BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

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lizwing
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

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The shop that sold pushchairs etc was Hills OM, I bought a Maclaren Baby buggy in there for my first baby.
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

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OLDMAN wrote: 24 Jul 2017 12:43 And the bit from that entrance to the junction of the other bits isn't covered
As can be seen here - https://goo.gl/maps/WCtYKdnZYh32
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

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I had a feeling it was another name, just couldn't remember - but there again it wasn't a place I would've frequented!
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

Post by Bob deBilda »

lizwing wrote: 24 Jul 2017 12:50 The shop that sold pushchairs etc was Hills OM, I bought a Maclaren Baby buggy in there for my first baby.
There was a Hills where W H Smith is now. Of course, there may have been more than one.

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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

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It would have been 1970 when I used Hills and AFAIK it was the only one then.
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

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lizwing wrote: 24 Jul 2017 12:50 The shop that sold pushchairs etc was Hills OM, I bought a Maclaren Baby buggy in there for my first baby.
My Aunt/Godmother (Maisie Barker) was manageress of the baby department, I got to choose my own birthday and Christmas pressies each year! :-)

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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

Post by Bob deBilda »

lizwing wrote: 24 Jul 2017 13:27 It would have been 1970 when I used Hills and AFAIK it was the only one then.
I used to go into Hills (where W H Smith is now) to look at the toys upstairs. It would have been around 1965, so maybe they moved to the arcade when W H Smith moved in.

I remember they had miniature tool kits which I lusted after; quite why, I don't know, they would have been useless. And trains, too, with all the paraphernalia like cardboard trackside buildings and OO scale trees.

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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

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The Bofors field gun that I had from Hills ( as a present) still exists now with a friend. It had a spring loaded cartridge case and an opening breech and the bullet flew out when you pressed a firing lever. Made by Brittens? Hills kept the whole range upstairs in Broad St, from whence came my Dinky toys and Hornby Dublo trains.
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

Post by Bob deBilda »

Was that the one where you pulled back the lever against the spring, rotated it to lock it, put half a matchstick in the barrel, flicked the lever to fire, and then gasped in disappointment as the 'shell' landed some three inches in front of the gun?

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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

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lizwing wrote: 24 Jul 2017 13:27 It would have been 1970 when I used Hills and AFAIK it was the only one then.
HIlliers? Can't quite remember the name but definitely remember the shop. I worked in the clothes shop right opposite......Nova Vogue :-)
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

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No it was Hills.
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Ok. All I can recall, vaguely is that the window display was on the diagonal on the M and S side and always looked a right pain to dress specially with the big roams they sometimes had - silver cross? I'm trying to remember the name of the coffee shop. There was a camera shop too and offices upstairs in the main part, on a kind of mezzanine level. One of my school friends worked there in an employment agency, I think. I remember visiting her once, but she'd gone all posh as she worked in a office now! Warned me to behave myself whilst I was up there - who me? I'm very well behaved ...... :whistle1:
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

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There were 2 and I don’t think they were related – unless anyone knows that answer

Hills in the arcade was a proper baby and kids place, so like Mothercare is now

Hills in Broad St was a toy, train and model shop
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

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Was the coffee shop Platters? Blimey, I must be getting old, the memory is deffo going.
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

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Voiceoftreason? wrote: 24 Jul 2017 15:43 Ok. All I can recall, vaguely is that the window display was on the diagonal on the M and S side and always looked a right pain to dress specially with the big roams they sometimes had - silver cross? I'm trying to remember the name of the coffee shop. There was a camera shop too and offices upstairs in the main part, on a kind of mezzanine level. One of my school friends worked there in an employment agency, I think. I remember visiting her once, but she'd gone all posh as she worked in a office now! Warned me to behave myself whilst I was up there - who me? I'm very well behaved ...... :whistle1:
Ah I forgot the little camera shop
Oldman........

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they annoyed me........................

I hug everybody –
It’s not affection, I’m just measuring up how big a hole I need to dig for the body!
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

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Bob deBilda wrote: 24 Jul 2017 15:12 Was that the one where you pulled back the lever against the spring, rotated it to lock it, put half a matchstick in the barrel, flicked the lever to fire, and then gasped in disappointment as the 'shell' landed some three inches in front of the gun?

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Bob
No Bob. The ones you speak of were much smaller and cruder, possibly a 25 pounder and just about affordable if you saved a few weeks pocket money. My Bofors was at least a foot long, from memory. It had a brass shell case which had a spring inside and you loaded it with a scale size metal shell. The breech was cast and hinged open like a real one. Possibly a crank to elevate the barrel. Definitely a "wait for your birthday" job.

