Friday, 3 December 2010
Turn back Time - The High Street: 1960 The slide into Hell
Allow me to explain, I grew up in an ethnic area, there was also a well established English community that never gave up the high street amenities they had grown up with. So by the late 70's early 80's we still had the following. ( and all in the space of about a half mile )
A tailor, one of the best in town, complete with shirts, hats and accessories, for men and boys
A seamstress, three in fact,
A hardware store
A shoe maker and key cutter
A bakery/pieshop Jewish Deli
A general store with credit and delivery
several large grocers
at least 5 bookshops
A fur coat and repair boutique
Off the rack dressshops
A posh candy and chocolate shop
A regular candy shop with comics, annuals, games, cards, and all sorts of stationary.
And a Woolworth's complete with restaurant
A barber shop
Several hair salons.
There are several other businesses as well, but I assume you can fill in the rest with your imaginations
The death of the high street shown on the ep is so poorly done you wonder if they really knew what they were doing this time. Quite honestly the wheels seem to have come off the cart here and it affects the results in a bad way. I will however play along and accept the general assumptions and historical trends being shown.
In 1960 the advent of mass production from the 1950's onward and the creation of a leisure class know as teenagers with money, self service and direct competition created new dynamics for merchants to adjust to. How does this apparently affect the families ? The Devlins have stopped baking and are operating an American style soda shop, The Sharps are no longer butchers but have a corner store that is smaller but competes with the Sainsbury like Sergison run big box grocery store. Because until 1964 prices are fixed by suppliers, it's all down to personality and service. Gill Cockwell the seamstress, interestingly turns to hair dressing?!?!? Sorry I really can't buy into this, but she does give it a good go.
Next week the series wraps up with the 1970's , I hope it's better handled than the 60's were.
Watch this ep on the iPayer, or catch up the series here.
For more informatiom visit the the programme's web page.