Hi Viviene, there seems to be some interest with the extent of the original Rackhams, which was in fact a site owned and traded as Wilkinson and Riddell until 1881, when they retired to concentrate on their wholesale business and John Rackham the dress fabirc buyer and William Mathews the linen buyer took it over and ran it as Rackham and Mathews, until William Mathews retired in 1888, when it then became known as Rackham and Co and some time later Rackhams.This may have been posted before but I like it as it shows the pre-Corporation Street store (corner of Bull St/Temple Row) and it has lots of material displayed in the window.
I wonder if that’s because people were still making their own garments in the 1950s, and/or was it because Rackhams had their own tailors in store ? Ironically Burton’s Tailors High Street Art Deco building can be seen to the left. Viv.
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Remember as a very small child almost toppling into this concave space. I suppose I had attempted to look into the window, and gone as to put both hands onto the glass followed by nose to window, and found myself falling forward!Lee Longlands in Broad Street had curved glass windows but these were horizontal not vertical. I think only one of them still survives. Another high class furniture store with curved windows like Lee Longlands is Heals in Tottenham Court Road in London. See the lower half of the window in this photo taken from Lee Longlands website
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The model shop I remember was on Stratford Road opposite Kyotts Lake Road , I think Barclays Bank was on the corner my uncle and aunt who lived in America would send me as well a parcel of Candy three dollars for my birthday, after cashing them I would cross the road and spend it on a model aeroplane.I well remember the Model Aerodrome in the town centre and remember another. It was in Walford Road between Golden Hillock Rd and Stratford Rd. This would have been there in the 1940's, I must have been still playing with lead soldiers. I, bought a lead cowboy, it was all the rage. Horse mounted figures were normally cast as one piece. This cowboy had flexible legs so he could mount and dismount, at least until his legs broke off.
Later I bought a balsa model kit of an Auster aeroplane. It was complete apart from decorating it and I had a go at winding the elastic driven propellor. The plane contracted beyond repair. Boo hoo.
There's something interesting about them - I suppose they're a bit mysterious. There are some in Reading.In one of the side streets - either off New Street or Corporation Street (after all it was over 65 years ago )- there was a two part window with the lower half curved much like the one in the photo in post 86#. As a youngster I was perplexed by this window but I realized, eventually, that it was designed that way to let light into the basement. The basement was lit, partially, by glass blocks set into the pavement or recess beneath the window. A common feature in cities but rare in small towns.