Category Archives: Urban History

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

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

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

Fading Glory: the Ghost Signs of London

Anyone following me on twitter will know of my enduring fascination with ghostsigns.  It has also appeared on this blog a few times.  These traces of the past are, in my view, something worth capturing and preserving (or at least … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Design, Ghost Signs, Heritage, London, Places, Retail Change, Retail History, Towns, 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

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 , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments