When news happens, text BAZ and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Charting Co-op’s life and times
11:40am Sunday 3rd June 2012 in Letters
Sir.–I would like to give our warmest thanks to you and your staff for allowing us access to the archives of the Hants & Berks Gazette and The Basingstoke Gazette in our researches for The Co-op and Basingstoke A Story of Change.
We began by putting together excerpts from Basingstoke Talking History interviews with people who had worked or shopped at the Co-op, and from the autobiography of Winifred Griffiths who had worked at the Basingstoke Coop during the First World War. We have also brought the story up-to-date with interviews with managers of the Co-op stores around the town as well as in Overton, Odiham and Tadley.
However, the real story of the changes came when we searched through 100 years of your back-editions. The Gazettes carried a wealth of reports, notices and photos and an amazing collection of advertisements that showed changing tastes and aspirations.
We found this a fascinating project with meetings, teas and social events, the children’s festivals, the opening of the new bakery and dairy, the activities of the Co-operative Women’s Guild, the opening of Co-operative House and closure of the Soper Grove store.
We hope Gazette readers will be as excited as we are with the story we have discovered. The book is available (£9.95) at Waterstone’s, who are kindly arranging a book signing from 10am to 3pm on June 9.
–Barbara Applin, Basingstoke Talking History The Basingstoke Archaeological & Historical Society.