The Images collection on the CCL website is one of my favourite places for an idle trawl, especially the costume section. Among the showier treasures there is this little gem featuring a shop window, circa 1967. The caption reads “Vance Vivian, their menswear store, either in the Government Life Building, Cathedral Square, or in Surfside Mall, New Brighton”.
Everything about this photo is ’60s perfection: the diamonds surrounding the lettering of Vance Vivian, the manliness of the mannequin’s jaw, the floral arrangement, the brand names featured – remember Rembrandt?
Why was it called Vance Vivian? In the 1960s I think they had a trendier off-shoot called The Vault, possibly also in the Square or in the recently demolished Manchester Unity building. The Vault had its very own poster done in best ’60s Yellow Submarine style, a poster that graced my bedroom wall for some time, not because I had bought any menswear from the shop, but because it was so cool. If only it had been digitised.
And Surfside Mall – just the name brings back memories of the days when New Brighton was the only suburb to have Saturday shopping. The road went straight down to the clocktower and there would be bumper to bumper traffic, especially on Easter Saturday.
What shops still stand in your city of memories ?