>Oxford Sheets

Oxford Street. It’s rubbish isn’t it? From the ‘posh’ end at Marble Arch to the scratty end, terminating at the exclamation mark of Centrepoint above Tottenham Court Road Station. The TCR bit is the most interesting of the whole stretch, especially at the junction of Charing Cross road, with its seedy shops and hustlers that make me think of Taxi Driver’s New York. Naturally, it’s all getting pulled down in a redevelopment. Farewell, Astoria. The World’s Premier Shopping Street is a long row of boring multiples you can find in any city. Primark. Zavvi. Accessorize. Monsoon. Starbucks. Borders. TopShop. TopMan. Barratts. On and on. There were two C&A’s until the company realised that Brits don’t like lime green acrylic cardigans and fled back to Holland. Shoe Express. HMV. Tesco Express. Footlocker. Marks And Spencer. Boots. McDonalds. Carphone Warehouse, Clarks, Sunglass Hut. The only shops with any charm are John Lewis and Selfridges. Of course, the best way to navigate this canyon of consumerism is to walk the parallel streets and avoid the crowds. Here, you’ll have the pavements to yourself and you might even spot a gem like this place, the Linen Cupboard in Great Castle Street. I always forget about this little shop, and i’m always delighted to find it still open. The last time I passed I noticed that the faded, handwritten price tickets in the window were gradually being replaced by computer prints. Looks like the place is modernising, but it must surely be one of the last places you can still buy a candlewick bedspread.

About teninchwheels

Designer, photographer and Vespa-fixated pub bore. Born in Yorkshire, living in that London these past 20 years. Get in touch at teninchwheels@gmail.com, especially if you'd like to send me some free beer.
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4 Responses to >Oxford Sheets

  1. ally. says:

    >the loss of those hand painted price tags is terrible though isn’t it – i always try to go past the old place avoiding the hell of oxford circus x

  2. >I wonder if the person that used to write them has retired?

  3. Affer says:

    >It’s sad really; working in a milliners, linen shop, haberdashers, or whatever, used to be a proper career, with training on materials, merchandising, display and preparing sales tickets etc. Now, some numpty in HQ specifies the layout, everything is wrapped so the sales assistant just reads the label to describe the content, and the display tags come off a computer. And we are surprised at the staff standards?!!!!

  4. >One of the reasons Mrs TIW and me are such fans of John Lewis is that they maintain all those standards. When our computer conked out, they paid for a taxi so we wouldn’t have to lug it up to Oxford Street on the tube. Try getting Comet to do that. I must be getting old.

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