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Saturday, 12 January 2013

The Wheels On The Bus Go Round And Round

There's a photographic exhibition on at the moment in the city centre about the Co-operative Society, which was one of the largest supermarket chains in the country; now unfortunately it is one of the smallest, with the onslaught of Tesco's, Sainsbury's and ASDA.

What makes this exhibition different is that it is outside and the photographs are film poster size. There are quite a number, and they tell the story of the Co-op from the early years to the present day and their involvement in helping third world countries through the Fairtrade scheme etc.

I think most people remember going to the Co-op and getting the 'divi'; blue stamps that you saved in a book, and when it was full, you used to get money off your shopping. It was similar in a way to the Green Shield Stamps scheme. You got these from petrol stations and when you had enough you could go to their catalogue shop and exchange them for goods.

Both schemes finished in the early 1980s, as people got fed up with saving them and prices rose, which meant you have to save even more stamps for an item.

The society looked after its employees, as you can see here, as members of staff are taken to the seaside by charabanc.