The Co-op

Local shops

By Beverley Walker

Photo:The Co-op at The Circle c. 1962

The Co-op at The Circle c. 1962

Donated by John Young

Photo:Co-op dividend tokens

Co-op dividend tokens

Cheryl Bailey

The Co-operative Group has had a long association on St. Helier, with Rose Hill and The Circle both at some time having shops.

In 1948 The South Suburban Cooperative Society leased four units at 7-12 Neville Parade, Green Wrythe Lane and Middleton Road and six units at 1-7 New Parade, Wrythe Lane.

These shops later closed but a new Co-op store was built on the site of the old Rose Pub at Rose Hill. The Co-op also took over the Alldays store briefly at 10-11 The Market Wrythe Lane but this closed in April 2006.

This page was added by Zoe Roberts on 23/08/2010.
Comments about this page

I know that the co-op had a system driven by air where the assistant put the bill and your cash in a little canister, put the canister into a tube pulled a string and whoosh it went up to the cashier, who dealt with it and returned your change the same way,I think we paid at Sainsburys at an office between the counters to the back of the shop. What a way of life we have lost.

By Ted Blowers
On 23/08/2010

As we grew up we were allowed to run errands - usually to earn a few coppers - I can always remember my grandmother's words as I went on my way to the Co-op 'double three, five, two, seven and don't forget the South Suburban' This was to enable us to get a small ticket which would be exchanged for tin coins, these would be saved in a tin and changed up for the 'Divvy'. I suppose it's the same idea as Tesco's 'Points Plus' or the 'Nectar' card.

By Val Newman
On 10/11/2010

Greetings Cheryl, Val, Linda, Beverley, John, Ted- and all "Snellierites"! Bill here (78) Over "our" side of the estate, we referred to the bushes on the corners as "council greens" I was born in Garendon Road, but moved round the corner to Reigate Avenue Christmas 1940. handling ration books was a bit of a bind, what with going to Hearns for our meat, Sainsbury's for our sugar, butter/marg, tea, bacon, etc and for other sundry things to Tescos, Greigs, Pearces, Co-op, Meyers/Gerrards for fruit and veg. There might be a great long queues at the latter, cos we had two green ration books for my young brother and sister, and they just MIGHT entitle us to an orange/banana. Likely as not, though, they run-out before the queue had reduced to 50 yards! Mum also exhorted me not to allow them to pass me off with potatoes with too much mud on 'em! South Suburban Co-operative Society's double-fronted shop (with the overhead cash railway system- share number 140889!) was opposite Rose Hill House, which became the AFS/NFS fire station in the war. Opposite us was the telephone kiosk, the Police box and air-raid siren. Ouch!

By Bill Mallion
On 24/11/2010

I was in my sister's home in Yorkshire, reading a book about D H Lawrence, who grew up in Nottinghamshire. It said that to the end of his days, Lawrence never forgot his mother's co-op dividend number, and in a second "100 933" came into my mind from the depths of my memory, my mother's dividend number at The Circle co-op shop, which I had not thought of for thirty years.

By Winifred Tyler
On 05/03/2011

A tiny point, but I think the Co-op's occupation of shops included No. 13 Neville Parade. My family lived above the "Suburban" fascia, at No. 12, and the family at No. 13 lived above the "South" Fascia. At a later date, another shop and maisonette were built next to No. 13, and a flight of steps to ground level added. The new shop started out as a dry cleaner.

By Winifred Tyler
On 14/04/2011

I remember the Co-op very well, having lived at Number 12 above it from 1975-91. Both my parents worked there, then my dad ran the butcher's shop next door to it in the early 80s. The Co-op closed, then after a few years became a Blockbuster Video, which it still is. The shop next door became a small private run video shop. I used to go into the yard at the back of the Blockbuster and nick the film posters, when they threw them out !!!

By Alan Johnstone
On 10/06/2011

Number 13 wasn't above the Co-op, it was above the Hairdresser ( as I remember it at the time ). The Co-op started under number 12.

By Alan Johnstone
On 10/06/2011

Does anyone remember the grocers at The Circle, think it was called Perkins or Perkis? Always smelt of lovely smoked bacon and cheese. Think it was next door to Boots the Chemist where you could buy twists of barley sugar. There was also a paper shop which when inside seemed to stretch for miles, length ways, from the entrance to the back of the shop. Number 10 Neville Walk, above the Co-op was occupied by the Anscombs'. Jean and her brother Colin were good friends of mine. Feltons also sold cylindrical shaped vanilla ice-cream haven't tasted anything so delicious since and homemade lollies, one of which was coloured blue, most intriguing. I lived in Thornton Road, Circle end from 1957 til 1963 and in Peterborough Road near Poulter Park frm 1965 til 1975.

By Carole Jones
On 23/08/2011

Carole nearly got the grocers name right at the Circle it was Perks it was very much like the old Kennedy shops that vanished into the past a few years ago that sold bacon ham black pudding pies and so on.Perks shop walls were tiled and mirrored and the counter was marble.I remember the scales they used with the various brass weights. Perks Christmas crackers had small plastic musical instruments attached to them but were expensive as were their Christmas puddings.To the left of Perks was the united dairy shop to the right was Webb & sons family butcher opposite was Ted the greengrocer and his two barrows one of veg and one of fruit he gave Garrards,Harry Brookes and Collins all greengrocers at the Circle a run for their money.A much slower time no one on the estate had two pennies to rub together but on every street the neighborhood helped one another to get through the week.A cup of sugar, Four potatoes for chips done in dripping and so on treasured childhood memories.

By Terry Broad
On 23/01/2012

I was told that when I was just starting to talk that I astonished the Coop staff by saying " one one eight seven double-0" when my mum was about to give her dividend number (I'd heard it so often).

By Mike Cowley
On 11/07/2013

Terry Broad, I always thought it was Perkins , but on much deeper thought I think you are right. However where you are definitely wrong is the position of Webbs the butchers. They were during the war, the only shop used on the opposite parade, I  think the only one. After the war they gradually got occupied with the eel pie and mash shop being the first. GWL the hardware shop opened later. The owner raced greyhounds, knew him well as I also raced them.

Surely Gerrards were originally Meyers. We always used Collins. Was not the newsagents a sub post office? You forgot Saunders another grocers  and the wool shop next to the newsagents and the horrible barbers down the end opposite the nursery, kids that is.

By Terry Kates
On 08/08/2015

Ref location of W. Webb and son butchers Middleton Circle.

Back in 2010 I visited the Circle and took detailed photos of the shop fronts just to support my memory and yes I can confirm Webb's was next to Perks. The shop had closed but the faded writing above the shop front proved I was correct. The only original shop front still going strong is Boots the chemist which was next to Webb's the butchers. On the opposite parade was Kingston's butchers shop which was next to the South Suburban Co op. I feel you have to be correct where history is concerned and mistakes can happen as we all grow older, that is why the camera can never lie.

By Terry Broad
On 14/08/2015

To Terry Kate's Ref Web & son location.

Looking at your comments for this site I see you left the estate in 1953 the year I was born and in one way you may be correct. My memory of the Circle would be from about 1958 to 1978 when I left the estate. Like many shops they look for the best spot to open a shop and in this case maybe? this business moved after 1953 to the location that I remember if that is the case we are both correct. It is good to pool comments on past events but as I stated before we must be correct in the final summing up because when we pass on the only record that survives is that of our memories, as cameras for the working man at that time were very expensive. So for now its back to the future with fond memories of past events. 

By Terry Broad
On 25/08/2015

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