Thursday, 7 November 2019
There was a Harry Halls and a Greers bookstore, I remember that. Seeing Harry Halls for the first time and how it was imprinted on me. It became for me the over riding idea for how a bookstore should look. I think every book store I have seen since has been judged against those early impressions.
One of the things that especially impressed me were the shelves of annuals. The World Distributor annuals that were so much a part of my generation's childhood. So many titles and all so simply but powerfully represented by covers that seem to shout at me" you want to own me, do'nt you?"
And I did. I wanted so many of them but my da could only afford one. And the choice I made was The Mighty World Of Marvel. The first annual I ever choose and I can honestly look back and say to that wide eyed kid I used to be and say "good choice,kid. You picked the best one."
The old Smithfield Market was pretty special. One of those gathering places that seemed to form organically way back in the day rather than be planned for by some architect who would never set foot in it.
So much more than a building was lost in that fire.