Category Archives: Spotter’s Guides

Spotting Historic Shopfronts: Great Yarmouth

Baird’s / Dunn’s, 10a-11 Regent Street The Irishman James Baird (1839-1917) set up as a boot and shoe dealer in Great Yarmouth in 1862. He specialised in footwear with waterproof soles made of ‘gutta percha’ (gum harvested from tropical trees), … Continue reading

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Spotting Historic Shopfronts: Baldock

A plum spot on the Great North Road meant that the small market town of Baldock in Hertfordshire became an ideal staging post for people journeying north from London. From the 17th century onwards it was chock-a-block with coaching inns, … Continue reading

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Spotting Historic Shopfronts: Cambridge

21 Market Street Cambridge is rich in historic shopfronts. Here are a few interesting examples to look out for on shopping trips in town! Two Art Nouveau Shopfronts from the 1920s Surprisingly, the elegant art nouveau shopfront at 21 Market … 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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A Spotter’s Guide to the High Street: Jewellers’ Clocks & Time Balls

Just as pawnbrokers signal their presence with three suspended balls, and barbers have their red and white striped poles, so jewellers, clockmakers and watchmakers have traditionally attracted attention with elaborate projecting clocks, turret clocks or time balls. Examples can be … Continue reading

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A Spotter’s Guide to Marks & Spencer

Conservative Neo-Classicism Marks & Spencer did not build shops until 1910, coinciding with Woolworth’s arrival on English soil (if, indeed, this was a coincidence – Woolworth was a direct rival!). The new and more familiar generation of M&S ‘super stores’ … Continue reading

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A Spotter’s Guide to W. H. Smith’s

The Newsboy W. H. Smith’s distinctive enamelled hanging signs depicted a newsboy crying his wares against a bright red background. The newsboy was designed for Smith’s in 1905 by the artist Septimus E. Scott (1880-1966). Scott had trained in his … Continue reading

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