Saturday 27 August 2011

Large shops, little shops, and advertising

Chichester East Street in the 1970s.  It would have met with the approval of my great-aunt Gladys, as noted on the back by my father.  She judged the worth of a town purely and simply on whether or not it had a Marks and Spencer shop.   Apart from that, though, the street doesn't appear to have been overtaken by the large chains. Yet.  At the far end you can see the Market Cross or Chichester Cross.  (See also City Cross, High Cross, or Buttercross in Winchester)

Another card from the 1970s but this one shows the smaller shops that struggle against the might of the big chains on High Streets these days.  There is a movement to encourage small shops back but how successful that will be in these days of little time and not much more money, I really don't know. 

To see this pre-1902 postcard in more detail, you will need to click on the image.  It shows crowds of people waiting to get into Blackpool Central Pier to add to the crowds already there.  That much is probably visible without magnification, but the advertising is harder to see.  The signs are:
Bovril is King in the Kitchen
Sames Pianos
Mothers try Pritchard's Teething Powder
Kaputine for headache (safe, apparently)
Boots Cash Chemists
Well, Bovril and Boots are still around today and so is Central Pier, but it looks very different today.

Do visit Sepia Saturday and see how other people have interpreted (or not) the theme this week.

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  1. well! I bet Kaputine was safer than Neuropen Plus is at the moment!

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  3. apologies! I posted the wrong comment for the wrong blog [blushes] !!!!!Apologies for confusing you! Now! I must go find the blog it was meant for:)

  4. In the U.S., it is the red signs of Woolworth's and other dimestores that are seen on many of the mid-century postcards of street scenes.

  5. I hadn't remembered about Nurofen Plus, but you are so right! I believe they have some Kaputine at the Science Museum. I must go and try some.

    I did wonder about the second post. :)

  6. Ah, Chichester ! I knew it well when I worked (and played) there for 17 1/2 years!

  7. The pier is incredibly crowded. I love the sight of all those straw boaters.

  8. I been to Chichester and The Lanes in Brighton. The green grocer has really set his stall out. It would be an ideal place to get some stamps to show on Sunday Stamps as well.

  9. I love that pre-1900 post card!

  10. Marks and Sparks! I see a Marks and Spencers. I don't know what I'd have done without the one down the street from my hotel in Kensington. Bought a cheap suitcase to get all my purchases home. Still have the bag and it looks as good as the day I bought it decades ago.

    The card of the pier is wonderful!

  11. A great trio of images. There is something about shops and brand names that can provide short cuts to history. Just seeing that M&S fascia in the first image took me straight back 50 years - all M&S stores looked the same,l wherever they were.

  12. Lovely pictures - I was in Chichester a couple of months ago and there are some small independent shops and cafes. There was a great market on the day we were there - it was buzzing. Jo

  13. Hi Sheila,

    These are wonderful cards and a great post. I really like the second one, and do hope that small shops make a successful comeback. For social interaction and individual attention, small shops are the best.

    Thanks so much for stopping by yesterday, I appreciate it very much. I'm glad that you enjoyed my great-grandma Litha's postcards.

    God bless,

    Kathy M.

  14. These are lovely postcards. You are so right about the comeback of small shops. Let’s hope they do, as so many towns look exactly the same these days. That crowd on the pier look as if they are queueing for an event of some sort. The boaters do rather stand out!

  15. Yeah for small shops! There's no fun in shopping if all the shops everywhere carry the same wares.

  16. Isn't it a dilemma, particularly for those of us who have to count the pennies. I'm all for seeing those small shops, but if I'm honest I don't much like the prices.

  17. since you said the pier is still there, i guess it was able to support such structures and large crowds...

    we also have the dilemma of those small shops vs larger companies. i tend to favor small shops for better and possibly local ware.

    nice post!!

  18. The evolution of the shop is constant and full of big fish swallowing lesser fish. And yet it is the pedestrian quality of the streets that remains appealing.


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