Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Changing Chorlton .......... no 2 Conrad’s on Wilbraham Road and a for sale sign

Now in an age of online shopping which vies with huge supermarket chains, there is something very pleasant about shopping at Conrad’s.

There is just so much in the place that it is pretty much like an Aladdin’s Cave of treasures.  You might go in for some stationary but be drawn to a range of paints, brushes and pencils and on the way fall across a packet of paper day glow stars.

And many of us over the years will have asked the staff for help with “another exciting school project” which involved creating an Egyptian pyramid, a Tudor Rose or Sidney the Snake.

It is one of those places I just enjoy visiting and of course always reminds me of Quarmby’s which managed to combine reams of paper, bottles of ink and anniversary cards for Nana with the upstairs magic which was the “toy floor.”

Even the grumpiest of my friends put their miserable side in their pockets when they accompanied me and the kids upstairs.

It started with the big toys which were always displayed on the walls as you made your way up, and opened out to  the huge collection of everything from puzzles, to cap guns, figures of farm animals and the ever popular board games.

Just like Conrad’s it was the quantity and variety of what was on offer and the sheer pleasure of going in for a bag of elastic bands and coming out with a small box of Lego.

So I was miffed yesterday to see a For Sale sign above Conrad’s shop front which prompted the assumption that this box of delights might become another bar, fast food outlet or restaurant.

Not that the onward march of the “night economy” should be rubbished.  At a time when so many traditional shops had closed leaving lines of empty businesses at least the bars, fast food outlets and restaurant filled the void

And of course alongside them are now a new range of independent traders, so perhaps if Conrad’s is sold it will remain a shop for all things crafty.

I hope so.

All of which just leaves me with Peter’s painting and that simple observation that he will miss the passing of Conrad’s as much as me and my four lads.

Location; Chorlton

Painting; Conrad’s © 2017 Peter Topping, Paintings from Pictures,

1 comment:

  1. On a recent visit to Chorlton my partner & I were also dismayed to see the demise not only of Conrad's but also the ironically named Make It shop, which had a very disgruntled proprietor in occupation on it's closing down day. Sad to see two of the more interesting and useful shops (we have both made a living from our art & craft activities) disappearing. I hope they are replaced by something useful, not more of the same old fast junkfood outlets that compete to out-do their peers in the brashness of their shopfront makeover. I remember when Conrad's was Nursery Days, with the wall up the stairs lined with the full range of Airfix kits, and demand for the Corgi James Bond car was such that they were only referred to in the shop as the 'unmentionables' for fear of prompting a riot.