Sunday, 13 Jun 2021

Gallery Tree

From the Galleries

Arbroath, Church  Street 2.jpg

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Before the advent of supermarkets, the Co-op was the place where many families did their shopping. You could buy anything at the co-op from the weekly groceries to a bike to go to work on or have your hair cut while the wife queued at the greengrocery department. My mother was a member of the Derby Co-operative Provident Society Ltd and she had a membership number. You quoted this number after a purchase and you would be given a discount or dividend - “divi” for short, which would be paid out to members twice a year or banked for a rainy day.

Do you remember some of the shops that used to be in your village, town or city that have sadly gone or been swallowed up into a corporate image? Your local builder, newsagent and corner shop had painted signs on their premises advertising their wares. Many metal plates were affixed to walls advertising products sold in the premises. There are many examples still to be found around the country and this section of my web site logs them before they disappear forever.

There are many former factories and mills around the country that have closed down, leaving the buildings to fall prey to vandalism and arson. Once derelict they become easy targets for demolition so that areas can be cleaned up and modernised. Thankfully there are still some good examples of these buildings to be found around the UK. Some are now listed, which means it is more difficult to demolish them and many have found new life as trendy accomodation, art galleries, museums etc.

When I was a lad there were three ways to find out what time it was, whilst strolling down the High Street. You could look at your pocket watch or wrist watch, thats if you could afford one. You could ask a Policeman, thats if you could find one, or you could look up to see one of the many clocks affixed to the outside wall of some of the shops,

Some of the best preserved sites to be found throughout the nation are fully tiled examples of pubs, some now closed but still with the original Victorian artwork, others have etched glass windows advertising long closed breweries and their products. There are still some painted signs dating from the 1920’s to be found. It must have been good paint in those days to still survive in the 21st century.