trading in the Cosham store came to an end. The Store Manager at the time said that, for her, it was the end of an era as she had worked for Woolworth’s for17ears following in the footsteps of her mother who worked for the company for 42 years.
Looking at the whole picture throughout the country 27,000 staff in 807 stores lost their jobs and all Woolworth stores were closed by 6th January 2009. However that year they opened an on line store and, as far as I am aware, it is still going.
I know as a youngster I spent hours and lots of shillings in Cosham Woolworths buying toys, switches and batteries and all sorts of different items. It was the place to spend an hour or so on a Saturday morning. I am sure that I must have seen many of you in there at one time or another.
The other place that was a mecca for us when we were teenagers was the Cosham branch of Weston Harts. This was the only place in Cosham where you could buy genuine records, not cover versions as were sold in Woolworths. The company had several shops in the city but the Cosham one was our local. I bought my first records in there in 1958. They were 78’s ( I am that old) one was ‘Nairobi’ by Tommy Steele. This was on the Decca label and reached no. 3 in the charts and the other was ‘Swinging Shepherd Blues’ backed with ‘Raunchy by Ted Heath and his band and was also on the Decca label. Oh yes I also had to buy a tin of steel needles because the fibre ones we had at home tempered the sound down a little. Getting two 78rpm records home in the saddlebag on my bike was a tricky job but I managed it.
Today I looked up the Tommy Steele record and it is now selling for £10.00 plus. I wonder what happened to mine?
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News and Views:
On this Day 1st June 1960-1965
On 01/06/1960 the number one single was Cathy's Clown - Everly Brothers and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Wagon Train (ITV) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 0106/1961 the number one single was Surrender - Elvis Presley and the number one album was GI Blues - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was No Hiding Place (AR) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 01/06/1962 the number one single was Good Luck Charm - Elvis Presley and the number one album was Blue Hawaii - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 01/06/1963 the number one single was From Me To You - The Beatles and the number one album was Please Please Me - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 01/06/1964 the number one single was You're My World - Cilla Black and the number one album was Rolling Stones - The Rolling Stones. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions
On 01/06/1965 the number one single was Long Live Love - Sandie Shaw and the number one album was Bringing It All Back Home - Bob Dylan. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.