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Memories of Wigfalls

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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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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.:hihi:

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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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I got my first three wheeler bike from Wiggies in Hillsborough (where Halifax BS is now)....that would be about 1956.

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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.:hihi:

 

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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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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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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i remember being evacuated from the bookies next door cos wiggies was on fire .

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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.

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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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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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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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