Decoy Records

Decoy Records

Nominated by: Mark Whidby

Where: Deansgate, Manchester

Image from: https://www.mdmarchive.co.uk/tag/7391/Decoy_Records

 

Decoy Records specialised in blues, jazz and world music. It drew customers from across the region and also had stalls at local music festivals. Their logo was a duck playing a saxophone.

 

Mark recalls that:

People came from all over to visit it, including Charlie Watts (Rolling Stones). Apparently [the shop was] named after Miles Davis’ “Decoy” album, or so I was told by Mike Chadwick, one of the proprietors.

For other memories of the shop, see: http://www.britishrecordshoparchive.org/decoy-records.html#

 

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Fiorucci, designer wear

Fiorucci, designer wear

Nominated by: Lorraine Joyce

Where: Police Street, Manchester

 

Fiorucci was founded in 1969 by Elio Fiorucci. It mixed Italian with American and British styles to produce a unique look, including designer jeans, which was picked up by Andy Warhol and Madonna amongst others. The Manchester shop was on Police Street in premises now occupied by Boodles.

 

Lorriane remembers:

A friend of ours managed the shop. It was probably the first designer shop in Manchester and sold limited quantity of clothes. It was exspensive, but exclusive. I still have a boxed bag we bought there and a fiorucci carrier bag.

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Co-op, Eccles

Co-op, Eccles

Nominated by: Johanna Roberts

Where: Church Street, Eccles

 

The Co-op traces its roots back to Rochdale in the 1840s (see the post on the Co-op on Taylor Street, Stretford). Co-operative stores were generally quite small and sold mostly groceries and hardware, but Societies in larger towns and cities often had Central Stores – the Eccles store falls into this category. They resembled department stores in their organisation and the range of goods sold. Some also included meeting rooms and offered educational talks – part of the wider Co-operative ethos.

 

Johanna says of the Eccles Co-operative store:

It was a department store plus supermarket plus bank! It had everything. There was a real butcher in the grocery bit, and of course you got co-op stamps. There was a perfume department, clothing, furniture and toys, a Clarks shoe shop and even a cafe! My mum went weekly to pay her mortgage at a counter in there.

They had an amazing sale once where my mum and dad queued overnight to get a bargain.
It had a lift in which me and my mum got stuck once, the memory if which stopped me getting in lifts for about 20 years after. It was demolished and Aldi is now on the site.

The Co-op was an integral part of the North West. It was deemed quality – we got school uniform and shoes there, and the majority of our furniture was purchased there. It must have been a major employer in Eccles at that time. This was when Eccles was a lovely place to go shopping.

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Bachers fabrics

Bachers fabrics

Nominated by: Michelle Crighton, Frances Grogan, and Nicky Iqbal

Where: 58 High Street, Manchester

 

Bachers sold a wide variety of furnishing and clothing fabrics – one of only a few places in the city centre to do so.. Established in 1903, they promoted the business as “Specialist textiles merchants. Retail, wholesale and mail order” and assured customers that they were “Suppliers of fabrics and haberdashery for all occasions”

 

Michelle recalls:

It was a family run business which was an Aladdins cave of fabrics of all textures and colours. A wide variety of haberdashery items with wonderful embellishments from all around the world. Loved to visit as a child in the 1970s with a relative who was a seamstress and used to leave with a bag full of wonderful items of sample swatches and trimmings. Lovely memories as a child and also important to the textile industry in Manchester.

 

Frances remembers:

I have always been a keen seamstress and really enjoyed making my own clothes and many other items. This shop is one of the fabric shops in Manchester that I used to visit regularly and purchase fabrics and various items from the haberdashery. There was a really great selection of fabrics at good prices and a choice of colours. I purchased the fabric for my own wedding dress and bridesmaids dresses from the shop, all which I made myself including the purchasing of some navy blue velvet fabric to make a two piece suit for my 2 year old son for the wedding back in 1987. I used to love coming to Manchester to visit the fabric shop – I was never disappointed with my visits to the shop as I always found the right kind of fabric/colours at the right price that I was looking for,.

 

Nicky recalls:

Downstairs was a wonderful trove of furnishing fabrics and upstairs was dress fabrics. I bought so much fabric here late 80s/early 90s and transformed it into garments I sold In Afflecks Palace. A real gem that I’d spend hours in when in the city centre. It was so unique and besides Lewis’s fabric/haberdashery there were few places you could buy fabric from in city centres

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Lowes, confectioners

Lowes, confectioners

Nominated by: Rod Perrin

Where: 588 Stockport Road, Longsight

 

Lowes had a small chain of confectioner’s shops which seems to date back to the early twentieth century – a 1919 directory lists a Jospeh Lowe as a confectioner trading on Stockport Road, Levenshulme. The image, dating from the 1950s, shows Stockport Road lined with independent shops as well as national chains.

 

Rod remembers:

Me mam worked there while expecting me in 67 and before. I don’t remember that bit. But I do remember being treated like a little prince by the owners (I remember a Grampa Lowe). The smells. The array of cakes and especially the honey ring with a pint of milk as a teen. Yum. What memories. Mam was a confectioner who made wedding cakes etc. It was one of the many independent shops that were around before the supermarket killed the proper grocers, that sold essential grocery items.

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Co-op, Taylor Street, Stretford

Co-op, Taylor Street, Stretford

Nominated by: Chris Geliher

Where: 5 Taylor Road, Stretford

 

The Co-operative Society is usually traced back to 1844 and the famous Rochdale Pioneers. Co-operative stores spread rapidly, especially in industrialising towns in the Midlands and North of England. To ensure the quality and price of supplies, the Co-operative Wholesale Society was established in Manchester in 1863 and by the 1880s it had a tea plantation in Ceylon (Sri Lanka), a butter depot in Denmark and factories and farms across Britain.

Membership of Co-operative Societies reached 8.9 million by 1939 and in 1960 it was the largest retailer of groceries in the country. Since then, its fortunes have faded in the face of fierce competition from stores like Tesco and Sainsburys, but there has been a recent revival, in part based on an emphasis of Fairtrade goods.

Co-operative stores were generally quite small and sold mostly groceries and hardware, but Societies in larger towns and cities often had Central Stores, which in many ways resembled department stores in their organisation and the range of goods sold. Branch stores carried the name of the local Society and often the branch number in tiles set into the façade of the building.

By the late nineteenth century, groceries in tins and packets were being stacked high both in the windows and inside the shop. Together with posters announcing special promotions they created striking visual displays which often included many brands still recognisable today. Counter service remained important in many branches well into the post-war era, although larger stores were increasingly converted to self-service from the 1950s onwards. By this time, shop fronts were often curtain glass, but instantly recognisable from the distinctive turquoise livery and logo.

 

Chris writes about the Taylor Street store that:

I’ve known the shop for 65 years, it is a constant in the area. It has been a Co-op since 1903 and based on my research is actually the Co-op’s oldest surviving shop in, at least, the Manchester and Salford area. I think that serving a community for 116 years and counting deserves some sort of recognition and hope the Co-op is included in the 100

 

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