Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Norwest in Green and Yellow

Norwest Co-op report
Found this old Directors' Report from 1987 whilst rummaging through a pile of old papers. Why do we keep this old stuff? Things get put away and dumped into a junk room. Mine is a veritable trove of old ephemera, uncatalogued and piled in boxes.

Notice the green and yellow colour which was adopted by the Norwest Co-Op Society. The photograph doesn't do the yellow any favours it is really a strong canary yellow on paper. There is a list of all the members' half yearly meetings and there are 14 of them. There was one at Hardy Lane on Wednesday 21st October 1987 at 7.30pm and three others elsewhere on the same night. The Directors' and the people on the Members Relations Committee had to spread themselves across Greater Manchester over four different nights.

In the Member Relations Committee report the Woodcraft Folk, and the Norwest Co-Op New Mills Band are doing well. That band is still going after 200 years which is some achievement and have published some of their history in a book and still has The Co-Operative as a However the demise of the Stretford branch of the Co-Operative Women's Guild was reported due to a decline in membership.

Turnover was over 77 million GBP, an increase of 630 thousand. Now I've kept this old bit of paper it would be a shame to throw it away. Or would it?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Tea Trolley rolls in

Old tea trolly in Co-op rooms
On recent visit to a meeting at the Hardy Lane Co-op Rooms managed to photograph the old tea trolley. It is one of the relics that has survived all the refurbishments of the premises over the years. Can't put a date on it but don't expect it to fetch much money in an antique auction. Some things survive and this has probably because it is not a fixture or fitting. Next time I'll inspect the underside for clues about its manufacture.

Actually seen it many times but paid it no heed until someone regaled a story of how it would be wheeled into the main room bearing a big tea pot and white cups and thus uplifting a dull and ponderous meeting. A nice refreshing brew and a break. That trolley has a history.

Fortunately the meeting this time wasn't dull. It was a history presentation by local historian Andrew Simpson. It was under the auspices of Withington Co-Operative Party and so had a local political theme. Going back to the 1832 General Election and forward to the contemporary political landscape with a nod to Chartism, Clarion, Peterloo and the Moss Side bye election of 1973.

As a nice touch one lucky person in the room won a copy of "The Story of Chorlton-cum-Hardy" written by the speaker. It has recently been published by The History Press. The rest of us had the opportunity to buy one and insist on a signed copy.

The tea trolley was rolled back into the kitchen, the post meeting social chatter followed and eventually everyone went home or to the pub.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Wartime bomb maps

The local Tv news recently reported that the maps of where the bombs fell on Manchester during WWII are now available online. There is hardly a day when there isn't a story about the war and those who lived through it, and never a day when some Tv channel isn't showing a drama or documentary about that conflict. However this was now new information readily accessible for everyone. It was a revelation especially when you discover a fire bomb fell in front of your own house, or a high explosive bomb landed on the next plot on the  allotments up the road. It accounts for why we have hideous cheap post-war buildings in streets of fine old properties. For example Chorlton Post Office a construction of no merit that replaced a Victorian building that was destroyed by enemy action.

The whole of the city is divided up into various pages, and an hour has gone by before you realise you've just been staring at red (incendiary bombs) and blue (high explosives) markings on 80 year old Ordnance Survey maps. The maps also reveal how much of Chorlton was still fields and how many allotment gardens and tennis courts there were.

To keep it relevant to the weblog the picture is of the corner of Hardy Lane, Mauldeth Road West and Barlow Moor Road had shews where an explosive device fell on the 12th March 1940 and exactly a year later several more nearby. Both dates outside the heavy blitz on Manchester 22nd and 23rd December 1940.

Wartime Bomb Maps of Manchester.
Further stories of wartime bomb damage at Chorlton History......
You can email : coop AT with any information that will help in the making of this history.