From easter eggs to paper mache dustpans

12 03 2011

In our Drawings for Stories exchange last December I met Marion who has sent some descriptions of Lancasters traders and the market. Like many people she remembers a time when you could find all kinds of unusual and specialised things among the traders.

When we came to Lancaster, we only went to independent traders, and I was pleased to see, for example, that Galbraith’s features in one of your pictures.   Gorrills had two shops, and there were about four that sold nothing but birthday cards and Easter eggs. Postlethwaite’s, the baker, was also a favourite destination, in premises now occupied by Gregg’s. An important feature of the Covered Market before the fire was the fish market, but upstairs on the balcony was a treasure trove of interesting things, particularly several traders who sold old postcards (all of which got burnt),  and even the kind of brush you use for sweeping crumbs off tables which, with its paper mache pan, I still have. On King Street there was a wonderful toy shop for some years, as well as one for jewellery and ceramics, both of them owned by  people with links to the university. The Rocking Horse Shop, near to C. E. Barrow, was much loved by everyone.  We still use as many as we can of such traders, including for meat, flowers and even our pharmacy.

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Remembering Record Shops

11 03 2011

A friend of mine who is a Librarian in Kent sent in his memories of Lancaster traders:

Lancaster is my home-town. I spent most of my teenage years (and most of my pocket money,) in the town’s independent record shops- notably ‘Ear ‘Ere & Hedgehog Records. By the 1980s ‘Ear ‘Ere was in Penny St, (but I think it started out as a market stall?) You needed faith & persistence to ensure that a record, ordered at ‘Ear ‘Ere, would materialise. Hedgehog Records was a second hand specialist in the market ‘though, for a brief, thrilling period, it had another branch on Brock st(?) A friend of mine was especially dismayed by the Market fire of 1984 because a staggeringly rare record, put by at Hedghog, was now melting behind the counter. (We could hear explosions way up the hill at the Grammar School on Dale St. ) Of course, since the advent of digital music, most record shops, independent or otherwise, have vanished. All those mysterious orders & fabulous rarities are a couple of clicks away on a laptop. Oh wasted youth. Amazingly, Lancaster Public Library is now a music scene focal point. http://www.getitloudinlibraries.com/content/about.
Perhaps there’s a demented Muso inside of every librarian?