Sunday, 31 August 2008

Poundsworth of Ektachrome


Wandering about Market Harborough's 'antiques' market this morning, I espied this little booklet displayed very prominently in order to catch my eye. "Two pounds dear", the lady said. I didn't say anything so she said "Alright then, a pound". Thankyou I said and slipped it into the bag that already contained a Batsford book and a 1970's empty packet of Player's. The cover did it for me of course, I've always had a thing about girls in white-spotted red dresses, but then I gulped in pleasure when I saw the photograph of The Village Sweet Shop. I suppose I expected the sample pictures to be the usual shots of Mevagissey, people ski-ing or girls in one-piece swimsuits climbing-up out of outdoor lidos. But just look at what we have here, apart from the Cadbury's thin white metal letters on the window, glass jars of sweets and a Lyon's Maid litter bin. The girl is holding a teddy bear by its ear, the boy is wearing a proper school blazer and has sandals exactly like the ones I hated wearing about this time- 1961. I imagine that the photograph was taken in the early morning, because if you look through the door (with a 'Mind Your Head' notice above it) you can see that the ices and lollies display board has not been put out on the pavement yet. If anybody knows where this is I'll buy them a Strawberry Mivvi.

27 comments:

Sue said...

The children look as if they have stepped straight out of the pages of a Ladybird book - bet there are no "Snickers" or "low fat options" to be found in that sweetie shop!

Toby Savage said...

When asked what sort of filter I would use to accentuate the sky on Black & White film, I replied, with great confidence, "A Wratten". I was half right.

Jon Dudley said...

Whoa Toby! More spookiness. A very nice young lady who works with me got herself married last year to one Ben Wratten...his dad (or was it grandad - dec'd, anyway, both of 'em) was the Mr.Wratten, inventor of the filter of which you speak. On second thoughts, maybe that's merely a coincidence.

Wish I could identify the location, I so want a Strawberry Mivvi. What other treats lay within that shop I wonder? - doubtless, sherbet fountains and sweet tobacco, sweet cigarettes and farthing chews and maybe the odd (in so many ways) Jubbly or two?

Polka dot dresses as modeled on front cover - rather!

Peter Ashley said...

Sue: Ladybird- spot on. Something from 'Shopping with Mother' or 'Tootles the Taxi' I would think.

Toby & Jon: Wasn't there also a kind of criss-cross cane material used on chairs called Wratten? Hopeless as a lens filter I should think.

A F-A said...

A wonderful rare photograph! Shortly after it was taken, the shopkeeper was prosecuted for selling sweets to an unaccompanied minor, the little girl banned from school for wearing unsuitable shoes, and the photographer sacked for not including a one-legged Asian lesbian in a burqa. The shop was later closed as there was no wheelchair access, later re-opening to house Ali's Taxis. Unmitigated England....!!

Toby Savage said...

Peter. You're thinking of Rattan. Close. God know's why all the good filters seemed to have the name 'Wratten'. They were made by Jim Kodak. Was there really a Mr. Wratten? Though thanks Jon. Surely there's not much to inventing a filter. I still use filters now and stick them on with a bit of gaffer tape. Or 'Duct Tape' as the Yanks call it. There's a load of web stuff on Duct Tape Boys. One for Ron I feel. Affer. You are so cynical!

Fred Fibonacci said...

In Yorkshire it was called By'ektachrome.(Sorry everyone; couldn't help myself.)

Peter; what a transport is offered by these two photographs. Just great.

Oh, and Jon? Thank you: how thrilling to see the word 'Jubbly' written down. Sigh.

Peter Ashley said...

Fred: 'By'ektachrome'. You lad. Doesn't it just make you want to do a book of Yorkshire touristy photographs with this title. Hmmm...actually....

Fred Fibonacci said...

