Category Archives: Architecture

Departing Stores and Place Vandalism

“Loss of local identity is a powerful factor that can influence the social and economic wellbeing of a town. By preserving the fabric of distinctive historic buildings, particularly those as prominent as former department stores, residents can recover a sense … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, City Centres, Department Stores, Design, Edinburgh, Heritage, High Streets, Historic Shops, Marks and Spencer, Oxford Street, Places, Town Centres, Urban History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Oxford Street, Hull and Beyond

I have never really understood the fascination with Oxford Street as the retail heart of the UK.  I get that there are some great buildings, but as a shopping street, though not a great streetscape, it has never worked for … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, Campaigns, Cooperative Group, Cooperatives, Department Stores, Historic Shops, History, Hull, Marks and Spencer, Oxford Street, Places, Regeneration, Retail History, Streetscapes, Town Centres, Towns, Urban History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Great Tapestry of Scotland in Galashiels

A good few years ago, Anne Findlay and myself published a paper on the changing retail structure in the Borders using longitudinal data.  We titled this ‘Weaving new retail and consumer structures in the Scottish Borders,’ reflecting the weaving history … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, Community Assets, Culture, Cumbernauld, East Kilbride, Exhibitions, Great Tapestry of Scotland, High Streets, New Towns, Places, Regeneration, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Scottish Borders, Scottish Diaspora Tapestry, Streetscapes, Thomas Lipton, Town Centres, Towns | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Small Shops: Brian Lomas

I have just been alerted (thanks to @LeighVBird) to a book recently published by the modernist on the topic of Small Shops. It consists of 45 black and white photographs of small shops from North Manchester, taken in the early … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Community, Consumer Change, Food Retailing, Historic Shops, History, Independents, Local Retailers, Manchester, Neighbourhood, Retail Change, Retailing, Small Shops, Social Change, Urban, Urban History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Aberdeen, No More?

The Covid pandemic has hit retailing hard. Government support (though important) has in no way matched the lost sales and business. Previous trends have been accelerated, most notably in terms of online sales. Retailers of all shapes and sizes have … Continue reading

Posted in 1960s, Aberdeen, Architecture, Bids Scotland, Buildings, City Centres, Closure, Consumers, Cooperatives, Covid19, Department Stores, Internet shopping, John Lewis Partnership, Lockdown, Norco, Online Retailing, Pandemic, Rates, Regulation, Rents, Retail Change, Retail Sales, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Shopping, Social value, Tax, Town Centre Action Plan, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized, Waitrose | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Screen Time? Cinemas and Town Centres

One of the things that people have missed though the pandemic is the ability to go to a cinema and see a film. This is a social as well as an artistic activity, whihc raises questions about the types and … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, Cinemas, Consumers, Creative Places, High Streets, Regeneration, Retailers, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Social value, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized, Urban History | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Architecture of England’s Co-operative Movement

Over two and a half years ago I attended a seminar at the Engine Shed in Stirling called ‘Talking Shops’ and my blog discussion of the event can be found here.  In that post I noted the presentation by Lynn … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Art Deco, Buildings, Community, Cooperative Group, Cooperatives, Corporate branding, Corporate History, Department Stores, Design, Historic Shops, History, Hull, Localisation, Places, Retail Change, Retailers, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized, Urban History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Buttercup Dairy Company

One of the most enjoyable things about social media is the ease of connectivity to people, their work and interesting (well, to me) things.  It really is so much more simpler and easier than decades ago. A good example of … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Books, Buttercup Dairy Company, Corporate History, Creative Places, Edinburgh, Food Retailing, Grocery, Heritage, Historic Shops, History, Retail Change, Retail History, Retailing, Scotland, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Shopfronts, Signage, Town Centres, Uncategorized, Urban History | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Of Cows and Elephants

During our recent weekend in London we somehow found ourselves at Conway Street having a coffee in the old Welsh dairy which has featured in this blog before.  As my wife said, how did that happen?  A weekend away and … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, Burtons, Heritage, Historic Shops, History, London, MIlk, Retail History, Uncategorized, Urban History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Shopfronts – some recent sightings

Some people have been a bad influence on me: @historicshops @KA_Morrison (see Building Our Past) and @ghostsigns spring to mind. Their encyclopaedic knowledge – and delight in and willingness to share – means that I am forever on the search … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, Corporate branding, Corporate History, Design, Heritage, High Streets, Historic Shops, History, Places, Public Realm, Retail History, Shopfronts, Signage, Small Towns, Spaces, Streetscapes, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized, Urban History | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments