It was great reading Monica’s article on the Department Stores of Sheffield, particularly Banners in Attercliffe.
In the run-up to Christmas 1951, just after my fourth birthday in November, I was taken with mam and nan to the toy department at Banners which was downstairs on the lower ground.
There I was given a ride on the most fantastic tractor I had ever seen.
I remember riding it around the store using the pedals to propel it forward.
After that day I never saw it again, until Father Christmas delivered it on Christmas Eve.
Now this tractor was all metal with heavy-duty pedals and wheels.
Some time after Christmas and well into the new year the pedal mechanism snapped.
Not a problem back then, my nan took me and the tractor up to Credlands garage at Sheffield Lane Top.
The tractor was taken by a mechanic and put on the car ramp and elevated so he could inspect the damage underneath.
The break was discovered, welded and returned back in full working order. “No charge,” said the man, “Just happy to be of service.”
Credlands shop also sold everything from screws and nails to Dinky toys and Hornby Model Railways.
Everything was kept in huge drawers and glassfronted cupboards, just like the store in the Two Ronnies Four Candles sketch.
We certainly don’t have this type of service today, although I must say the staff at John Lewis in Barkers Pool, their call centre and the staff in the furniture department in their Birmingham store, who I have only spoken with on the phone, are superb.
Christopher J Hines
Ranmoor, Sheffield, S10