Gransnet forums


Shops we have lost and that we miss.

(59 Posts)
mrsmopp Sat 15-Dec-12 00:35:18

C & A.

Ariadne Sat 15-Dec-12 06:25:23

Definitely C&A. I always head for them when we're in Brussells. You still have to search carefully through the tat, but there's usually something nice.

Maniac Sat 15-Dec-12 09:36:04

Maypole -groceries
Richards-dress shops
UCP-tripe shops in NW England.

Ana Sat 15-Dec-12 09:38:15

Stead & Simpson
Timothy Whites

dorsetpennt Sat 15-Dec-12 10:02:09

Borders - I nearly wept when our local branch was closed, it was so much better then Waterstones. C & A, Wollies, Mac Fisheries, United Dairies.
We used to have a good range of shops in my little suburb including a toy store and a Knit Wool shop. Now the likes of Starbucks and Costa, Subway etc are moving in. Also expensive boutiques and charity shops. Buying any form of haberdashery is a nightmare as we have to travel far and wide - the nearest decent fabric shop is miles away in a warehouse deep in the Dorset countryside.

Ana Sat 15-Dec-12 10:12:59

Oh, I'd forgotten Ottakars! Taken over by Waterstones, which is bland in comparison.

glitabo Sat 15-Dec-12 10:22:24

I used to love The Pier for unusual knick knacks. I bought some lovely beaded curtain tie backs from there. It was one of the first to go in the recession.

CHEELU Sat 15-Dec-12 10:23:27

I miss United Dairies so nice having the milk at your doorstep WHY though I don't understand why you would stop that..I have seen a few companies coming back recently and hope they will be in my area, also miss traditional sweet shops that had sweets in jars!

Sook Sat 15-Dec-12 10:27:51

Ariadne I remember buying a dress from the Cologne branch of C+A it was cheap but remarkably well made and it was lined, unseen in the UK branches.

Maniac I loved the Maypole and have fond memories of the 'butter barrel' that stood in our local shop. My Nan would send me to buy 4oz of butter which was patted in to shape with wooden pats and then wrapped in greaseproof paper.

Every town used to have a well stocked wool shop and they were usually willing to put the amount of wool needed aside for a few weeks. These days I have to travel miles to the nearest wool shop or buy online.

feetlebaum Sat 15-Dec-12 10:32:06

Simpsons of Piccadilly - inspiration for Are You Being Served? - my first experience of work, in my school holiday in 1952... I was supposedly a messenger, but in between errands I was allowed to sell gents' neckties - Gerard Hoffnung said he wanted a velvet bow tie - I had to say sorry, no can do. It was a fascinating experience, even if I did have to wear a stiff collar all day...

Sook Sat 15-Dec-12 10:33:02

CHEELU Traditional sweet shops seem to be making a come back in the Northwest and Midlands. We have one in each of the three main shopping areas selling old time favourites such as Pear Drops, Pineapple Cubes and Sherbet Lemons to name but a few.

CHEELU Sat 15-Dec-12 11:37:11

Sook my bags are packed, sold the house and moving to Northwest for Pearl drops and Sherbet Lemons! You are lucky to be close to such shops, there was a shop near me that tried that but did not last and had to close, I was outraged ha ha

Maniac Sat 15-Dec-12 13:00:53

In my nearest town it's impossible to buy haberdashery,wool,fabrics also paper,card and office supplies.Yet there are plans afoot to open yet another supermarket 'Lidl'.although we already have Tesco,Waitrose,Budgen.
-and six charity shops !

jeni Sat 15-Dec-12 13:09:32

Wool etc in clevedon. But I agree you have to go to Bristol for fabric.

jeni Sat 15-Dec-12 13:11:57

Sook I remember tub butter in Llanelli market. Lovely stuff.

JessM Sat 15-Dec-12 13:29:09

Can still get this in Swansea market. smile

Maniac Sat 15-Dec-12 14:41:56

jeni I meant in Nailsea.

bookdreamer Sat 15-Dec-12 14:55:31

Woolworth's definitely, especially at this time of year.

annodomini Sat 15-Dec-12 15:07:13

There once was a chain of shops called Spoils which had seconds of household stuff and storage containers. I still have my red enamel tea and sugar canisters with cork tops that I must have bought getting on for 30 years ago. There was a branch in the Trafford Centre when it first opened but it soon disappeared.

Nelliemoser Sat 15-Dec-12 15:42:12

Yes I miss C&A. The last one I visited was in Belgium ? Leuven.
Woolworths without a doubt.

Haberdashery and Fabric shops are very few and far between. There is an Abakhan fabrics about 10 miles away from me. (?Local to the North West)
Excellent for fabric, wools patterns, haberdashery and crafts stuff.

In the the next small town there is an Asian run local hardware shop, the sort that sells nearly everything that householders need. Including the Christmas decorations. They hold a good basic range of sewing threads and other sewing needs, and you can buy on Sundays. They fill the niche Woolworths once had. Before that there was no such stuff for miles about.

Both that and Abakhan fabrics, are Asian run. Perhaps this says something about those who understand shop keeping. Work out what sort of basic stuff people need locally and provide it at all hours. Us Britons who used to do the shopkeeping seem to have forgotten the art.

annodomini Sat 15-Dec-12 16:18:10

Although the pound shops fill a part of Woolworth's niche, it's been a hard act to follow. In the suburb where I used to live, about three miles away, there was a superb wool shop where you could buy everything you needed for knitting. It's long gone now, although I'd have said it did a good trade. Nowadays, when I go to visit the family in Didcot, I go to the lovely little (very cramped) wool shop if I need anything. I dread the day it disappears. In this town we had a first rate whole-foods shop until the owner retired and her daughter decided to sell on line. Which reminds me, Julian Graves has left a big gap in the market for dried fruit, spices and other baking/cooking ingredients. I don't think the supermarkets fill that gap adequately.

mrsmopp Sat 15-Dec-12 16:49:57

Fashion was Chelsea Girl and Lewis Separates.
Mum bought all her undies in Ethel Austin.
I miss Littlewoods- I used to get my wool there. Timothy Whites is also missed.
I think Wilkinsons has taken the place of Woollies though its not the same. Saturdays, pocket money and Woollies are inextricably linked.
What about Brentford Nylons and the brushed nylon sheets? Oh, the static!!

kittylester Sat 15-Dec-12 16:57:15

We had a small Woolies in our Market Place (it's now Primark!!) and, momentarily, the other day I decided to go there for some lametta. blush

granjura Sat 15-Dec-12 17:18:38

Soon there won't be any individual shops at all - and a bit later there won't be any town centres at all - but WE the customers will be to blame, I'm afraid sad

And the only cafés left will just be americanised clones too, and our restaurants too. Sad.

Ariadne Sat 15-Dec-12 17:28:22

There is an amazing store down here (five minutes away) called the Value Store (yes, those of you in North Devon will know!) which fulfils a little of the Woolworths' criteria - loads of absolute tat but worth wading through for the odd gem.

But Woolworths was the store I turned to when moving into new quarters in a new town and finding I needed more curtain hooks, a sink drainer, some stick on hooks etc. etc.