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Old 24th May 2019, 8:50 am   #101
PaulR
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Default Re: Woolworths Electrical Counter

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Originally Posted by duncanlowe View Post
We still sold the Izal toilet paper when I worked there. I never understood why people still bought it in the eighties!
I noticed a year or so ago that Sainsbury's were still selling it in flat packs.

My mother once told me that Woolworths sold tortoises pre war. Some things are better now!
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Old 24th May 2019, 10:23 am   #102
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Default Re: Woolworths Electrical Counter

Izal (medicated) was a bit posh. Bronco is my childhood memory. Also good as tracing paper.

Just learned a new word (after the inevitable conult of Dr. Google)- Cloacopapyrologist

Back from household to electrical, anyone remember if they stocked the battery checkers that looked like a pair of calipers with a MES bulbholder on the hinge?

Mine might have just been in one of the electric sets I seemed to get as annual presents from about 8 years old.
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Old 24th May 2019, 11:21 am   #103
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Default Re: Woolworths Electrical Counter

Calipers with an MES bulb holder? I remember one in a "Magnetricity Set" I got as a kid, one Christmas.

A bunch of radio amateurs had come from all over the world to the G-QRP doo back in the late '80s. George Dobbs had booked a coach to take a day trip round the sights of Lancashire and Yorkshire. I think my job was to provide translation as needed on the Yorkshire side of the border. We lunched in a pub up the main street of Haworth. One of the American ladies came back from a trip to the loo, giggling. She had just discovered 'Izal Medicated'. Word spread round the group..."WATERPROOF bathroom tissue? What use is that? How can it work?" She had brought samples and handed them out to other visitors. I assumed she felt proof was needed for such an incredible discovery.

All I could reply was "It doesn't"

"How do you use it?" we were getting onto dangerous ground.

"I don't know. I think we made a hell of a lot of it during the war and we still haven't used it up yet. A joke at school was that Avogadro's number was the number of squares you got on each roll."

As cultural exchange through the radio hobby goes, denizens of America, Denmark, Australia, Czech Republic, Sweden, Germany acquired deep understanding of Britain.

But we can't blame just Woolies for the stuff. And because of the delights of their electrical counters, I'm inclined to forgive them for their part.

David
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Old 24th May 2019, 1:05 pm   #104
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Default Re: Woolworths Electrical Counter

The massive penny-in-the-slot weighing machine near the doors.
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Old 24th May 2019, 1:19 pm   #105
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Default Re: Woolworths Electrical Counter

Those weighing machines had huge dials.
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Old 24th May 2019, 1:52 pm   #106
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They also worked by pivoting weights. Their accuracy wasn't degraded as any springs aged. I spent ages examining one in Huddersfield market hall. My penny gave me as long as I wanted, provided I didn't get off. It was fascinating to move a little and figure out the mechanism.

Where can you get that much entertainment for a penny nowadays?


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Old 24th May 2019, 2:43 pm   #107
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Default Re: Woolworths Electrical Counter

As we're getting general, our Woolies was the same as all the others mentioned above. Presumably they used the same shopfitter back then, it's common with chains. I was always fascinated by the "No Perambulators" sign, they were very old fashioned even then. I believe the UK shops survived long after the demise of their US forebears.
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Old 24th May 2019, 3:15 pm   #108
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Default Re: Woolworths Electrical Counter

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Originally Posted by Herald1360 View Post
....Back from household to electrical, anyone remember if they stocked the battery checkers that looked like a pair of calipers with a MES bulbholder on the hinge?

Mine might have just been in one of the electric sets I seemed to get as annual presents from about 8 years old.
They were supplied in the “Merit” electrical sets. Using them (and I still have one) always worked the bulb loose.
Probably started off my interest in our wonderful hobby.

Do you remember one of Woolie’s own brands was “Winfield” and across the top of the printed word was IIRC.... “see the name.... it’s the mark of value.

Are we the first generation to be so nostalgic about everyday things from the past? Or perhaps just the first to be able to share outside the family!

Peter
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Old 24th May 2019, 3:52 pm   #109
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Default Re: Woolworths Electrical Counter

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I believe the UK shops survived long after the demise of their US forebears.
Well, in 1982, the US parent sold the UK Woolworths stores to a UK company - Paternoster Holdings, which later changed its name to Kingfisher plc (which at one time also owned Comet and Superdrug and who currently own B&Q and Screwfix), but in 2001, Kingfisher demerged its Woolworths subsidiary, as Woolworths Group plc, and they folded in 2009.

More details here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingfisher_plc
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Old 24th May 2019, 4:08 pm   #110
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Default Re: Woolworths Electrical Counter

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Do you remember one of Woolie’s own brands was “Winfield”...
From the name Frank Winfield Woolworth of course.

Regarding the demise of the U.S. and American branches, according to Wikipedia, the American chain went out of business in July 1997, so ten years earlier.
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Old 24th May 2019, 4:09 pm   #111
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Default Re: Woolworths Electrical Counter

herald1360 said:
Quote:
anyone remember if they stocked the battery checkers that looked like a pair of calipers with a MES bulbholder on the hinge?
I still have one and use it regularly, I keep it in my battery storage drawer.
It did not come from Woolworth but I got it in France in 1983.

John
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Old 24th May 2019, 4:09 pm   #112
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Default Re: Woolworths Electrical Counter

Surprised no-one has mentioned the Project Books from the 1970's yet. http://www.woolworthsmuseum.co.uk/st...jectbooks.html There was "Build your own Crystal Set" and "Build your own Transistor Radio". The most complex set in the "Build your own Transistor Radio" book was a reflex/regen set. Does anyone know who the author was for these?, we know the Ladybird "Making a Transistor Radio" was written by the Rev. George Dobbs, but the Woolworths Project books were, as far as I know, not credited. There was also "Build your own computer" and "Experiments with Electricity" Incidentally, I had forgotton about the scales until they came up on here, and how they would carry on weighing for 1 penny until you got off. You could weigh as many kids as you liked so long as one got on before the other one got off!
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Old 24th May 2019, 4:54 pm   #113
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Default Re: Woolworths Electrical Counter

Thanks for reminding me about those Project books, I had (and still have) a few of them. I remember 'Making Working Models' which had various ways of driving model cars, boats and aeroplanes with electric motors, rubber band motors, etc.

I think there was one that covered making simple weather instruments.

I've love to see some of the others.

Perhaps surprisingly they didn't 'push' items sold at Woolworths.
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