Sheila Ford's memories.
Looking at the photos of the Co-op Guild’s 20th birthday party at Runwell Village Hall (here) brought back memories of my mother Jean Croot who was secretary of the Guild for many years and who did all her shopping at the Co-op in the Broadway. The butcher’s was next to Schofield and Martins on one side and next door was the grocery store. I can remember sugar being weighed into blue bags and bacon cut into thin or thick slices on the bacon slicing machine. Mum had an order book which she handed in and this was delivered later in the day by an errand boy on his tradesman’s bike. Goods were paid for at the cash desk manned by Jean Neville. Her husband John worked on the bacon counter. The baker called three times a week.
As a member of the Co-op you had a membership number which you quoted with every purchase and received a small dividend at the end of the year. My mother paid into two Co-op clubs, one to pay for our coal which was delivered during the summer months as Waverly Crescent was an unmade road, the other was to buy bedding or new clothes; to make these purchases we had to catch a City bus to Southend. We had a Co-op cheque to pay for these goods and any change given was in Co-op tokens which could be spent in store.
In the 1970s I used to attend the dressmaking class run by Co-op Guild at the Community Centre with Daisy, Elsie, Ethel and two Pats, I cannot remember their surnames.
Wickford Community Association Committee kindly gave permission for Wickford Royal British Legion to collect and distribute their poppy tins at the Centre for their Street Collection prior to the Remembrance Service the next day. Wreaths which had previously been displayed at Adcocks newsagents were also available to be collected. This was during the late 1970s and 1980s. We also ran several dances in aid of the Poppy Appeal.