Western Stores staff remember the good old days

REUNION: Western Stores author Alan McRae, former Western Stores Bathurst manager Nevil Barlow  (1965 -82) and former staff member Olive Littlefield at the unveiling of the Western Stores plaque yesterday. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 052310cplaque1
REUNION: Western Stores author Alan McRae, former Western Stores Bathurst manager Nevil Barlow (1965 -82) and former staff member Olive Littlefield at the unveiling of the Western Stores plaque yesterday. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 052310cplaque1

SOME familiar faces gathered at Bicentennial Park on Sunday morning to remember the days of the Western Stores.

A new plaque was unveiled on the memorial wall to commemorate staff and customers who supported the historic chain.

Nevil Barlow, who was manager of the Western Stores in Bathurst from 1965 to 1982, said it was lovely to see so many former employees in the one place again.

"Today is all about recognising staff and customers by putting a plaque in the wall. There is a book available for sale too," Mr Barlow said.

"Some staff are here from 70 years ago. The store closed in 1982 and carried on as Grace Bros.

"All ex-staff members have come along today. One of the ladies is 94.

"The Western Stores went through thousands of staff and went through all the stores on the whole block that Target and the others are on today.

"We had fashion parades and birthday celebrations, they were nice days."

Alan McRae has published a book called The Western Stores and Edgleys which is on sale from Camera House and the Bathurst District Historical Society for $25.

He is also working on a second book of the Western Stores which will feature a chapter on each town's store and will be available around Christmas time this year.

The Western Stores was formed in 1916 to amalgamate stores from all over the west.