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Author Topic: Watts Place/ Argos/Bates/Bentalls Dept Store Chatham  (Read 22457 times)

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Offline smiler

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Re: Watts Place/ Argos/Bates/Bentalls Dept Store Chatham
« Reply #33 on: April 24, 2015, 10:43:23 »
Andy Cap, had one myself late 50s all the rage then. Still wear a cap now in the rain

Offline Troyboy

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Re: Watts Place/ Argos/Bates/Bentalls Dept Store Chatham
« Reply #32 on: March 08, 2015, 20:18:53 »
Thank you for this link. Only just come across it, whilst browsing. A great memory jogger. About 1959/60 I purchased my own fashionable red and black "Andy Cap" from a shop in "2 Post Alley" (Watts Place). I thought was quite the Lad at the time and my mates were well impressed.

royston2000

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Re: Watts Place/ Argos/Bates/Bentalls Dept Store Chatham
« Reply #31 on: February 17, 2015, 21:31:14 »
Reading about Bates Department Store is a real blast from the past for me. My ex Mother-in-Law, Alice (Lal) Gibson, worked in their restaurant in the 60s. She is still alive but now lives near Reading and is now 103.

I can remember on one occasion when the Red Army Ensemble were performing at the Central Hall, they had a meal in Bates Restaurant. The funny thing was they ate all the bread that was available and the staff had to send out for more. They then went and did their energetic dances.

Lal went on to be made a Dame for her work in St. John Ambulance.

Offline Optimus Prime

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Re: Watts Place/ Argos/Bates/Bentalls Dept Store Chatham
« Reply #30 on: January 21, 2014, 08:40:00 »
Just to add my tuppence, (although I don't remember back past Bentalls).

It used to be Bentalls, then Argos bought/leased half of the building (the left hand side as you look from High Street). On the upper floor (stock room), there was a blockwork wall crudely splitting the building in half, with a single wooden door into the unused half, which was just a huge empty space. I remember being told (rightly or wrongly) that it was still Bentalls in there and we shouldn't go in there. (as if...)

Then Argos expanded into the other half too.

(I worked there as a Saturday boy, would have been about 1987), was definitely only half the building then.
It was like that when I got here

Offline ann

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Re: Watts Place/ Argos/Bates/Bentalls Dept Store Chatham
« Reply #29 on: August 19, 2013, 09:04:10 »
Yes, I can remember when the Green Shield`s place was on New Road.

tulafalula

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Re: Watts Place/ Argos/Bates/Bentalls Dept Store Chatham
« Reply #28 on: August 18, 2013, 20:23:35 »
I remember Bates department store from the 60's as it was the school outfitters for Christchurch. I remember shopping in Sainsbury's  in the mid 70's The green shield stamp shop I remember at that time was on New Road.

Offline smiffy

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Re: Watts Place/ Argos/Bates/Bentalls Dept Store Chatham
« Reply #27 on: May 17, 2013, 16:13:08 »
This thread seems to include Holborn Lane so I thought I'd post this here. There's not much there now but in the 19th century it appears to have had a bit of a reputation:

Mary Hogan, a woman with an infant in her arms, was charged with assaulting Mary Field, at Chatham. Complainant said she resided in Holborn Lane, Chatham (which delectable-locality, by the way, furnishes on an average one assault per week for the consideration of the magistrates at this court) and was quietly sitting at her door on Saturday night, waiting for her son to come home, when she heard defendant calling her several filthy expressions, and immediately afterwards received several blows from her. She was at a perfect loss to understand why she was assaulted, as she had done nothing provocative of such treatment. Defendant was taken away by some neighbours. The magistrates ordered her to pay a fine of 2s. 6d. together with 14s. 6d. costs, and in default 14 daysí imprisonment.

Offline Leofwine

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Re: Watts Place/ Argos/Bates/Bentalls Dept Store Chatham
« Reply #26 on: April 28, 2013, 12:20:15 »
I seem to remember it as the Green Shield Stamp shop when I was a kid, probably early 70s.  I also remember it being Bentalls, but at the time being confused why some people still called it Bates.
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Walderslade_W

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Re: Watts Place/ Argos/Bates/Bentalls Dept Store Chatham
« Reply #25 on: April 28, 2013, 02:08:18 »
Well you are about the fourth person to say this, so it must have been a Green Shield Stamp shop at one time.

