Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Shopping In A Winter Wonderland...

We have been so caught up in the snowy madness of late that we forgot to post about our new exhibition which explores the history of Kirkwall's shopping streets. The display was inspired by the BBC program Turn Back Time and includes photographs, plans and archival documents relating to retail in Kirkwall throughout the centuries.

You can view photocopies of the original documents on the wavy wall of the library next to the computer room, but the real stuff is upstairs in the archive search room in our display cabinet.

As usual, the photographs have proved controversial, and our captions for some of the shop fronts have been roundly derided by folk who can apparently remember back to the early 1900s. Come in and have a look! Challenge our assertion that photograph L1067/1 shows the former location of Drever and Heddle's! Scoff at our dating of our interior of James Flett and son's to 1980! Roll on the ground with tears in your eyes at the idea that Kirkwall ever had a ladies' pants shop that stayed open long enough for a photograph to be taken!

This image of Sclater's menswear seems the most appropriate image from the exhibition to post. Look what a laugh they are all having. Here in the archives we prefer to complain endlessly about the snow, shaking our heads ruefully at the various official decisions which have been made and detailing exactly how we would have organised things ourselves. Much more fun.

The library is open today and staff were out first thing shovelling paths of snow up to the entrance. Do watch your step on the North side of the building though , as it is quite slippy there.

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