Woolies tools still working -75 years on

A FORMER mechanic has brought to light a memory of simpler times, when tools were powered by hand and Woolworths was packed with customers.

A FORMER mechanic has brought to light a memory of simpler times, when tools were powered by hand and Woolworths was packed with customers.

Charles Taylor bought a drill and screwdriver from the shop 75 years ago, when he was an apprentice motor mechanic, and remembers when the maximum cost of any item on the shelves was sixpence.

Mr Taylor, of Richmond Road, Ipswich had to collect the component parts of the drill before assembling it. Altogether, the handle, the gear wheel and the chuck cost one-and-six.

He said: “I bought it from Woolworths in Ashford, Kent, as an apprentice before serving in the army.


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“I don't think I used it much because we started using electric drills soon afterwards. The screwdriver has had a rougher time but it must have been a good bit of steel to last as long as it did.”

Mr Taylor served in the forces for six-and-a-half years. He was introduced to his future wife by a friend from Ipswich, before moving to the area in 1946. He picked up his career in motor mechanics, going on to become a tester and a foreman with Edgerton's, in Crown Street.

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The 90-year-old has fond memories of Woollies - the last of which closed its doors for the final time this week after succumbing to the recession - and had a sage explanation for why the company fell by the wayside.

He said: “During the 30s and 40s you couldn't move when you went in - it was always busy.

“The problem is they didn't keep up with the times and of course they were based in the town while all the big successful supermarkets are on the outskirts.”

Have you got memories of Woolworths? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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