The match stick ones were great though. The manufacturer seemed to have overlooked that we would use live matchsticks and strike them just before firing 😊.
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

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My old stomping ground The Platters was in Cross Street. Many,many cups of coffee enjoyed in there. Admittedly one cup used to last hours :-P
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Argh! This is driving me mad! What WAS its name? My first proper boyfriend took me there on the promise of 'the best coffee in Reading'. Not that I would know! About the last time he did take me anywhere, tight g*t :roflol3:
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

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Now you've got me at it VoT, I can see the place in my mind and the names on the tip of my tongue :banghead: Surely there must be someone with a Kelly's who could find out?
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

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Hahah. Glad it's not just me. I'm also trying to remember the camera shop. Think they moved to station road area in the 80s or shut completely. Not Dixon. Think it was an independent. Had a good reputation for knowledgable staff etc....
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Chelsea coffee shop? Nope, now I've looked it wasn't - now I've seen a picture. It was the one almost directly opposite the camera shop.
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Post by Bob deBilda »

Was it the Rafina? I know it's in West Street now.

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Not sure Bob, I'd like to say yes but unless Liz can drag up her memory as well to corroborate.....?

Logan's was the camera shop. Phew, I'm off for a cup of tea now.
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Lyons coffee house was next door but one to the old Hills and the Cadena was some way up the road on the other side.

Probably a totally different scene by the time you young girls were let loose.
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Post by Bob deBilda »

Riviera (I think).

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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

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Voiceoftreason? wrote: 24 Jul 2017 16:31 Hahah. Glad it's not just me. I'm also trying to remember the camera shop. Think they moved to station road area in the 80s or shut completely. Not Dixon. Think it was an independent. Had a good reputation for knowledgable staff etc....
Almost sure the Camera Shop was Dixon's - a neighbour's teenage son worked there for a while and gave me a good deal on a Disk Camera!
Cottles was the Coffee shop, just past M & S - ground coffee permeating through the whole arcade. I think Chelsea is right for the Coffee Bar, but like Liz, I used either the Platters or The Friars Tea Bar. Opposite M & S side entrance the walkway went through to the Market Place, with Luscombe's the Jewellers on that corner - they had a side window in the arcade, but the entrance was in the Market place.
Certainly remember the Dress Shop across the corner of the walkway, opposite M & S entrance - run by a chap called Leo(n). (They also had a shop on the corner of Hosier Street - very handy when I worked in Gun Street.) Just up from that was Norman Hackett - but don't remember much else .... don't remember many shops being in the front half of the arcade.
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Cottles moved into what I call the market arcade just before I left Reading and I bought for a gift, one of their miniature wooden tea chests with a nice blend of leaf teas inside and their name on the outside. I also thought my Stuart crystal wine goblets came from a shop in that arcade.
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Bam wrote: 24 Jul 2017 17:05 I also thought my Stuart crystal wine goblets came from a shop in that arcade.
Luscombes? they sold all sorts of fine things - ideal for special pressies
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Yep, thats it Bob. RIviera. That feels about the right name. Kind of dark and brown inside. Typical mid/late 70s decor.

Pi, the chaps name was Lou Kosky. Ran the shop with his mum, who must have been 90 if she was a day and about 4 foot tall. Traded in a lot of moody clothes, mostly knocked off Ossie Clarke (how I wished I'd kept mine!). First job from school. Used to sit on the radiator to keep warm in winter. Had a small but loyal following of the 'London' fashions he used to bring to sell - I used to cut the labels off, so no questions got asked!

Edit; here's an old old forum post (dear old Les, bless him, had a phenomenal memory). You'll have to scroll about a bit but you'll see Logan's and the Rivera as well as the glass shop mentioned. viewtopic.php?f=34&t=1657&start=35
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

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Oh yes Lou - I shopped there a lot at the time .... and yes, Logans the Camera Shop!
And a reminder from that link - the Acropolis restaurant (owned by Georgio?) who'd had the Oasis in Minster Street.
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

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Oh yeah, Acropolis. Wasn't old enough to eat there as was about 16/17 at the time. Perhaps you were a customer of ours when I was at the shop, Pi :-)
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

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Ha - 16/17 yrs old - of course you were old enough :)

Yes, I probably was a customer then.
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

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Old enough but not adventurous enough - this was the era of findus crispy pancakes don't forget! Plus I only made about £18 for a six day week :-(
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

Post by maggieaitch »

I seem to remember that Hill's in Broad St, had prams and baby goods on the lower ground floor ( basement ). We bought the pram for our first child there in 1959. I think the ground floor was leather goods, travel cases etc. and fancy gifts. The toys were on the first floor.
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Re: BRISTOL & WEST Arcade proposals

Post by lizwing »

I had such a problem finding the baby buggy, it was new and none of the stores in Reading had even heard of it, except Hills. It was such a brilliant thing that folded up and could be carried over your arm like an umbrella. Now mums seem to need pushchairs the size of a small car !
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