Author Topic: Clement Freeman & Son  (Read 929 times)

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Offline malj1

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Clement Freeman & Son
« on: July 29, 2018, 08:17:37 AM »
Clement Freeman & Son, Ltd. £1 consimilar dodecagon Copper 32.5mm

A Department Store of Wavertree Road, Liverpool that closed its doors for the last time in 1974 after housing clearance decimated the area.

The last owner of the store, Fred Freeman, was well known as a pioneer of charitable giving, including the introduction of payroll donations in the 1950s, and the launch of his own People For People fund to provide relief for Merseyside families living in poverty. Mr Freeman was born in Liverpool in 1921 and died in 2007.


Here we see the development of Freemans over the years. We see Wavertree Road before it was built up, the houses on 50-56 Wavertree Road before Clement Freeman bought them, Faradays on Wavertree Road (premises bought by Clement Freeman in 1897 to expand his store), the extension to Freemans, the expanding Freemans in 1927, and the County Road branch in 1959 (symbolising the growth of Freemans)
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Malcolm
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Offline malj1

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Re: Clement Freeman & Son
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2018, 08:23:27 AM »
John Crane lands a Freemans store £100mk windfall ... four decades too late

HAVE you ever discovered a pile of cash hidden in an old chest of drawers?

Well I did last week. In fact there were lots of bundles of unused notes all sitting there for the spending. I estimated there must have been over £100,000 right in front of me. BUT ALAS IT WAS TOO LATE! 1974 had come and gone. It was the year that Freemans departmental store in Wavertree Road closed. All this paper money was printed by Freemans and given to people who had saved weekly with them; the Freemans ‘money’ could then be spent in the store by their customers.

The firm’s founder was Joseph Freeman, a professional well-digger from Malvern who fell down one of his own wells. Not being enthusiastic about digging wells any more, Joseph started to sell vegetables in the 1850s from a wheelbarrow in the front room of his cottage – a safer occupation.

Joseph’s son Clement opened a shop in Bingley in Yorkshire and then saw great opportunities in Liverpool when the Faraday’s store in Wavertree came up for sale in the 1890s. It was near to the then new Edge Hill Station. The store motto was “Quality to last at affordable prices”.

Freemans was a firm of high principles where staff welfare was paramount. In the Freeman archives is a large photograph showing a staff outing in 1926 with four charabancs outside Rhuddlan Castle in North Wales.
Although the store closed in 1974, staff reunion dinners were held until five years ago.
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Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Offline malj1

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Re: Clement Freeman & Son
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2018, 09:25:23 AM »
Some more pictures.
Malcolm
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Online Figleaf

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Re: Clement Freeman & Son
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2018, 10:51:52 AM »
Great research, Malcolm. Thank you. It would be fun to know which was the lowest denomination of the private notes mentioned, so we'd have some idea of whether there might be other tokens out there.

A thought that struck me is that it would be easy and understandable to deplore the disappearance of this company. After all, they were a good employer and important to the local economy.

The answer is a piece of economic theory called creative destruction. The problem of Clement Freeman (nomen est omen?) was that times were a-changing and the company wasn't changing with them fast enough. Clement Freeman's employees should now be more productive.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline malj1

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Re: Clement Freeman & Son
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2018, 11:32:08 AM »
I think this line says it all as far as Freemans were concerned:

Quote
A Department Store of Wavertree Road, Liverpool that closed its doors for the last time in 1974 after housing clearance decimated the area.

The customers having been moved away left the shop without its many customers and this was only ten years after a large sum had been spent modernising the store.
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Online Figleaf

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Re: Clement Freeman & Son
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2018, 12:07:51 PM »
Lots of department stores were closing at the time and they didn't all had to cope with a housing clearance. Rather, the issue was popularisation of private cars. When I was a boy, I played ball games with my friends in the middle of a street were there are now zebra crossings and traffic lights. The great advantage of department stores was having a large choice of products under one roof. However, being in population centres, they didn't offer easy parking. Therefore, they lost out to shopping centres, that could offer the same advantages plus huge parking areas.

In fact, the heyday of the shopping centre is over also. The largest shopping centre in the world suffered from extremely low occupancy rates. Small, old malls are closing. Sophisticated investors are pulling back. The culprit is of course the internet, offering a much wider choice, no parking and no transport problem. Many shops are trying to keep up with the times with online shopping and home delivery or delivery at a pickup point. Will it be enough to keep shopping centres running?

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline andyg

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Re: Clement Freeman & Son
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2018, 12:34:00 PM »
The conditions in Liverpool were somewhat unique though,
Quote
From a population high of 700,000 in the 1960s, Liverpool now struggles to maintain the 400,000 mark

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2003/jun/05/artsfeatures.europeancapitalofculture2008
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

Online Figleaf

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Re: Clement Freeman & Son
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2018, 03:25:22 PM »
Interesting story, andyg. Wasn't aware of that. For me, the key sentence is: "Liverpool was Britain's Detroit, a city that had died through its own irrelevance to the modern economy." What goes for enterprises, goes for cities also: adapt or die. Other port cities (London, New York, Rotterdam, even Dublin) found a new destiny in finance, transport or both. Liverpool was apparently gravely mismanaged and got stuck. It does explain the housing clearance. It does not explain Freemans re-buiding project.

There is a highly interesting and not well understood cycle of urbanisation in history. To the delight of the historically interested, once important places strand in time, while others suddenly expand, leaving us with nice tourist destinations. At the moment, there is a new wave of concentration of people in megacities going on. Mid-size cities will consequently suffer some more, unless they become a regional center. That's not good news for Liverpool, being too close to Manchester and the underdog. In that light, I am glad the EU has made its contribution to Liverpool by making it the 2008 European cultural capital.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline malj1

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Re: Clement Freeman & Son
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2018, 07:24:39 AM »
Now I have acquired the ten shillings token, dodecagonal copper, 27.2mm.
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Online Figleaf

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Re: Clement Freeman & Son
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2018, 08:47:20 AM »
Another high denomination. In Interesting shape.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline malj1

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Re: Clement Freeman & Son
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2019, 05:28:54 AM »
The ten shillings was updated to 50 store currency otherwise similar.  dodecagonal brass, 28mm.

Also a 5 store currency in blue plastic. 25.2mm

Note too Clement removed from the title name.
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Online Figleaf

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Re: Clement Freeman & Son
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2019, 09:30:25 AM »
WOW! First time I see shop tokens in plastic. The two are quite different. Perhaps different production techniques or different materials or even both?

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline malj1

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Re: Clement Freeman & Son
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2019, 11:01:04 PM »
The 50p is dodecagonal brass
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Offline africancoins

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Re: Clement Freeman & Son
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2019, 09:45:42 PM »
Here is another plastic piece - 2 Shillings, yellow plastic, round.

Thanks Mr Paul Baker

Online Figleaf

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Re: Clement Freeman & Son
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2019, 07:19:08 AM »
Fun addition, Paul. Thank you!

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.