Report 1 (Oct 2008)

Report 2 (Nov 2009)

Additional Report from Joan & Kevin Dickinson (Apr 2010)

Additional Report
by Joan & Kevin Dickinson (Apr 2010)

Joan and Kevin Dickinson’s Recollections of the Chorley Co-operative Society
1952-1962 (ish)

Steeley Lane/Lyons Lane Complex
1. The main office employed about 12 persons who dealt with all paperwork received from all branches, departments and vans belonging to Chorley Co-op. Here was also the main telephone switchboard linking all departments to the office.
2. The CEO (Chief Executive Office) at this time was Stanley Davies JP. The Secretary was James Latham and the Chief Clerk, Thomas Rutter. The CEO and Secretary used to meet with the 12 Committee members in the Board Room. This was quite a splendid room with a beautiful long committee table and high backed chairs, all highly polished, with photos around the walls. The meetings would take place on a Monday evening to appraise the weekly balance sheet for all the departments of Chorley Co-op. (Joan had the pleasure of compiling and balancing this information).
3. Also on the top floor (over the warehouse, bakery and central grocery department) was the Co-op Hall. This was where people sometimes went after funerals for their “funeral tea” which was provided by the bakery/grocery departments and was served by ladies of the “Ladies Co-op Guild.” The room was also used for the Christmas “Do” for all the workers of the Chorley Co-op Society.
4. The Check Office employed 4 people and this was where all”divi” checks were processed and stored in preparation for working out how much dividend was to be paid each half year. Also in and out of this office were two collectors of money (Miss Forshaw and Mr. Bond) who visited people in their own homes. People could then spend what they had saved at any of the departments or buy in lieu of money and then pay back.
5. Staff in the main office also worked on the counter of the “Bank” dealing with customers who had Share Accounts and Penny Bank Accounts and all the wages were made up in this office. When Joan was a Junior she had to take the wages to all the departments in town in a large brown Gladstone bag, and she was never mugged!
6. In the yard at the rear of the Steeley Lane/ Lyons Lane complex was the Butchery Department with Joe Murphy as the manager. This department had 6 vans to deliver house to house. There was also here a Productive Department where all the meat was prepared for sale. There was a Co-op Butchery shop on Lyons Lane.
7. The Dairy Department was managed by Dick Turner with the assistance of one office staff. The Department had at least 6 horse-drawn milk floats and had a bottling plant and stabling for the horses.
8. The Bakery Department was managed by Alec Brand. Various breads and morning goods were produced for the grocery shops and there were at least 4 bakery vans and possibly more. These made daily deliveries in the surrounding areas. Later, Bolton Co-op Bakery took over and used to deliver daily to the bakery vans and shops.
9. The Central Warehouse was managed by James Astleford. All grocery goods were delivered here from the CWS in Manchester. Then each week all the grocery shops would submit orders to the Warehouse for all their needs. These orders would be delivered daily/weekly by 2 delivery vehicles to every shop or department. The Warehouse had 4 staff and one clerk.
10. Also part of the Steeley Lane/ Lyons Lane complex were a grocery shop (Central Grocery), a butchery shop (Central Butchery) and shoe shop (Central Boot and Shoe Shop).
11. Two other people who were vital to Chorley Co-op were Jack and Florence (Florrie) Entwistle. Florrie was the 'cleaner' in the offices and boardroom, and everything 'shone'. Jack was the caretaker and general handyman around the Central complex (Lyons Lane).

Coal Department
This was managed by Jack Tootell from an office in the coal siding yard. This was railway property next to Brunswick Bridge. There were a number of coal wagons that used to deliver to customers.

Town Centre
The Market Place Emporium, on the corner of the Market was managed by Jack Cherry. It sold hardware, haberdashery, furniture, soft furnishings, electrical goods, ladies and childrens’ clothes and kitchenware.
The Tailoring Department was managed by Frank Rowe and situated in Fazakerley Street on the corner of Market Street. It provided men with both bespoke suits and off-the-peg clothing.
Next door to the Tailoring Department was the Boot and Shoe Department which was managed by Ike Lane. As well as selling Ladies, Gents and childrens’ shoes it also made clogs and had a repair department on the premises.
The Fish and Fruit Department was situated on Market Street (site of the current Spar shop) and was managed by Jim Connor. It sold wet fish, fruit and flowers and also had a Fish/Fruit delivery van that went around the area.
The Pharmacy was next to the Fish and Fruit Department (currently Hydes fancy goods shop) and was managed by Hughie Smith. It sold all pharmacy products, perfumes, make-up and dispensed prescriptions. There was another Co-op Pharmacy on Park Road. This was managed by Miss Neumayer and did similar trade to the Market Street department.
The Funeral Department was managed by Len Pinsent was situated on Moor Road, opposite All Saints and where the current Co-op shop is situated.

Grocery Departments
There were 13 Grocery stores. These were:-
1. Central managed by Frank Collinson.
2. Pall Mall managed by Arnold Miller (Snr.)
3. Water Street managed by Fred Lever.
4. Botany managed by Cecil Poole.
5. Bolton Street managed by Tom West.
6. Carrington Road managed by Tom Redhead.
7. Coppull managed by Herbert Tyrer.
8. Eaves Lane managed by Roland Stringfellow.
9. Cowling managed by Jim Woods.
10. Mayfield Road managed by Arnold Miller (Jnr)
11. Euxton managed by Jack Barker.
12. Pilling Lane managed by Frank Whittle.
13. Birkacre managed by Ronnie Snow.

Home deliveries were undertaken by bikes from some of the shops. In addition there were 2 Grocery vans like very large, long horse boxes which went around the outlying districts each day. They were managed by Bert Blackledge and Ronald Hunter, each with a helper

Work Experience of Joan and Kevin Dickinson
Kevin started work the Pall Mall grocery shop from leaving school. He later managed the Fish and Fruit van, then had a bread round and finally had a milk round. He finished at the Co-op when milk rounds were put out to being a sel-employed franchise.
Joan’s first weekly wage was £2 10s. Her working hours were
Monday: 9am-6pm
Tuesday: 9am -6pm
Wednesday: 9am-3.30pm
Thursday: 9am-6pm
Friday: 9am-7pm (had to have tea at work)
Saturday: 9am-1pm

(Updated 14 April 2010)

J & K Dickinson