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Memories of Wigfalls

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20-03-2008, 13:59   #1
alan stepney
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I am writing a book about the changes in the retail TV & radio trade since the war.

As I am sure those of you over a certain age will recall,high streets used to be full of a large number of retail and rental TV chains.

Sheffield had the Head Office of Wigfalls, as well as a number of their stores.
(In fact, they had 100 branches in 1985.)

I am trying to contact anyone who worked for them, and gather as much information as possible about the company.
I know they took over Curry's, and assumed the better-known Curry's name, and that they, in turn, were absorbed by Dixons.

However, I would also like anecdotes, and trivia items, plus, especially, any human interest stories.
Recollections about them, of any type are welcomed.

If anyone has any such information, please contact me by PM, or email to: alan "at" alanstepney.info

Of course, some of you may have memories that others in your local area might appreciate, so why not post them here too?


The same applies to any of the other "high street" multiple tv outlets.
If you worked for any of them, please get in touch. Particularly if you were involved in the tehcnical side.

Thanks.
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20-03-2008, 14:22   #2
hutch
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I worked for British relay on the Moor from 1967 just after they took over Snelsons [Derbyshire Lane head office]British Relay was taken over by Visionhire in 1978, I was the manager of the Visionhire shop in Angel St when the Wigfalls shop in Fitzallen Square burnt down that was around 1985,in 1988 Granada took over Visionhire plus Der and Radio Rentals around that time, i survived at a number of branches until redundancy in 1997 at 58 brilliant, we had a party paid for plus gifts and a weeks pre leaving holiday for the wife and i in Torquay.shortly after that all the shops closed down.
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20-03-2008, 15:10   #3
classicfan
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My wife Carole West and her friend June Westbrook worked for Wigfall's in Rotherham around 1967-68, first in the store then in TV service the other side of Clifton Park. They were walking through the park one day back from lunch when they came across a "flasher" They spent the afternoon looking at mug shots in the police files. June now works in the Rotherham ASDA store.Two employees at the Rotherham store near where the four clocks tower is now were Howard Hall and Ian Walker who were in the well known Rotherham band, The Kodiaks. Howard went on to become an Agent, and also owned the Riverside Club in Catcliffe for some years. Pete Twybell was an engineer who now has a TV repair shop in Thurcroft. The Manager was a guy called Charlie Pepper.
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The older I get, the faster I was!
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20-03-2008, 15:24   #4
RoyalRegular
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I got my first three wheeler bike from Wiggies in Hillsborough (where Halifax BS is now)....that would be about 1956.
_______
From this angle, it reminds me of Stewart Grainger!
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20-03-2008, 15:29   #5
Titian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hutch View Post
I worked for British relay on the Moor from 1967 just after they took over Snelsons [Derbyshire Lane head office]British Relay was taken over by Visionhire in 1978, I was the manager of the Visionhire shop in Angel St when the Wigfalls shop in Fitzallen Square burnt down that was around 1985,in 1988 Granada took over Visionhire plus Der and Radio Rentals around that time, i survived at a number of branches until redundancy in 1997 at 58 brilliant, we had a party paid for plus gifts and a weeks pre leaving holiday for the wife and i in Torquay.shortly after that all the shops closed down.
I bet you were my manager at some point if you worked in Sheffield branches. I cut my "working" teeth in Granada TV and Video from the age of 16 to 20.
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20-03-2008, 15:43   #6
BAZZO
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During the 1960's I worked for a local advertising agency called Oelrichs.Among the dozen or so retail accounts I looked after was Sheffield retailer TV and radio dealers ?? Curtis based at Moorhead just below the former Macdonalds premises.
The advertising was mainly weekend ads in the Sheffield Star.We also created a weekly pop chart called the Curtis Top Ten featuring a mix of records sold by Curtis (and our own favourites).
All went well until we were contacted by a record company who spotted an unreleased record on a rival label near the top of our chart.We had to explain that "advance enquiries" had been a factor in compiling the Top Ten.
Funny old times!
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20-03-2008, 15:48   #7
hutch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoyalRegular View Post
I got my first three wheeler bike from Wiggies in Hillsborough (where Halifax BS is now)....that would be about 1956.
1956 Wigfalls Spital Hill, a Raleigh Lenton Cycle about 16 ish, my father got it for me on the hire purchase system so much a week.
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20-03-2008, 15:57   #8
jaiden
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i remember being evacuated from the bookies next door cos wiggies was on fire .
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20-03-2008, 16:35   #9
Witham
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I used to work for Wigfalls as a shop assistant at the branch on Bellhouse Road, Firth Park. I stuck it for about a year until the manager tried to fire me.

I went down to the head office on Rutland Road and hung around all day until I got to see a guy called Charlie Pepper, who was the boss. I managed to get re-assigned to the main warehouse at the bottom of the road, to Rutland Way, and here I became a delivery driver's mate. That lasted until the firm went head over tip and everyone was laid off.

They weren't a bad couple of years, and I especially liked installing TVs and washing machines in the posh houses out in Derbyshire. I even installed a washing machine at the house of Tony Christie.

Working in the shop as a shop assistant wasn't much fun though. One of the salesmen was a whizz-kid, obsessed with snatching as many sales as possible and hogging all the commission. Not my type. Couldn't wait to get out, to be honest.

