.jump-link{ display:none }

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Shopping Pleasures: Sepia Saturday

The crowded shelves in a gift shop and a smiling assistant in a summer dress feature in this week's Sepia Saturday prompt.  

The only vintage photograph I have:

This stationer and newsagent fits the bill in terms of crowded windows and signs - surprisingly it also acts as agent for Lipton's Teas and Lyons Teas. In the 1901 census, John P. Weatherly was described as a 40 years old Postmaster of 73 High Street, Earlston, [Scottish Borders], living with his wife, mother-in-law and children. Edward, Ellen and Margaret. The Trade Directory two years later adds to his role that of bookseller and printer.

Why do shop fronts and shop displays seem so much more attractive abroad than in Britain? Or is it something to do with being on holiday and looking for different photo opportunities?    

Gift shops in Austria displaying their wares.


In Austria we cannot resist going into a"Konditerei " - the equivalent of the French patisseries - not just to view the wonderful displays of cakes, pastries, fruit slices etc., but definitively to taste a sample - or two! This is an important part of our holiday - any thoughts of diets go out of the window!  

A view of Cafe Zauner in Bad Ischl. near Salzburg. It was founded in 1832 and is in the traditional style of an Austrian Coffee shop. Unmissable for the food and the surroundings.

I love seeing in Austria and Bavaria, the wearing of the traditional costume - not just in hotels and restaurants for the benefit of the tourist trade, but worn on Sundays, on high days and holidays and for weddings. The many shops that sell the dresses indicate this is not just a fancy dress, but an important part of the local culture.

To end - a crowded display of pumpkins in New England - I just had to stop and take this photograph - they are such a cheerful sight. 

Postscript: a memo to myself - look for colourful shops fronts and displays in Britain - coming to mind are tartan shops in Edinburgh, London souvenir shops in the capital, seaside souvenir shops on the coast. farmers' markets, antique shop etc. I must start exploring with my camera.   


Sepia Saturday gives an opportunity for genealogy bloggers 
       to share their family history through photographs

 Click HERE to read other bloggers' take on this week's prompt below.


  1. I would certainly be enticed to enter those shops displaying costumes of the country, and entering the bakery shops goes without question! Yum!! And in Edinburgh - walking up the Royal Mile, I had a hard time keeping up with our tour group because I wanted to take a peek into every souvenir shop we passed along the way and there were plenty of them with very enticing displays right out on the sidewalk! :)

  2. Your observation about enticing store fronts makes me wonder if stores will soon be a thing of the past. Here in the US, BIG stores like Macy's are closing right and left, blaming online shopping for low sales in the brick and mortar stores.

  3. That really is a fabulous photograph. I love old photographs of shops - they are always so full of detail and the details are so full of history. Perhaps in 50 years time those modern photographs of shops will be equally precious as historical documents.

  4. I'd love to go into Weatherly's...on a time-travel escapade. Looks jam-packed with interesting stuff...

  5. I love old shop front windows...they looked, to my mind, much more interesting than they do now. But maybe that's because I am by nature a messy person and window dressing nowadays is much more ordered and sparse I think.

  6. I have enjoyed so many shop windows, and that's my main form of shopping, window shopping. So big box stores and the internet don't worry me that much. I am sad when locally owned businesses don't make it however, so I do make efforts to buy as much as I can from them.

  7. The Austrian/German shops really know their market well. Tourists are easily attracted to shiny and colorful. On the other hand, local shops know their market too and local yocals are attracted to price and service. So why do I have this yen for a frosted strudel?

  8. Thank you all for your comments. Like other places, here small individualistic shops are closing, leaving High Streets bereft. One town at least in the Scottish Borders is bucking the trend, and as such a more attractive place to browse - and spend.

  9. I love window shopping, and strip shopping as we call it it is much preferable to malls. Your old photograoh reminds me very much of one of mine that I had already used in an earlier post. I think there is something about being on holiday that makes everything look more enticing!


Thank you for your comment which will appear on screen after moderation.