Do you remember the Co-op?

If you were ‘Visiting Dunfermline’ half a century ago one of the places to go for all your shopping requirements in the days before supermarkets would have been the Cooperative shops that once dominated the centre of Dunfermline in the area that is now the green space between Dunfermline High Street and the bus station. These shops provided the people of Dunfermline with a wide variety of clothing, footwear, household goods, a café and many other products.

Our first photograph is the view looking up Randolph Street from its junction with the High Street showing the Cooperative shops that once dominated both sides of that street. It was originally a footpath that was later widened and named South Chapel Street in 1809. It was later again given the name Randolph Street in 1878 in memory of Sir Thomas Randolph, nephew of King Robert the Bruce and one of his most faithful lieutenants who played a major role in the Battle of Bannockburn and whose body was later laid to rest in Dunfermline Abbey. The range of shops in the street included groceries, clothing, furniture, chemist, pet shop, jewellers and was one of the most popular and well frequented areas of the old centre of Dunfermline. The overhead walkway connecting the shops on either side of the street can be seen in the forefront of the image.

Our next photograph is a view of the junction of the bottom of Randolph Street where it met the High Street. Glyniss Bewley recalls working there: “ I remember working in the Co-op aged fifteen as a waitress for weddings and funerals. 90 pence an hour and all the cream cakes we could eat. My old music teacher Sandy Saddler used to play in one of the hired bands”. 

Kevin Cox also remembers the Co-op: “It was a fine shop on several floors and an office suite on the top floor, complete with a two person lift with manual gates which customers often left open then staff had to close when the bell rung from another floor”.


What were your memories of the Co-ops? Let us know!

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