CHATTERIS: Co-op store helped workers

PUBLISHED: 12:18 31 July 2008 | UPDATED: 08:35 02 June 2010

IT S easy to have mixed feelings about Chatteris s Co-op store. Many residents would welcome the addition of one of the other names that are currently nearest in March or Huntingdon, or even Bar Hill, to the range and variety of shopping experiences cu

IT'S easy to have mixed feelings about Chatteris's Co-op store.

Many residents would welcome the addition of one of the other 'names' that are currently nearest in March or Huntingdon, or even Bar Hill, to the range and variety of shopping experiences currently available in Chatteris.

However it is important to remember the social and historical significance of the Co-op's arrival in Chatteris.

The Co-op was the first major store in many small towns.

It is believed that the Co-op came to Chatteris in the early 1900's as a direct result of the General Engineering Works winning a number of significant export orders. Extra labour was brought in to meet this increase in output and it is the word locally that the wives of those new workers reported that the local shop keepers were reluctant to serve them, resenting the 'newcomers'.

Apparently to resolve the problem the manager of the Engineering Works wrote to the Co-op in Manchester begging them to open a store in Chatteris, to feed the families of their workers.

The news last week that Co-op has bought Somerfield is not altogether welcomed in every quarter of Chatteris, as it reduces the current choice of two supermarkets down to one.

However the further news that this takeover may be referred to the Monopolies Commission, and in some instances the Co-op could be instructed to sell off branches of their new acquisition where they will now be 'the only store in town' has caused considerable excitement.

Leading candidates rumoured to be interested are Waitrose and Morrisons. If only

CHRIS HOWES (CLLR)

Chatteris

Via e-mail

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