…and we’re off!

Book Launch 2‘Assured Attention,’  book 2 in the series about a large Edinburgh department store now moving into the 1980s, was launched on Monday 31st July at Blackwell’s Bookshop, South Bridge, Edinburgh.

An attentive audience appeared to enjoy the interview of the author carried out by Gordon Lawrie from Comely Bank Publishing and came up with some interesting and challenging questions of their own!

Not least among these was which person would Jane Tulloch choose to read the books for audio recording. Hard to say. There are male and female voices required. Jane’s choice of Judi Dench was purely a default selection. Perhaps?  Hannah Gordon might have been best? Food for thought anyway.

It was a very friendly evening all round. Blackwells, as ever, did us proud.

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Disappeared Department Stores

J&RAllans cropped

In the hiatus before the publication date of ‘Assured Attention’ I’ve been researching some of the old department stores of Edinburgh. What a lost world! I’ve looked at the long lists of departments that used to be considered necessary. Looking at the image above of the disappeared J& R Allan store on South Bridge, for example,  its clear that mourning was a major consideration for businesses back then. The appropriate dresses , hats and gloves vital purchases for the serious mourner in those days.

When was the last time you bought a ‘mantle’? I don’t think I ever have! Moving on into the 20th century I was surprised to see ‘Smoking paraphernalia’ included as a specific department in one large store. O tempora. O mores!

I’ll be presenting my findings at The University of the Third Age meeting on 19th July and once again, perhaps in an extended form (as I keep discovering more!), at ‘Previously- Scottish History Festival’ in November.

Illustration from the collection of Malcolm Cant.