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Sunday, 19 June 2016
ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST...
Today I visited a local newsagent's for what will be the final time. It's a newsagent's which has occupied the same premises for over 50 years and one which I've been using since I was a young kid. True, it's changed hands over the years, and it adopted a 'mini-market' approach several years back (getting a refit to accommodate its new status), but I mainly used its latter incarnation to buy a newspaper now and again. It simply couldn't compete with a nearby One-O-One store and closed its doors and shutters today - forever.
The comics and books I got there over the decades (when it still sold them) were legion. FANTASTIC, WHAM!, various DC & MARVEL mags, WHIZZER & CHIPS, KNOCKOUT, The CLANGERS (a colouring book), The MIGHTY WORLD Of MARVEL, SPIDER-MAN COMICS WEEKLY, a couple of TV COMIC Annuals (1978 & '84, which I've still got), and no doubt countless others which I've forgotten. The shop has been a regular part of my life for most of it, man and boy, and it's sad to see it go the way of so many other shops in my home town which were once such a familiar feature to me.
So another one bites the dust, and I suddenly feel very sad and very old. Did I say the final time? I will visit the shop again, but, alas, only in memory. It seems like that's where all the best places are these days. Is it the same for you? The comments section awaits.
I meant to say, one of the things I missed in the shop's later years was that its big windows were covered by full-length interior adhesive posters. When I was a kid, they were filled with toys and books, and it was always interesting to look at the window display in passing when the place was closed for the day. That way, if anything took my fancy, I could nip 'round the next morning and buy it. When the shop was refitted, new shelves blocked access to the windows from the inside, hence them never being used again to display any of the goods for sale within. Wasn't a change I liked, and it probably didn't help the shop's fortunes in the long run.
Y'know, I still have dreams to this day (as I have for many a year now) where I'm standing outside the shop looking through the window at all sorts of goodies. Then I go inside and it's the same layout as it was when I was much younger, and I'm looking at various comics and toys and trying to make up my mind as to precisely which ones I want (or can afford). I guess it's my subconscious mind's way of re-creating long-vanished (and dearly cherished) moments from the days of my expired youth.
The last three items I bought on the day - duly consumed