The Oxenholme Branch of the Kendal Co-operative Society (KCS) was at Helm Garth on Helmside Road (became no. 70 Helmside Road) from 1952 until 1968 when KCS amalgamated with the Lancastria Co-operative Society.
Managers of the Co-op have included:
- Mr. Walter Green (pictured above)
“Customers were issued with an order book with dividend number, and goods were delivered to the door if required.”John Bateson
After the Co-op closed the branch in 1968, the shop passed into private ownership. After the Spar opened further down the opposite side of Helmside Road, it was often referred to as the ‘Top Shop’.
“My Nan, Anne Patterson had the shop in approx. 1969.”Nicola Patterson
William McKeever later ran the shop with his wife Jean. During his ownership it operated under the Mace branding.
“We called it the “Top shop” cos it was at top of village…. Used to get my penny sweets from there with my grandad… (And pick up my dad’s baccy, when I was about 7 yrs old)”David Hall
“I always remember it as the ‘top shop’ too. Mr McKeever ran it, I loved getting a 1/4 of sports mixtures. He had a teddy boy haircut…. and always finished his sentence with “that’s kind of you”.Jayne McKee
“They also did deliveries to surrounding villages.”Helen Campbell
The shop was originally built around 1908 by the Swainbank family and was run by Martha Swainbank nee Lord (1870-1932) and later her sister Violet Emma Atkinson nee Lord (1887-1978). Apparently the shop was open 12 hours a day, seven days a week, except on Sundays when it closed at 1pm.