Ricoh Shotmaster Ultra Dual #2

The Last Real Department Store Closes
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35mm lens Setting

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55mm lens Setting
This was the last real traditional department store in the city and has now sadly closed. I used to shop there for greetings cards and kitchen bits bobs, the staff were really friendly and helpful. The store was first opened in 1880, it was called Joseph Johnson & Co. (Some interesting History) This seems to be the story in a lot of countries around the world. I believe it’s going to become apartments, no surprise there.

Victoria Park Gateway
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35mm lens Setting
On a brighter note the the gates and stonework to Victoria park (not far from where I live) have been restored and look really good. They have also completely rebuilt the car park, I was a bit dismayed at first because they cut down a lot of trees, but have replanted with more than there were before.   

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7 thoughts on “Ricoh Shotmaster Ultra Dual #2

  1. Squonky

    I walk over that car park most days on my way home from work, I too was dismayed by the tree felling. Yes, good that they have planted more than they felled but it takes decades to replace a mature tree. I’ve been astonished at just how long it has taken them to do this work. A year or more? I thought the whole point was to create a processional way up to the cenotaph and I remember late summer / autumn last year thinking that they’d never get it finished in time for Remembrance Sunday… And of course they didn’t.

    And yes, a real shame about Fenwick’s. It feels like Leicester is fast becoming a town of bars and fast food joints. My dad worked at Young’s camera shop just over the road for most of his working life. Naturally that was where I bought all of my photo equipment until it closed in 2010. Getting on for 7 years and the building is still empty. Such a shame. My dad retired many years before the shop closed, luckily for him, but I knew all the staff and management there and had known some of them since I was a very small lad indeed. On occasions when i wasn’t able to go to school because of strikes my dad would take me into work with him and I would “make myself useful” in the basement – surrounded by how many thousands of pounds worth of cameras and lenses… And Mr Young himself would often pop around the corner to the cake shop and buy me a “Fly Cemetery” (Eccles Cake) or he’d dig out some old stock photo books to give me. A really nice man. I know there’s a huge impact from online shopping but I think the opening of The Shires (as was) shifted the centre of gravity for shoppers in the city and the pull got stronger over the years. “Highcross” was the final nail in the coffin for many.

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    1. conspicari Post author

      Yes It does seem to have taken them ages to finish that car park, I’m guessing last gasp EU money and the same with the New Walk museum and it’s staircase replacement. Leicester seems to be turning into the fastfood capitol of the midlands. Such a shame about all the Photographic shops closing in the town, when you think Jessops and Jacobs were Leicester companies. I used to buy bits and bobs from Youngs they always had some interesting secondhand gear, same with Untied Film Services on King street.

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      1. Squonky

        Yes Young’s, Jessops and Jacobs – all Leicester based companies. I know Young’s always had the reputation of being more pricey than the other two but I always went there out of loyalty really.

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  2. kevinallan

    There’s a Fenwicks department store in Newcastle and I always thought, wrongly it seems, they were unique to Newcastle. Mostly it’s too expensive to actually buy anything there.

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    1. conspicari Post author

      I thought it was only Leicester that had a Fenwicks until I had a quick look at the history. Yes it was rather expensive, most people went in January for the sales.

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  3. Joanne Sisco

    Sadly, I think department stores are becoming dinosaurs. The big box and discount stores are taking over – at least here they are. They are large, soulless places.
    It’s a lovely building and I hope it thrives in its new life.

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