Category Archives: Buildings

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 , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hull and Beyond

  I’ve never knowingly been to Hull.  It’s not that I’ve anything against Hull, just that the question of going there has never arisen.  I became a little more aware of it when it owned the accolade as UK City … Continue reading

Posted in Art, BHS, Buildings, Cooperative Group, Cooperatives, Department Stores, Design, Historic Shops, History, Hull, Places, Public Realm, Regeneration, Retail History, Spaces, Uncategorized, Urban History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

London’s Welsh Dairies: The Welsh Milk Trade

As a child I remember people mentioning the ‘milk train’ between London and South Wales, but was never sure if it was first up or last down or both. Before I married, my fiancée and I went to stay in … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Buildings, Consumer Change, Consumers, Customer Service, distribution, Food, Food Retailing, Heritage, High Streets, Historic Shops, History, Independents, London, MIlk, Retail Change, Retail History, Sanders Bros, Shopfronts, Signage, Uncategorized, Urban History, Wales | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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 , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Halifax – with Elephants

When I was 10 months old my father ‘forsake the amateur code’ (copyright Welsh Rugby Union) and ‘went north’, joining the Halifax professional rugby league team. This was a life changing decision in many ways for his family; not least … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Burtons, Corporate History, Design, Ghost Signs, Halifax, Heritage, Historic Shops, Markets, Places, Public Realm, Regeneration, Retail History, Rugby League, Streetscapes, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized, Urban History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Yours for £1 (not really)

It was an eye-catching gimmick, and it did the job, getting media coverage (and me onto the radio (again)). In early February, at a London auction The Postings shopping centre in Kirkcaldy was put up for sale with a reserve … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Community, Community Development, Creative Places, Dumfries, High Streets, Kirkcaldy, Landlords, Localisation, Places, Property, Regeneration, Retail Change, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Scotland's Towns Partnership, Shopping Centres, Town Centre Living, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

#Woolies10

I was out at the country on the tenth ‘anniversary’ of the closure of the last Woolworths store in the UK – 6th January to be exact.   I had already contributed to an element of the ‘celebration’/‘remembrance’, so didn’t feel … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, Churn, Closure, Consumers, Corporate History, Ghost Signs, Heritage, High Streets, Historic Shops, History, Pound Shops, Poundland, Retail Failure, Shopfronts, Store Closures, Streetscapes, Towns, Uncategorized, Urban History, Woolworths | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Destination High Street – Restoring Vibrancy to Scotland’s Towns”

The invitation from the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland (AHSS) and the Scottish Civic Trust was to present a keynote address to their conference on ‘Destination High Street’.  As both Professor of Retail Studies and Chair, Scotland’s Towns Partnership I … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, BIDS, Buildings, Community, Community Development, Consumer Change, Consumer Lifestyle, Creative Places, Design, Development Trusts, Environmental Quality, Government, High Streets, Historic Shops, Internet shopping, Local Retailers, Online Retailing, Places, Public Realm, Rates, Retail Change, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Scotland's Towns Partnership, Small Towns, Social Inequality, Streets, Streetscapes, Tax, Town Centre Action Plan, Town Centre Living, Town Centre Review, Town Centres, Towns, Understanding Scottish Places, Urban | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ghosts in the Rockies

In one of the many ironies of destroying my knee in May, we were left with a race against time to see if I was fit enough to go on a booked holiday in late August and early September. Would … Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Architecture, Buildings, Canada, Corporate branding, Downtown, Ghost Signs, Heritage, High Streets, Historic Shops, Places, Retail History, Signage, Small Towns, Streetscapes, Urban History, USA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

HoF: House of Fools?

Thursday’s much trailed announcement that House of Fraser was aiming to close 31 of its 59 stores in the UK and was seeking large rent reductions on those that remain, all as part of a seemingly contested CVA, was the … Continue reading

Posted in BHS, Buildings, Cardiff, Consumer Change, Costs, CVA, Department Stores, Edinburgh, High Streets, Historic Shops, Internet shopping, Jenners, John Lewis Partnership, Online Retailing, Oxford Street, Places, Retail Change, Retail Failure, Town & Country PLanning, Town Centres, Urban History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments