Checking out Tesco’s years in the Morecambe Arndale Centre

Staff after the doors closed for the final time at Tesco in the Arndale, Morecambe.

Staff after the doors closed for the final time at Tesco in the Arndale, Morecambe.

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Peter ‘Tiny’ Richardson was feeling nostalgic after reading about the closure of Tesco in the Arndale Centre.

Peter was first trainee manager at the store and part of the team when Tesco opened in the Arndale in 1972.

“It was an exciting time for a 16 year old lad in his first job after leaving Euston Road Secondary Modern,” he said. “At that time it was a very large and modern store that dominated grocery sales in the area with the only competition coming from the Co-Op, also in the Arndale, and Marks & Spencer opposite.

“The Arndale was a buzzing place and Tesco had about 12 checkouts to keep up with the demand. Green Shield stamps were the order of the day to drag people in and goods were priced up both in pounds, shillings and pence and the ‘new-fangled’ decimal currency which confused everybody.

“The store manager was Colin Ashcroft. It had its own deli counter, butchery run by John Walker with the redoubtable fiery Scottish Agnes, warehouse run by Mr Foster and Phil Mercer, fruit and veg, staff canteen, Billy the little old chap who baled the cardboard and late shift shelf fillers to keep the shelves full after a busy day’s trading.

“All of the special offer posters in the windows and signs on the shelf edge were hand painted in water colours by Brian the Tesco regional artist.

“So many people it’s hard to remember everyone’s name, but it was a happy store to work in and a good bunch of people.”

Peter also recalls how bit-by-bit, stores closed in Morecambe.

“Tesco Home & Wear, the Co-Op and M & S have long gone and now Tesco has pulled out.

“From what was once a bustling and proud town centre it seems that the centre of Morecambe may be left with just pound shops and bargain basement rubbish. How times change.”