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Mustard

Bon Marche/Debenhams

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On the top floor of Debenhams in Gloucester at the moment (almost outside the toilets for some reason!) there is a lovely large collection of old photos of both inside and out of the store over the last 60 years.

I say the last 60 years as it showed photos from the 1940s, I'm assuming a department store was there before Bon Marche was built in the 1960s?

Well worth 10 minutes looking over them.

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Thanks for that info, Mustard.

The original Bon Marche was founded by J. Rowe Pope in 1889 and stood on the corner of Oxbode Lane. It was demolished in the late 1920s and re-built to take the full length of the new widened Oxbode.

It was still in the Pope family and called The Bon Marche until it was sold to Debenhams in 1971.

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I was about to say, John, that it must have been there before the fifties as I worked there on Saturdays and school holidays from around 1955. I was Santas little elf a few times too! (I know, the mind boggles!!)

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around 1955. I was Santas little elf a few times too! (I know, the mind boggles!!)

And to think that as a very small boy, you may well have "herded" me and my older bro' (Ron) and my little sister (Sally) towards an old beared man that wanted to cuddle us. NOW THE MIND BOGGLES. :lol::lol::lol:

To think that we have all turned a half century, from that time, also makes the mind boggle. :huh:

If I can find it, I will scan a pic of the three of us in Santa's Grotto in the Bon Marche' in 55/56 and put it on the board.

How old would you have been at the time, Ren?

Nobby

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Between 15 and 16, Nobby, just about the time! If the old bearded man had smelly feet, it was he.

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Will definately find pic aqnd post it for you!!!

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I was Santas little elf a few times too

Good Gad Madam, so it was you.

I was a mere slip of a lad of 39yrs when this over affectionate Santa helper grabbed me from behind and said, 'what would you like for Christmas young man'. Oh how those words have haunted me throughout the years.

It was then I turned to drink and had a disastrous liaison with Doris Shuttlecock.

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this over affectionate Santa helper grabbed me from behind and said, 'what would you like for Christmas young man'. 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Cor, what a cheek! I'm sure it couldn't be the dear lady member of the BB, there is not one lady here who would even consider pinching your rear R&R

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Ren and others,

Hope you can see this, it was taken in the Bon Marche' Christmas Grotto in 1956.

You may remember the "Santa".

The picture is of Sally (Now 51), me (Now 53) and Ron (now 57).

Tempis Fugit.

post-3-1100604622.jpg

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How sweet, Nobby. It does look like a very grotty grotto too. Very familiar to me!

He was a nasty old man, smelly feet and boozy too.

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Yes Ren, he wasn't the childs dream of Santa.

Did you see the Balaclava that I am wearing. Our mum was a "dab" hand at those. I also chuckle at the thickness of the scarves around our necks.

I think we were all still going to Sunday School at that time, that's why we look such little cherubs. dev

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Perhaps you had better enlist again Nobby, might work wonders for you!

Oh and by the way did any of you notice that the old conman Rock 'n Roll has suddenly reappeared, he's either been inside again for some scam or another or run off with some woman. Have you noticed that Bee seems to have been missing as well. Not being one to stir up scandal but...

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;)See what you mean, Doughnut. The mind boggles but I think they would make a lovely couple.

Very cute Nobby, but obviously before your trend setting days.

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As I am sure that you know, Orion, the "Trend" in our early days was "Set" by yer mum. :(

It was at least another 12 years before me first "Burtons" suit.

With Python Satin lining to the jacket.

Six button, four pocket (at 45 degree) waistcoat (with collar and points).

Six cuff buttons on jacket, 45 degree/3" flap jacket pockets and ticket pocket (with the jacket bottom level with finger tips)

Plus "French Cut" cuff to the jacket sleeves and trouser bottoms.

Worn with American Loafer style moccisans, Ben Sherman (button down collar, with back collar button) shirt and silk tie

As the Ray Davis wrote, "He's a dedicated follower of fashion" ;)

A true force to be dealt with, yeah Baby!!!!

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For once I'm not being funny but have we lost something? I'm sitting here at the moment with open neck shirt, a sweat shirt and some sort of cotton trousers. That's what I've been to work in today and I have to say that I'm often one of the better dressed.

When the fashion icon strutts his stuff in ripped jeans and a top which looks as if he has been lying under the car, my guess is that we have. What do you think?

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To tell you the truth Doughnut, I'm sitting here in a pair of shorts and a light glow of sweat. :o

Then again it is over 30C.

The days of the 3 piece suit finished when I got out here.

But the memory lingers on. :lol:

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Orion, do I detect a hint of jealousy in your 'voice'.... I probably do but you know, you 'ad yer chance.

And as for you Doughnut I waited 14 hours on that jetty for you to whisk me off to Jersey for a light luncheon and you never came. I was nearly pneumonial when that nice Mr R&R came to my rescue.

I never knew such an older man could be quite so charming. Still, I suppose its not looks that count, really.

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:) Cor you do look sweet Nobby , you sure your mums name wasn't "rosie" from down stroud way ...lol :P

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Quite sure Stuart, see you this arvo. :blink:

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To the dear lady, Bee.

You are of course quite right to dismiss the advances of Doughnut and his side kick Orion.

I am so pleased you enjoyed our meeting and you will never know how happy you made me feel when you pretended not to notice my surgical appliance.

Although our meeting was over in a trice, due to your sudden attack of the vapours, partly in essence to the elastic getting caught around that tender neck, I do feel that the paramedic over stepped the bounds of common decency with that so called ‘kiss of life’. I felt disgusted by the whole affair and have reported her to her superiors.

I must admit that I thought I was becoming slightly anaemic when I read your post. You see, my dear, that apart from Doughnut and Orions cheap remarks, you have been the only one who has addressed me on this forum and that made my complexion turn rather pale with shock.

Until the next time, my sweet.

Clarence. XXX

PS. See, my dear, I didn't mention your rash once.

To that Moderator Orion. This has nothing to do with the topic, but so what? Love will find a way.

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Love will find a way.

Sounds like love will find a Wayhey. inluvinluvinluv

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I had my 5th birthday party on the top floor of the Bon Marche in 1947.It was so grand-lots of art deco glass double doors and waitresses in black with white aprons.It was always referred to as " The Bon".Has the interior architecture been preserved?

Marion.

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There isnt a lot left I'm afraid. I remember the "bon" from the 1950s when to go upstairs you had to take the lift, operated ny a man in a uniform. Currently Debenhams rent out space to different firms, although to the outsider it does still appear to be a department store.

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How did this topic return to the boards, it's from 2004. I started reading it without looking at the date then got a shock when Orion and R & R turned up. Brought back a lot of good memories, even had Bee running off with R & R. --- Sometime Orion could be a writing genius, how he thought up such nonsense and then carry it over to R & R.

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