This quaint old building sits in the Attercliffe district of Sheffield and is the home of a picture framing business. In a past life it used to be a post office, something perhaps hinted at by the post box that still stands in front. I’ve photographed it before using black and white film, but these colour shots are much nicer.
This whole area used to be a busy shopping area with all manner of businesses catering to the local populace – which, back in the mid 20th century lived in row after row of terraced houses, many of them employed in the thriving steel industry or other trades that made up a huge part of the city’s economy back then.There are still shops and businesses there now, but it is massively changed and is a shadow of the way it once was, with much of the original population gone.
While much of the housing that once stood in the area close to this shop has now been demolished, a lot still remains not too far away and now provides homes to many of the migrants who settled in the city in the latter half of the last century. Shops still abound in the area where the housing stands, albeit many of them of new, different, and more multicultural varieties to what stood there before.
Olympus 35 RC & Kodak Gold 200. Lab developed. Home scanned and converted with Negative Lab Pro.
Photographically, I find that empty shopfronts can be an appealing subject. There’s something there, some story around how the situation came to be, a small piece of history turning over, that I find interesting.
I don’t know what this shop used to be when it was still trading, although I expect it was a clothing store – that low shelf looks made for a display of manequins. But now it stands empty, waiting for a new tenant, a new business, new hopes of success and flourishing trade, a shop full of customers exited over the wares and eager to spend their hard-earned cash on what they find.
But for now it sits empty, the afternon sun illuminating the dusty interior, a void waiting to be filled. Paint has begun to peel on the exterior facade and, in a telling sign of the times, a discarded face mask lies raggedly on the floor before the entrance, taunting the reflection in the door glass of a rubbish bin just across the street.
Sadly it seems that fallen businesses like this are all too common nowadays, ever since the 2007/8 financial crash in fact. Enterprises that, for some reason or other, couldn’t survive and now stand empty, or replaced by discount shops, nail bars, vaping stores, or retail branches of one of a multitude of charitable organisations. I’d love for a thriving retail industry to return – not just the identikit retail chains that now seem to populate every town and city, but an interesting range of independent and interesting stores, the sort that really draw people to a place, that make you want to travel to other towns where they have new and fascinating retailers different to the ones at home. I’m not sure it will happen – I think online shopping may have dealt a terminal blow – but I can hope.
I visited the seaside town of Hornsea earlier this week. It’s the first time I’ve ever been – most of my seaside visits to the east coast being either the Lincolnshire resort towns of Mablethorpe and Skegness, or the Yorkshire towns of Bridlington, Filey, Scarborough & Whitby, which are further north from Hornsea.
It’s not a large town and the seaside facilities are more down-key than the other resorts I’ve mentioned. There was a single arcade that I saw, but no sign of any fairground or other attractions that might attract younger visitors. The beach was nice, a combination of sand and pebbles punctuated by groynes, and the main part of the sea-front where the promenade sits, has a sea wall. The reason for this was quite obvious on the day I visited as, while not a stormy day by any account, the waves were striking the wall with some force when I arrived with plumes of white spay shooting up above the top od the defenses and blowing back onto the promenade area in places. Further north and south of the town where the defences are not present it was plain to see how the coast is being eroded by the waves, and the earthen cliffs had a crumbled appearance. Perched atop these cliffs were a number of caravans belonging to a couple of large caravan sites either side of the town.
I didn’t really explore the town centre itself, which is a little way back from the sea front, but what I saw looked nice and I did take a few photos before I left.
The photo today shows a shop close to the promenade, it’s window packed with the sort of things that you only tend to find in seaside towns, along with the requisite fishing nets, windmills, and ice cream signs (although oddly, given the name of the shop, no buckets and spades on view).
There will be more photos from Hornsea to come…
Yashicamat 124G & Kodak Gold 200. Lab developed. Home scanned and converted with Negative Lab Pro.
The light falling on this shopfront – a combination of contrasty tones and shadows from the trees to the left of frame – attracted me to make the picture. It’s a shame that the shop is not trading, but I guess that’s the way the country is changing. Demographically, villages like this are altering, and combined with that a change in shopping habits and the introduction of online shopping, means that trading conditions have become much more difficult for such stores. Hopefully it will re-emerge in some new guise.
From a shop window full of slippers in yesterday’s post, to one full of newspapers in today’s. It would appear that Ragazza has seen better times. It’s sad to see businesses like this – much better that they be thriving. Nontheless, I thought it made for an interesting photograph.
Reto Ultrawide & Slim & Kodak Gold. Lab developed. Home scanned and converted with Negative Lab Pro.
The light on the day I visited Cleethorpes was lovely, creating opportunities for pictures pretty much every way I turned. Including this shoe-repair / key cutting shop tucked away on a side street. It’s another of those pictures that appeals to me – just an everyday scene but with lots of little details to draw the eye.
Olympus XA3 and Kodak Colorplus (expired 2012 and shot at 100asa)
It’s not really inconvenient, it’s just that it was closed at the time I took this picture.
I think the place opens a little later in the morning and then stays open until late in the evening, so actually pretty convenient. It’s not a place I use often and isn’t that close to where I live, but it accepts parcel returns so it’s very useful in that regard. I didn’t set out with the intent of photographing the store – I was heading out to the washlands to get some foggy-morning pictures – but it caught my eye as I drove past and so here it is.
When so much has moved to “big box” retailers in the home improvement field these days, it’s nice to see a more traditional independent store such as this ironmongers in the town of Eckington. Shops like this are far more interesting to visit, often with a mazelike set of corridors packed will all manner of stock from a wide range of suppliers. They’re so much nicer than the clinical feel of the large stores.
Olympus XA3 & Kodak Tri-X Pan (expired 2003 – shot at box speed and pushed a stop in development). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10mins @ 20°
Alice’s looks like it would be an interestig shop to browse around. I didn’t get chance to go inside, but from what I could see, and the items presented outside and in the windows, it looks like it will be full of all maner of interesting and esoteric bits-and-bobs.
I see the queen’s face She’s peering through the window As a girl walks by