looking at the building as it is today, but seeing it with a
good deal of nostalgia, as I remember it during the late
thirties and the forties, along with two sister stores, one
in the middle of High Street and the other in the New
time all three stores were busy and vibrant destinations for
all of the townsfolk to replenish their pantries. I recall
that the high store (Whitehall) and the middle store (High
Street) were the ones preferred by our mother and to which I
was dispatched with a message basket, a written note of the
goods required and the co-operative book. A book was
assigned to each family, into which was entered the total
amount of each purchase and then at a specified time
dividends would be assigned to the owner of the book. Each
book had a specific number attached to it and I can still
remember our number to this day. I also remember all of our
family's identification numbers which were assigned to each
person during the war years.
shopping experience in those times was vastly different from
that of today. There were no pre-packaged goods, everything
was taken from bulk in the store, cheese, butter, etc.,
etc., weighed, wrapped in wax paper or put in paper bags,
right in front of you and deposited into the message basket,
none of those ubiquitous plastic bags in those days.
remember the outstanding feature of the stores as being the
aromas of the all the various foodstuffs combining to make
one quite hungry, depending on the time of day one happened
to be shopping. Blackley's the licensed grocer was another
store I liked to go into where the aromas were a little
had wooden floors, as did most stores in town at that time,
and if your were shopping near closing time, out would come
the buckets of sawdust to be strewn across the floor,
dampened with water and then swept away to leave a clean
floor, how times have changed.
There was a
double door which separated the grocery store from the
drapery part of the Co-op, which gave access to the bakery
where it was possible to purchase warm baps (rolls) to take
home on a cold morning. On a cold morning you would have
liked to linger longer than you were able to, just to enjoy
the warmth which was permeated with the mouthwatering aroma
of bread in the process of baking.
also owned a small fleet of electric delivery vans which
were stored in the back area and as I recall, Alexander
Burns, former Provost of the town was one of the drivers.
days Maybole was a bustling, mostly self sufficient town,
full of energy and energetic people, a great place to grow
up, a great place full of memories.