Victoria Wine: My Part in it’s Downfall

Another Cream all nighter pulled and as we all arrived back in Salford in dribs and drabs, smoke filled cars full of nicely twatted 20 somethings. This was the 90’s and as they say if you can remember them then you weren’t there. Thinking back on those days a cliche would be to say it resembled a movie. But then we all have our own movies, some more exciting than others.  Usually there was 10 or 12 of us coming back, we’ed come back to our rented house because is was massive, had leather sofas and a massive downstairs where we could crank up the tunes once more. There was always more drugs, this was only the start of the weekend, these weekends tended to trespass into the early week days often.

At the end of the road was Victoria Wine where I worked with C (a fellow reveller and companion). The shift started at 10 and I think we were on for either 3 or 4 hours. C was given the keys as I was pretty new and not terribly reliable, and if I remember correctly we’ed bosh another cheeky half before heading down the road, just to give us that extra nudge, that extra bit of vim, to cope with customers and make the time pass. We put the tunes on loud, we put a clean ashtray in the back where all the bottles were stored and patiently wait until the shop door rang and then one of us would emerge from a cloud of smoke often in hysterics and pray to God that the customer wouldn’t be using Amex, no one knows how to do Amex transactions, I’m sure we gave stuff away and under charged people, and I’m sure there was probably a reputation which clung to the Saturday morning shift, we volunteered for the shift because we were young, dum and full of class A’s, and having not done a proper stock take or audit for literally years, the company had literally no idea of what they had. It was a free for all, and after those 3 or 4 hours passed and we handed over to the next shift, we had a ruck sack full of wine and coat pockets full of fags. I’d like to say that this sort of behaviour wasn’t recalled in the memorial for Victoria Wine which closed down years later as a chain, but may have had a tiny little something to do with its demise, I’m not proud of this, but when we left the shop and walked back down to the house full of Ecstacy Zombies we were greeted like heroes as we shared out the Booty, mainly Rose wine I seem to remember,  especially if the sun was out, and then we’ed sit in the front garden watching the world go by and generally bringing the neighbourhood down, if only for a short while. We were not nasty, we were not rude, we were just several cans more than a full six pack and everything was done at 100mph in reverse with the lights off.

derived a lot of fun from those days, and those people; we had our fair share of trouble, I think, but I’m not sure, because as I said, if you can remember it then you probably weren’t there.

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