I remember the shop manager was an old guy called Joe Pollard who used to be on Sunderland flying-boats during the War. Not a bad sort, I suppose, but he did turn against me and eventually tried to fire me. I must have had an attitude problem that soured him. I was only about eighteen at the time and full of all that insolence that comes with youth.

So - a quick calculation here - all this must have happened between 1976 and 1978.
_______
cheers, mate. All the best..
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20-03-2008, 20:07   #10
Texas
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I knew a guy who worked for Wigfalls. Roy something or other, heavy built lad, wore glasses, lived top of Woodfold, off Rutland Road. Anyhow I think he'd worked for Wiggies from leaving school, and when Television came in, he took to the technicalities of repairing TV sets like breathing. Anyhow he lives in Australia now. Good lad he was.
Sorry it's a bit vague but someone might remember him.
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21-03-2008, 09:38   #11
matsalleh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hutch View Post
1956 Wigfalls Spital Hill, a Raleigh Lenton Cycle about 16 ish, my father got it for me on the hire purchase system so much a week.
I asked my dad if I could have a new bike about 1952/3.To my amazement he said yes (I should have known but I was only 12 !)
Sure enough he came home with one on the Saturday, also a Raleigh
from Wigfalls Hillsborough.Just as I was about to go out on it he said by the way I have got you a job delivering papers 12/6p/week the bike is only 7/6p/ a week so you can easily pay this.
A few lessons there:-
1 I appreciated it a lot more.
2 Never use HP
3 You never get owt for nowt.
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Still a tax payer
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21-03-2008, 11:02   #12
Bushbaby
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Similar story for me
In 1972 I wanted a stereo record player, but I couldn't afford one, so me and my dad went into Wiggies, where I chose a lovely little unit . Fatha paid the deposit (a fiver) as a Chrimbly pressie, and I had to do the weeklies. I'm proud to say I never missed a payment, and have some beautiful memories of being up in my bedroom, smokin' Park Drive and listening to "Dark Side", "Bells" and the first Steely Dan Album, "Can't Buy A Thrill"

Din't 'ave no ipods when we were kids!!
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21-03-2008, 11:22   #13
alan stepney
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Thank you all for the comments so far.

I have noted all of them, and hope to see many more.
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22-03-2008, 00:00   #14
gatecrasher3
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Didn't the Morrell (sp) family own/have something to do with Wigfalls?
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22-03-2008, 00:03   #15
hutch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Titian View Post
I bet you were my manager at some point if you worked in Sheffield branches. I cut my "working" teeth in Granada TV and Video from the age of 16 to 20.
Hi Titian yiou must have been reliable most of my young trainees did not last
were you at the Moor?
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22-03-2008, 00:05   #16
Titian
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Quote:
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Hi Titian yiou must have been reliable most of my young trainees did not last
were you at the Moor?
Yes, I was! I sometimes used to cover at Fargate too if they were short. I didn't like doing that though.

Last edited by Titian; 22-03-2008 at 00:07.
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22-03-2008, 19:38   #17
jmdee
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Regarding Roy, could be Roy Crampton, he lived at the top of Rutland Rd., until he married then moved out to Chapeltown. He and John Moore operated Moore and Crampton in Ecclesfield. I believe Roy retired to live in Spain, and the last I heard John was still running the business.


A guy named Morell, can't remember his first name, married one of Wigfalls daughters, and became a company director. He drove a Jag XK 120 for his sins.
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22-03-2008, 20:30   #18
hazel
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Josephine Wigfall went to Notre Dame in the late !940s/50s.

hazel
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22-03-2008, 20:48   #19
Plain Talker
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My mum bought, from wigfalls, an english electric washing machine in a beige-y almond colour. single-tub, with an electric mangle that fitted over the tub. the mangle dismantled and "lived" inside a "door" on the side of the machine when not in use.

I remember the chap who used to collect the weekly money from my mum and dad, we called him "uncle Tom". I'm sure he lived on one of the short cul de sacs, at the top of Staniforth road, in Darnall somewhere. I remember he used to give me and my sister a Sixpence, between us, to buy an icecream which we used to save, all day, till the ice-cream van came round!

My parents also bought some carpet on the "weekly" from wiggies. I still remember it vividly. red, grey and black speckled. Our living room was so massive, she needed to buy two pieces to join together to make a fit.

I remember my mum played heck with the company because she bought two living-room quality pieces, but when they were delivered they got one living-room quality and one bedroom quality, so they "wore" differently, almost straight away. one looked pristine and new (the living room quality) the other looked worn and shabby.
_______
1.5 billion Muslims on this planet...
500,000 muslims in Australia...
ONE mentally ill criminal in a cafe... Lets keep a sense of perspective here.
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22-03-2008, 21:06   #20
carsupplier
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My Dad used to work as a service engineer for Wigfalls at their Rotherham branch around 1967 to 1969. I remember getting a bike for either my 6th or 7th birthday from there, It was a massive thing, or so it seemed to me, I was absolutley petrified of getting on it and would not go near it, which really pleased my dad. He was that pleased with me he sold it a couple of months later.
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