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Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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166 of 177  Sun 20th Oct 2019 11:05am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3120

Hey! You’re confusing the issue, the past posts were the first Owens - by the second Owens nothing was new any more. Can you imagine the contrast the first Owen Owen created in 1936 - the little old ladies had never seen a moving staircase, most were afraid of them, nor had they seen such a large store with new seductive displays and such luxury. We kids were hurriedly rushed past the ladies departments. But for the younger ladies it was paradise or something like, for my sister and her friends just hitting teenage it was a huge attraction. It also meant I would be taken into town more, but this shop was made for spending, a new and better system evolved for the assistants to take a more leisurely time with the ladies and give them what they thought they wanted. I believe more people came in from the country, because it was more worthwhile, so this had a big effect on other shops and sales - this must have made the council feel they had done the right thing with building Trinity Street. But the first moving staircase had been before the turn of the century in London. This had no steps, just a moving canvas, That must have been a riot - can you imagine, one fall and a bowling pins effect!
Owen Owen
NeilsYard
Coventry
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167 of 177  Tue 22nd Oct 2019 11:58am  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:2305

Owen Owen
Prof
Gloucester
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168 of 177  Mon 28th Oct 2019 9:33am  
Member: Joined Jul 2014  Total posts:1118

This photo is interesting Neil. It was eventually demolished and site surrounded by tall sheets of corrugated iron, but if on a double decker bus you could see the exposed basement! This remained until the new store cutting off Cross Cheaping replaced it.
Owen Owen
Coventry Rebuilt
Wales
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169 of 177  Sat 2nd Nov 2019 5:17pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2016  Total posts:24

A while ago I put together a potted history of Owen Owen with a view to making a film about it at some point, told through the shop windows. I haven't been able to track down any images from inside. From the newspaper articles, the people of Coventry had fun robbing the place blind! Coventry Rebuilt - Owen Owen
http://www.coventryrebuilt.com/

Owen Owen
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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170 of 177  Sun 3rd Nov 2019 9:47am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3120

Coventry Rebuilt. What newspapers, how many thefts? You’re saying Coventry people were all thieves - you weren't around then, how can you know the culture or the people of Coventry? Those same people you accuse lost their lives or put them at risk for you, so you tell me what were the biggest thefts in Coventry. Again you say Owens was destroyed - it was let to burn, because it was no danger to lives but firemen and water were more important elsewhere. Had it have been the only building to suffer I believe it would have been refurbished, but they had a choice to rebuild with surrounding new city. Yes, there were a few bad eggs in Coventry, like every city in the world, about 1% or less in 1939 but there's more people like you today knocking the people you know nothing about.
Owen Owen
Helen F
Warrington
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171 of 177  Sun 3rd Nov 2019 10:42am  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:1629

Don't take the hump Kaga, he didn't mean everyone stole things. He's doing his bit to try and bring some of the old images of the city back to life and make sense of what he's read.
Owen Owen
mcsporran
Coventry & Cebu
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172 of 177  Sun 3rd Nov 2019 2:45pm  
Member: Joined Oct 2013  Total posts:425

If you take a look at Peter's website, the part about Marks and Spencer, there are numerous newspaper reports that the store regularly prosecuted even minor pilfering offences, apparently it was their policy. I'm sure these were not intended to represent the populace of the city as a whole. Marks and Spencer through the years
Owen Owen
Prof
Gloucester
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173 of 177  Sun 3rd Nov 2019 4:18pm  
Member: Joined Jul 2014  Total posts:1118

Patient husband whilst wife tries on a frock or lady looking at fabrics? Coventry Rebuilt - see also my posts 136, 159 for other interior shots. Edited by member, 3rd Nov 2019 4:21 pm
Owen Owen
Dreamtime
Perth Western Australia
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174 of 177  Mon 4th Nov 2019 4:23am  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:3347

That's a good one Prof, if it was taken in the 60's chances are my hubby would be sitting nearby Thumbs up
Owen Owen
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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175 of 177  Mon 4th Nov 2019 10:38am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3120

mcsporran, this forum is viewed all over the world. What do people think with statements like robbing the place blind? About half a dozen people in the year 1936, called pilfering, hardly means ‘robbing the place blind’. Coventry was well known for its honesty - in summer doors were left open, both back and front at a time when there were fields on either side the road. Shop goods were displayed outside on the pavements, books in cardboard boxes etc. Little or no theft. There were no houses with burglar alarms, never heard of, lots of shops did not have burglar alarms, went years without b&e. Butcher Row, stalls and tables held goods out front, out the back Priory Row, Priory Street, etc, easy to enter and rob houses or shops. So did Owens have burglar alarms if Coventry was a city of robbers? I was a child in Coventry in the early thirties - never got molested, harmed, people were pleasant, honest, helpful, a wonderful city to live in, the last city in the world that needed harming. I cannot stand by and hear people say otherwise.
Owen Owen
argon
new milton
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176 of 177  Mon 4th Nov 2019 11:50am  
Member: Joined Jun 2016  Total posts:236

I think that Kaga is right in saying robbing the place blind is a little strong but an expression of a jocular nature to describe the shoplifting that must have occurred and does occur in any large 'open' store throughout the country. I spent a lot of lime in the retail trade in a small way in more than one town and it is the same all over. My daughter even now works in a supermarket and can daily speak of the losses occurring on a regular basis. In general I believe that honesty of the general populace was greater in the 1900's than today and that would obviously applied to Coventry as any other town.
Owen Owen
Prof
Gloucester
All posts by this member
177 of 177  Mon 4th Nov 2019 3:25pm  
Member: Joined Jul 2014  Total posts:1118

Kaga/Argon. I can confirm re M&S prosecuting because when I worked for a year as a 17yr old in the new John Manners outfitters in the Upper Precinct, the first salesman's father had been manager of M&S and the lady who scrubbed the shop entrance had also worked there. Edited by member, 4th Nov 2019 3:26 pm
Owen Owen

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