Category Archives: History

Quant (ifying) the Past

A weekend away in London, and a chance to take in some exhibitions and meet up with up friends.  The outcome; a great weekend but some contrasting cultural experiences.  Amongst the things we saw were the Tutankhamun exhibition at the … Continue reading

Posted in 1960s, Bazaar, Books, Clothes, Exhibitions, Fashion, History, Mary Quant, Pop-Up Shops, Uncategorized, Wholesaling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a 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 , , , , , , , , , | 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

Going Self-Service – a 70 year old revolution?

A few weeks ago a journalist rang and asked about the introduction of self-service retailing into the UK.  A particular question was about the way in which retailers converting to self-service in the 1940s and 1950s knew what to do … Continue reading

Posted in Consumer Change, Customer Service, Express Dairies, Food Retailing, Historic Shops, History, Retail Change, Retail History, Retail innovation, Retailers, Retailing, Self-checkout, Self-Service, Small Shops, Tesco, Uncategorized, USA | 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

#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

Twin Towns

To anyone with a Welsh background and an interest in films, Twin Town conjures up a film of 20+ years ago which was described as a Welsh Trainspotting, though less successful.  Lock up your sheep and pretty much anything else, … Continue reading

Posted in Carnegie UK Trust, Collaboration, Community, Heritage, High Streets, History, Markets, Places, Regeneration, Small Towns, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Three Go To An Exhibition

It was not quite my shortest visit to Singapore, but it came close; a couple of days launching a new partnership with Amity University and our annual graduation ceremony with SIM.  For reading on the plane I had grabbed a book … Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Architecture, archives, Department Stores, Historic Shops, History, Retail Change, Retail History, Retailers, Singapore, Urban History | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A New User’s Reflections on Online Grocery Shopping

I am old enough to remember the initial Tesco home shopping trials in Gateshead in the early 1980s (Gateshead Shopping and Information System) when home shopping via Videotex (look it up if you don’t know) was seen as being a … Continue reading

Posted in Availability, Consumer Change, Food Retailing, Gateshead SIS, History, Internet shopping, Local Authorities, Online Retailing, Retail Change, Service Quality, Supply Chains, Television, Tesco | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment