Lived near Preston Circus
Being brought up near Preston Circus, I certainly remember London Road as the main shopping centre for us. Western Road was only usually for Christmas shopping, or special events. I can remember trailing along behind my Mum as she went from shop to shop to pick up what she needed. I cannot have been very old. My sister was in a push chair, so this would have been early 1960s. The Post Office in Oxford Street was a regular halt, as was the TSB a little further up. That was where I paid in my 6d a week with my little red book.
Sainsbury’s was pristine
I remember going into Sainsbury’s for butter and eggs. It was a pristine, white tiled shop, with lots of men in aprons serving behind the counters. And of course, the Open Market to my eyes it had bazaar like colours and smells. Here Mum would always call in at Ovett’s fish stall for smoked haddock. Obviously, the Co-op and Woolworth’s were major destinations. I especially loved A.A. Baker which was just before the Co-op. They sold sports goods and toys and best of all, fireworks in November.
I’m saddened to hear about the demolition of the Co-op and the general decay around London Road. It was a thriving, buzzing place ‘when I were a lad’. But I suppose it is reflecting the world’s desire to shop in huge soulless sheds with massive car parks, out of town. Shame, but … life goes on.