Offline sandi_01

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Re: Watts Place/ Argos/Bates/Bentalls Dept Store Chatham
« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2013, 14:37:06 »
Not sure if this is going to help or confuse matters? I recall in August 1974 going to the Green Shield Stamp shop with my mother, which was in the building where Argos now stands. The reason I remember is, I was starting secondary school in the September and needed equipment. It was definitely a Green Shield Stamp shop. :)

Walderslade_W

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Re: Watts Place/ Argos/Bates/Bentalls Dept Store Chatham
« Reply #23 on: April 27, 2013, 03:29:34 »
There is also some information on another thread regarding the Green Shields shop here:

http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=9395.0

notably from Peter Chall:

Back to that elusive Green Shield Stamp shop and its relation to Argos.
I think I've established the history of the present Argos building:
1.   It was first proposed in 1960 for Bates and Sainsbury's - Reply#31
2.   Occupied by Bates and Sainsbury's in 1963 ? Reply#30
3.   Taken over by Bentall's at an unknown date.
4.   Up for sale by Bentall's in 1984 - Reply#27
5.   Presumably then bought by Argos.

I said that Green Shield shop was in the 'Argos site' 'at some time' (Reply#20)
Seafordpete says it was in High Street, then on New Road (Reply#23)
Lyn L says it was on New Road (Reply#29), but it had been where Argos is 'at some time' (Reply#35)
I spoke to eldest daughter on phone about it and as soon as I mentioned Green Shield she said, "It used to be where Argos is".
Numanfan has established that it was in High Street/Gundulph Road in 1967, and on New Road in 1973 (Reply#47).

So it couldn't have shared the premises with Argos, as I suggested in Reply#36. Yet 3 people remember it being in that premises. So I now think that it must have shared Bates or Sainsbury's premises at some time between 1963 and 1967. Has anyone else got any recollections?

Walderslade_W

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Re: Watts Place/ Argos/Bates/Bentalls Dept Store Chatham
« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2013, 08:12:45 »
Searching again I found the pic at page 20 image 202.

I'm pretty sure Argos moved into the building after Bentalls folded. It's interesting to note that Argos was originally founded by Richard Tompkins who had previously established Green Shield Stamps.  Coming up with the idea that people could purchase goods from his "Green Shield Gift House" with cash rather than stamps.

Perhaps the building was always owned by Green Shield stamps/Argos and sublet to Bentalls?

Go to this link and search for 'Chatham High Street', then to Image 50 (Page 9). It shows the 'Argos' site in 1984, after joint ownership by Bates and Sainsbury's but then owned by Bentall's. Note the 'For Sale' sign. Who bought it?
http://www.medway.gov.uk/medwayimages/

Who was there before 1964? Did Green Shield Stamps share it with Sainsbury's or Bate's? When was the present 'Argos' building constructed and what was there before that?

Merry

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Re: Watts Place/ Argos/Bates/Bentalls Dept Store Chatham
« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2013, 21:44:09 »
I remember queuing for ages to get Martin Shaw's autograph when he came to Bentall's in the 1980s.  It was at the height of his fame as Doyle in "The Professionals" and the shop was absolutely packed with fans.

Offline Rochester-bred

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Re: Watts Place/ Argos/Bates/Bentalls Dept Store Chatham
« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2013, 08:48:21 »
I still have a picture of my son whom I entered in the Bates baby contest and no, he did not win  :)
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Offline smiffy

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Re: Watts Place/ Argos/Bates/Bentalls Dept Store Chatham
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2013, 00:43:13 »
I think Sainsbury's was probably the first store in Chatham to have automatic doors. I remember standing there when I was a youngster and watching with amusement the looks of surprise on peoples faces when they extended their hand to open the doors, only for them to open by themselves. Seemed like magic at the time, I believe they were activated by a pressure mat.

 

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