So, we go from social commentary on the creep of gated communities to doing an ‘art’ review on a shop window on consecutive days? Yes, that’s the way it is round here.
Early last year Sarah wrote a post on here about her favourite shop in the history of the whole world ever, George Henry Lee’s in Liverpool. The post told the story of the shop, carrying our pictures of its final day’s trading before moving to a new site in 2008. The story was popular at the time and has continued to be read by a good many George Henry Lee fans every day since.
The glorious central staircase, subsequently and senselessly ripped down by the building’s current inhabitants, T.K. Maxx.
So as a public service to all those fans I thought I’d draw attention to something interesting that’s happening in the windows of the ‘new’ ‘George Henry’s’ – now John Lewis in Liverpool One – at the moment.
I was sauntering past on my way to get the bus yesterday, when my eyes became conscious that in the normally bland windows of the shop there was art going on. In fact, beautifully detailed large graphic displays telling the social history of the 150 year life of the John Lewis Partnership.
Like, I bet no one was calling it ‘building the brand’ in 1925.
Yes, 1940. John Lewis buys George Henry Lee’s in Liverpool. And look at all those other splendid names in other places.
If anyone were to ask me I’d suggest those names were reintroduced. A sense of place matters, you know.
As you’ll know if you’ve read Sarah’s original George Henry Lee article, we don’t think the whole of the culture was successfully transferred to this new Liverpool One store. But who knows? Maybe telling themselves the story of how they got going and their founding principles will help the organisation to recover them.
Somewhere like George Henry’s in fact.
Well worth braving the privatised streets of Liverpool One to have a look at this. And I assume it’ll be in the windows of the John Lewis stores elsewhere too. Plus they’ve got a book you can buy about their history too, if you wish. ‘A Very British Revolution.’ But window shopping is free, and in this case stylish and informative.