Saturday, 18 June 2011

Walking along the (even) grottier end of Oxford Street in the rain yesterday, I glanced up ... and was taken aback by this wonderful Art Deco frontage.
How come I've never noticed it before?
In its glory days, it was the Bourne&Hollingsworth department store that was bombed in the war. Now it's the entrance to a trashy shopping mall.
I found this Pathé news reel of the first day of the sales which reminded me of Lewis's sale in Manchester in the 1960s.
That was when Going to the Sales was like going into battle.
I wonder whatever happened to their wonderful clock?

Lucille has just provided these links to pictures of the shop in its heyday.
And I found this story about the working life of the shop girls. I'm sure I'll think of them in their little black dresses next time I walk past.

8 comments:

Toffeeapple said...

It's amazing how much we miss by not looking up. A commentator on the Flickr photograph says that the clock is in The Brooks shopping centre in Winchester, one wonders why. Loved the newsreel film, it took me right back, dress for 80 shillings! Nowadays I'd avoid sales like the plague.

mary said...

I hadn't noticed the comment about the clock, Toffeeapple. I'm always amazed how often I happen on something new by looking up, even after all the years I've lived in London. But I had to pull in to the side of the pavement for a good look, people were bumping into me!

Sue said...

I make a point of looking up. It's amazing how many beautiful buildings are housing the mundane.

mary said...

Sue, Lucille has just mentioned in an e-mail that you see best from the top of a bus - and, of course, she's right.

Mystica said...

Thanks for the links and I agree about seeing the best views from the bus.

mary said...

Mystica, I'm sure I miss a lot by thinking that it's not worth going upstairs for two stops!

Darlene said...

We take our surroundings for granted don't we? I am constantly looking up when in London but can't fathom why anyone coming to Ontario would want to set aside time to see Niagara Falls.

I'm enjoying The Night Watch by Sarah Waters and just read about poor bombed-out John Lewis. Timely post!

mary said...

It's ages since I read The Night Watch, Darlene - I'll have to pull it down and have a look.
I once made a mad dash by bus from Toronto in a snowstorm because I had a free morning on a business trip and I wanted to see Niagara Falls. You know ... it really is more spectacular than Oxford Street! Especially with icicles thrown in.