£3 a week on Woolies’ biscuit stall

Hard seats: the Cosy cinema, Halifax
Hard seats: the Cosy cinema, Halifax

Richmond House Apartments


I READ your piece headlined “Wonder of Woolies” (Nostalgia, February 2). I, too, remember Woolworth’s. There were entrances on three streets and the Singer sewing machine shop was next to the Southgate entrance.

We used to go into town on Saturday afternoons as a family and always went to Woolies, which was always crowded. We youngsters always went to the toy stall but Dad went to the hardware section downstairs. In later years we bought Midnight in Paris eau de Cologne.

In my student days I had a holiday job serving on in Woolworth’s. You had to do a test to make sure you could add up the prices and give the right change – there were no bar codes or tills that reckoned the change for you.

I was on the biscuit stall where we weighed out loose biscuits – no gloves and no health and safety in those day. The pay was £3 a week.

I also remember the dance halls, the Victoria, the Alexandra Hall and one at the end of Queen’s Road. Once we went to the Co-op Hall in Hebden Bridge. We caught the last bus from there which meant walking to Illingworth from Halifax. We also walked home from the speedway meetings on Friday nights; we hadn’t the money for taxis.

I also remember the Cosy cinema on Queen’s Road. The seats on the front row were wooden and very hard. The Alhambra on St James’s Road was a nice cinema.

One place where we really enjoyed a film was the Pioneer at Ovenden. There they would cheer the heroes and boo the baddies – especially in cowboy films, which usually included a chase across the prairie, sometimes involving a stagecoach. You could always recognise the baddies – they wore black!

(Mrs) Joan Mortimer