The Co Op In Conway Street Corner Of Cathcart Street

A Memory of Birkenhead

My first job when I left school (St Hughes, Park Road South) at 15 was in this shop. I was there for 3 years, until I left for bigger money at Levers. The manager was Jack Francis, a decent man who once slapped me over the back of the head for accidentally dropping bottles of pop on the floor. I forgave him though. I used to deliver orders on Friday afternoons and sometimes would borrow the butcher boys bike next to the garage a few yards away. I nearly crashed it into the back of the number 10 bus in Claughton Road one day, when I applied the brakes. They didn't work and I must have worn the toes of my shoes out stopping it.

My first day in the shop was on 6th January 1962, scraping the Xmas posters off the window with a Stanley blade. My weekly wages were £3 12/-6d. My mother took the £3.00 off me for my keep. A pair of jeans on the market cost 10 shillings and 6d. I have forgotten how to write that pre-decimal stuff properly now.

We had no indoor toilet , bath, nor hot water in our little terraced house in Cleveland Street. My dad was a docker, we lived in that house in those conditions for 20 years. My mother kept it immaculate - dunno how with 5 kids to manage.

I use to go to Livingstone Street baths with my brother and mates after work for a hot bath. Happy days.

A memory shared by Tony Duffy , on Feb 20th, 2011.

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