Sunday, 17 May 2020

1974 Belfast Department Stores

In 1974 Belfast boasted no less than twelve department stores. I remember most of them.

Robinson & Cleaver, at 56 Donegall Place, was 'Northern Ireland's most famous Department Store."

One of my favourite ties, a navy blue, polka dot silk tie which I wear to this very day, was purchased at Robinson Cleaver's.

The Bank Buildings, at Castle Place, was a lovely store in its time. It had been taken over by the House of Fraser, I seem to recall.

The Belfast Co-operative Society's store was by far the largest of them all. It was vast, in fact.

  • Anderson & McAuley, 1-9 Donegall Place, and 2-16 Castle Street
  • Arnott, John & Co, of Belfast, 26-32 High Street, and 16 Bridge Street
  • Bank Buildings, The, Castle Place
  • Belfast Co-operative Society, 12-44 York Street
  • Brands Birdcage Walk, 1-8 Brand's Arcade, and 49 Donegall Place
  • Brands & Normans, 18-26 Castle Lane
  • British Home Stores, 24-26 Castle Place, 13-25 Castle Lane, and 11-15 and 14-18 Castle Arcade
  • Leahy, Kelly & Leahy, 2-6 Castle Place
  • Littlewoods Mail Order Stores, 5-17 Ann Street, and 14-30 William Street South
  • Marks & Spencer, 48-52 Donegall Place
  • Robinson & Cleaver, 56, Donegall Place
  • Woolworth, F W, 11-15 High Street, 2-6 Ann Street, 4-10 Cornmarket, and 127-161 North Street
Today, the 17th May, 2020, three of the aforesaid stores survive, viz. Bank Buildings (being re-built after a catastrophic fire); Marks & Spencer (to their credit throughout the Troubles); and the former Woolworth's store (now Dunnes Stores).

In addition we have a House of Fraser store and Debenham's today (temporarily closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic at the time of writing).

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