After the bombshell news that Ilkeston Co-op department store is set to close later this year, we take a look back at its illustrious history.
Joseph Ayre, who was elected to the governing board of the Co-op back in 1951, aged 32, appears in these pictures greeting some of the famous faces that visited the store over the years.
“The Co-op was an institution,” he said.
“It wasn’t just for groceries or other items.
“It was a big part of life for people of my age.”
Joseph, 94, was chairman for 14 years until his retirement in 1989, when he was succeeded by Frank Holt.
“We entertained so many people over the years,” explained Mr Ayre.