IT was interesting reading Derek Reed’s letter (January 6) about the big Co-operative store dominating the Rougier Street/Railway Street/Micklegate corner.

In 1962 I was going to Technical College in Clifford Street and came into York on the United bus from Boroughbridge.

We would take a short cut through the Co-op and sometimes we would go upstairs to the café for a coffee. What a lovely café with its continental mural of ladies and men dressed in 1950s style sitting around tables with parasols shading them from the sun.

Years later, in the early 1970s, I was privileged to work there for the Marketing Manager, Mr Harry Leaper. He was responsible for all advertising and store displays and frequently sent me round to check on each department for what they wanted advertising that week. Most of the time there was a full page advert with the Press [Yorkshire Evening Press as was], or a few individual departmental adverts.

A representative from the Press would come to the office to collect the layouts.

The Co-op Santa and Grotto were legend, the best around.

You paid your money, walked through the entrance and the magic started with the scenery, then there was the ride on the sleigh and another little walk through scenery to see Santa who would hand out a gift to the children.

It might have been a massive place, but it was very friendly and most of the staff knew each other. It could be called the ultimate department store.

Janet S Kitchen-Cooper, Ashley Park Road York

I remember congas on a Saturday night

DEREK Reed brought back some wonderful happy memories of the York Co-op emporium in Railway Street (Who remembers the York Co-op palace? Letters, January 6).

York RL Supporters’ Club used to organise Saturday night dinner dances there for players and supporters wives etc. I remember vividly Malc Storey leading us round those corridors in the conga, with Dave Ripon, Colin Forsyth and many more well know faces dancing behind.

Happy days.

Audrey Tattersall, Hempland Lane, Heworth, York