Having received the sad news earlier in the week that Liverpool’s oldest department store would be closing in June for redevelopment, it made the evening even more poignant knowing that one of the city’s icons would soon be gone forever.
Chatting to my mum and auntie the other day about the exhibition, confirmed how fond scousers are of the store and the memories it holds for them. Having worked in the children’s department of Lewis’s, my mum proudly recounted her own stories of the shop and the grandeur of the fifth floor as it once was, remembering the hair salon, Red Rose restaurant, and the fabulous tiled murals that have been out of public view since the early 80s.
Similarly, at the opening of the exhibition, I spoke to a number of people of all ages who had either worked or shopped at Lewis’s, and had many tales to tell; many inspired by the fifth floor which Stephen King’s exhibition focuses on. Sadly, with the closure of Lewis’s, and George Henry Lees having relocated to the big John Lewis in Liverpool One, I’m not sure our nostalgia for department store shopping in Liverpool will ever be the same again.
Tomorrow, Thursday 4 March, there will be a free informal talk taking place at the National Conservation at 12pm, with Arnold Lewis of the Jewish Historical Society. No need to book, just drop in and spend some time recounting your own Lewis’s memories, as Arnold tells you all you need to know about Liverpool’s oldest department store.
You can also upload your own memories online.