Author Archives: buildingourpast

Cooper’s Motor Mart (Cooper’s Studios)

Cooper’s Auction Yard (later Cooper’s Motor Mart) on Westgate Road in Newcastle-upon-Tyne was built for James Cooper (1849-1925). Cooper, the son of a harbour master from South Shields, set himself up as a horse dealer in the yard of the Crown … Continue reading

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Macy’s Garage, Balderton Street, London

This historic garage can be found just off London’s bustling Oxford Street, opposite the main entrance to Selfridge’s department store. Built as Macy’s Garage in 1925-26, it was one of London’s most imposing car parks. Macy’s Garage was designed by … Continue reading

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The Electromobile Garage in Mayfair

The Electromobile Garage lies hidden behind the grand façades of Mayfair, in the guise of NCP Carrington Street. The building may have little architectural presence on the street front, but it played a fascinating role in the early motoring history of … Continue reading

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The Niagara Garage, Westminster

One of the most unusual garages in early 20th-century London was the Niagara Garage on York Street (now Petty France) in Westminster. This had been built as a panorama, and later used as an ice-skating rink. The building, described rather … Continue reading

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The Story of Dunn’s the Hatter

Introduction Dunn & Co. was the most recognisable chain of men’s hatters throughout the first three-quarters of the 20th century. By the late 1920s it was also a men’s outfitters. A failure to keep up with changing fashions – which … Continue reading

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The Story of “Easiephit”

“Easiephit” shoe shops closed decades ago, but traces of the house style can still be spotted. The inverted commas were an integral part of the name displayed on shops between the wars. The “Easiephit” brand of footwear was manufactured and … Continue reading

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A Spotter’s Guide to Traditional Chemists’ Shops

The Mortar and Pestle The mortar and pestle has been used by apothecaries, chemists and druggists for centuries to grind medicinal powders. It remains one of the chemist’s favourite symbols, depicted on shop signs to proclaim the nature of the … Continue reading

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