All rights reserved: the intellectual copyright ("rights") in the words phrase saying 'By'ektachrome' hereinafter called "The Title" of Peter Ashley's next book remains with the accredited author Frederick Pasquale Fibonacci whose rights are enshrined in English Law. Any attempt to use said title line passage word in any publication periodical online chatroom cinematic or theatrical release or in any publicly available media whether now known or not will be deemed to have breached said copyright the penalties for which are not limited to distress malfeasance gout gippy tummy use of said copyright not to be unreasonably witheld upon receipt of a 'reasonable offer' such 'reasonable offer' to be no less than one pint beer and one half of one percentum all pints accrued to Peter Ashley Earl of Slawston on publication of works caused by or appertaining to 'The Title'.

Peter Ashley said...

Oh. Right. Probably a good deal then.

Fred Fibonacci said...

Bargain; 'appen 'as 'Leica. (Oh no: I've gone off on one. Please help me before i pun agane)

Kevin said...

The shop is in Ruislip (see here).

Please enjoy the Mivvi for me (I doubt it'll survive the journey!)

Toby Savage said...

Well spotted Kevin. Remarkable. Peter will be on his way as I type this. I've just done further search and it looks as though it is now Blubeckers Eating House. There is a picture.

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.totaleating.co.uk/picstore/restaurants/ruislip.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.totaleating.co.uk/search-results.htm%3FareaID%3D49&h=184&w=272&sz=13&hl=en&start=30&um=1&usg=__qLQOZ4z8_e4tqn0AO0gRTPBD_8Q=&tbnid=QKE9dCB4G_lHVM:&tbnh=76&tbnw=113&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dblubeckers%2Beating%2Bhouse%26start%3D20%26ndsp%3D20%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dsafari%26rls%3Den%26sa%3DN

Kevin said...

And well done yourself, Toby, for finding out what the building's present incarnation is.

The URL in your posting got truncated, but I take it the picture was something like this one.

A F-A said...

You guys are simply amazing! And I am SO pleased it is not Ali's Taxis!!!

Jon Dudley said...

Proper sleuthing Kevin. Did you know it and then verified it, or was it just common or garden necromancy?

Fred Fibonacci said...

All flat out with work then?

Peter Ashley said...

Good grief. I just go to London for the day all this amazing stuff happens. It's like going down to the sweet shop and coming back to find the children have set one up of their own in the living room. Well, a bit. I'm staggered Kevin, Toby et al. for all the due diligence. Thankyou, and MIVVIS ALL ROUND!

Kevin said...

It won't help my budding garden necromancy business one bit (though thanks for the suggestion, jon!), but it was really all simply thanks to the Wonders of the Worldwide Web: I searched for an image tagged with "village sweet shop" -- and result number 42 (Douglas Adams was right) brought me to the Francis Frith site.

(The FF site, incidentally, is great for inspiring a few "then and now" photography projects.)

Jon Dudley said...

So the sweet shop, Ruislip must be the secret of the universe then Kevin?

Peter Ashley said...

I tried 'Village Sweet Shop' out on Google and all I got was 2,000 people selling a crappy Sylvania model or something.

Kevin said...

I think the trick is in the use of quotation marks around the search string. The Ruislip "village sweet shop" is actually at no 41 today (its promotion perhaps the result of the link it has now has from this site?) -- in fact, "the village sweet shop" (with the definite article) is at no 15!

Hope your thumb gets better soon: that sort of "minor injury" is almost as annoying as stubbing one's toe (why does doing that make one so instantly angry?) but the after-effects of an embedded thorn last a lot longer... :(

Kevin said...

I think the trick is in the use of quotation marks around the search string. The Ruislip "village sweet shop" is actually at no 41 today (its promotion perhaps the result of the link it now has from this site?) -- in fact, "the village sweet shop" (with the definite article) is at no 15!

Hope your thumb gets better soon: that sort of "minor injury" is almost as annoying as stubbing one's toe (why does doing that make one so instantly angry?) but the after-effects of an embedded thorn last a lot longer... :(

Diplomat said...

bloody hell !

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