Supermarket Sweep

This show meant one thing growing up – it was a day off school, either through sickness or teacher training. What’s not to love about a show set in a supermarket it looked so much fun – working in one proved not quite as much fun.

The first part of the show featured games and puzzles based around groceries and shopping. The podiums the ‘shoppers’ stood at were shapped like shopping baskets.

But nobody really cared about the first part of the show it was all about the second part where the contestants went ‘wild in the aisles’. During the opening rounds time was earnt for the ‘sweep’.

This round involved grabbing a shopping trolley and chucking everything you possibly could into it including giant inflatable bananas. There were rules but as a kid you just watched them running around taking what they liked.

What a big bouncy bonus

The winning team then did a sort of treasure hunt sweep finding clues to win a £2000 cash prize. Personally I would have preferred to keep the goods in my trolley.

Camp as anything, Dale Winton was the perfect host for the show. In fact it is difficult to imagine there was another host who could have handled it any better.

When out of town shopping was a big event

The above photo is of a local co-op Hypermarket, long gone, the site now occupied by a big Asda a common sight up and down the country but back when I was a kid a visit to the Hypermarket was a special event.

Although we lived fairly close to the Hypermarket generally the shopping was done in the much smaller Tesco (these days a Tesco Metro to give you a sense of the scale). A trip to the Hypermarket was usually for a special occasion.

They don’t make these when they open up the latest Tesco Extra thesedays.

Inside the store seems huge you’d enter through a clothing department, there was even a carpet showroom at the back of the store. In later years they added a Morrisons style Market Street complete with fake windows above the ‘shops’.

Best of all there was a restaurant, park up the trolley and then we’d go in for a snack or a light lunch. The best seats were next to the fish tanks that were built into the wall.

All of this added to the feeling that this shopping trip was an event and not just yet another trawl round the shops. Best of all when you got through the checkouts there was the ice cream counter. Sweet memories.

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