with the demise of Woolie's, I wonder if you can still pick 'n' mix?
Sad that such a national institution as Woolworth's has gone down the financial pan, I have very fond memories of it from when I was a child. There was a tiny branch near my home. I recall dark wooden floors, dark wooden interior with goods laid out behind small (glass?) upstands on wooden counters. As soon as I was old enough to clasp a coin or two of my own pocket or birthday money, off I went to browse. My mother's birthday gifts were bought there - plain hankies to be embroidered with her initial in wobbly chain stitch, and a memorable Mothering Sunday plastic basket of plastic anemones, which she greeted with what must have been feigned pleasure. The girly joys of a first bra (probably a 28AA whether I needed it or not and I think it cost a shilling, but so much better than a Liberty bodice with rubber buttons for suspenders, even if it did still have to be worn under a St Michael vest) and make-up to be tried in a gaggle behind the outside lavs in the last year of primary school (Miner's - bright pink, shocking blue - gorgeous) were acquired from Woolie's. What, I wonder, will happen to those Deco exteriors which have been a feature of high streets great and small for so many decades? Despite the changes in signage over time, it was still often discreet and didn't overwhelm the building. I suspect that we will get nasty plastic frontages (Iceland has bought a number), and many a store will vanish altogether. Among my favourites are the huge block with a parade of shops at ground level in Carlisle built in local red sandstone, and the tiny store in Barnard Castle. The one in the historic pic is one of those in Liverpool, Wavertree Road.
I don't have any pictures of my own, but I found this on t'internet (well worth a browse at the others in the set too): http://flickr.com/photos/seant_25/2878744406/
One day I will learn how to do all that stuff with links hidden in text, like Gervase does on his blog, but I haven't yet got that far.
News of new blogs which I am certain will be of interest, we at the Republic seem to be developing a 'Bloggers' Circle'. First up is another from a CO who is being coy about identity but no doubt will soon give the game away to those who have regularly read his calm contributions in other places: http://conservationofficer.blogspot.com/
and the second is an additional refugee from another place: http://hazel-abearoflittlebrain.blogspot.com/not of little brain at all, in reality, but I hope she will keep us updated with her exploits in delving into archaeology in deepest Wales along with tales of house updating in the Frozen North.
Perhaps we should call ourselves Grumpy Old Bloggers, the GOBs for short; although one of our number is a GOB in spirit but not yet in years, he assures me he's been working at it since he first wore long tweed trousers.
Clicking on the links in the Followers' pics at the right will, I have found, also bring you details of the blogs. If you are a Blogger, then your dashboard will give you fresh posts of all blogs you follow. If anyone, Follower, Blogger or not, wants an alert from me when I update this do send me an e-mail (see profile) and I will add you to the growing list.
Jon Maine (see The Merchant of Shepton Mallet) has sent me this link to an album of 'before' pics to which he will add, as and when, updates: http://picasaweb.google.com/jonmaine/OldPhotos#
If anyone is having trouble with the comments section, also let me know.
Apologies to people who have sent news and fresh listings and pics which I haven't yet incorporated, time is short at the moment but it's not forgotten.
In yesterday's comments Gervase raised the subject of the sad news of the impending demise, after a long campaign, of the colliery headstocks at Annesley, Notts, http://www.savebritainsheritage.org/news/and there are song lyrics and a poem. The latter is connected with something on my list of 'to write', the 'Treasured Places' exhibition in Edinburgh, but that's for another day.
Happy blogging, do keep in touch - it can get lonely at the end of this Republic outpost mud track.
PS See comments, here's the link: http://www.cumberland-news.co.uk/1.350359