If you had a wish which shop would you bring back to the precinct?

April 27, 2013

Having been reminded of buying our first cooker, around 1986, at the Gas Showroom, here is a fuller list of shops in Bury Street Precinct from about that time. Four are unchanged, and remarkably they are all now neighbours, and are pictured below as they look today.

If you were granted a wish to bring back one shop from the list (or from any other time), which would it be?

1/2 Columbian Cafe and Restaurant
3 Pic a Card
4 Radio Rentals
5 Adams Childswear
7 Parslows of Reading (Bakers)
8 Savory and Moore (Chemist)
9 Currys Ltd (Electrical)
10 Sketchley (Cleaners)
11 Dewhurst (Butchers)
12 K Shoes
13 Wigfalls Television
14 Frend & Co Limited (Jewellers)
15 Qualifruit
16 Halfords (Cycles / Motor Accesories)
17 H L Textiles
18 British Gas (Southern)
19 John Lane Ltd
21 Mister Mint
22 F W Woolworth & Co Ltd
23 Gateway Foodstore Ltd
24 Times Furnishing Ltd
25 H Samuel (Jeweller)
Long Serving Shop
26 Clays (Butchers & Greengrocery)
26a Dorothy Perkins (Female Clothes)
Long Serving Shop
27/28 Boots (The Chemist)
Long Serving Shop
29 The Gift Centre
Long Serving Shop
30 Centre News
32 Foster Bros Clothing Co Ltd (Male)
33 Focus Shoes
34 Lemon Plaice
35 Oxonian Travel Service
36 Abbey National Building Society
37 Mr Candy
37 Swiss Chalet
37 Gerrards Ltd (Greengrocers)

Filed under: Business

30 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. abbo man  |  April 27, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    zodiac toy shop for me not on list but great memories

  • 2. suzieh  |  April 27, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    Could not settle for one, but a butcher/greengrocer for me please!

  • 3. Native  |  April 27, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    abbo man, thats exactly the comment i was going to make. I remember going in there with my nan and buying a toy gun that you could see sparking on the inside. Brilliant!

  • 4. Native  |  April 27, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    But yes wouldnt it be great to have a butcher and a greengrocer in the precinct

  • 5. rudi  |  April 27, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    i recall going in zodiac toys many a time looking for rare he man figures as a kid. then there was the greengrocers – as teens i went in there with a friend and was shocked to see the nude model we had painted earlier that week in art class was in there buying fruit and veg!
    for nostialgia reasons it has to be woolies even though they were the architects of their own misfortune – wilkinsons are their modern day reincarnation so maybe we need them in the precinct.

  • 6. carol  |  April 28, 2013 at 9:54 am


  • 7. John S  |  April 28, 2013 at 10:00 am

    How about a men’s wear shop?

  • 8. Black Flag  |  April 28, 2013 at 10:08 am

    This town needs Radio Rentals or Rumbalows back.

  • 9. HelenP  |  April 28, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Lemon Plaice! I miss being able to buy a cone of chips!

  • 10. Theoxonian  |  April 28, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Butchers, green grocers and Lemon Plaice (without the litter outside the chip shop).

  • 11. Hester  |  April 28, 2013 at 12:46 pm


    Other than that I agree with all those who say butcher and green grocer I would have said baker, but actually all we need is for the Patisserie to move in there.

  • 12. Cllr Jason  |  April 28, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    I have to agree with those that have said Green Grocer and Butcher.

  • 13. Cllr Jason  |  April 28, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Oh and Zodiac! I miss Zodiac, ah, was such a good shop!

  • 14. moody man  |  April 28, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Bring them all back the town needs them and then i will go back to Happy man .

  • 15. rudi  |  April 28, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    the internet has changed the face of retail – no good pretending otherwise.
    that and big shops – if they had toys r us when i was little i doubt i’d have much time for zodiac toys – or the other toy shop that was in the high street – the guy in there once looked through a whole box of star wars figures to find me a gammorean guard.

  • 16. GJ  |  April 28, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Not part of the Bury Street discussion but the best toy shop was Carters in Stert Street, formerly Picket’s (TV and Radio).

  • 17. Angela  |  April 28, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    Modern Music, please, in the days when it had a comprehensive classical section and you could buy all the grade exam pieces and sheet music to suit all tastes and talents.

  • 18. Angela  |  April 28, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    when it was Haken and Bell

  • 19. Hester  |  April 28, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Fine Guitars on Stert Stret sell the grade books for piano and theory as well as guitar – not sure about other instruments.

    But i agree about Haken and Bell/Modern music – many happy hours spent upstairs in there.

  • 20. abbo man  |  April 28, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    How about paradise video ?

  • 21. rudi  |  April 28, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    haken and bell actually soldered up an audio lead for me for my spectrum +3 from scratch – now that’s service!
    but again, in this day and age i’d just get one posted from hong kong for a quid from ebay.

  • 22. Sasha  |  April 28, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    Abingdon has a butchers in Queen Street. It’s a catering unit and they supply a lot of cafes, pubs and restuarants locally. There is no shop front just a door and a serving hatch but they do welcome the public.

  • 23. Iain  |  April 29, 2013 at 6:43 am

    Hedges are fantastic – cant recommend them highly enough – a very good butchers

  • 24. Nick  |  April 29, 2013 at 8:00 am

    Hedges are a good quality butcher. In my view, we could use a nice sign over the alleyway from the market place to alert townsfolk to their presence

  • 25. Col  |  April 29, 2013 at 8:54 am


    Zodiac Toyshop also, (Used to buy my Plastic Model kits of Hot Rods in there for 50p each…..
    (Now worth a fortune on Ebay- Oh if Id only known ;-)

  • 26. rudi  |  April 29, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    apparently zodiac were a nationwide chain and fell apart due to mis-management – first i heard of it.

  • 27. stan green  |  August 8, 2013 at 8:57 am

    was there a mac fisheries in west st. helens st?

  • 28. John E  |  October 22, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    ..greengrocers with veggie-box service.

  • 29. frank  |  February 23, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    we once had a butchers,greengrocers,and bakers,all under one roof in abingdon.i think mid to late 1960s i worked for JH DEWHURST.

  • 30. Andrew Salmon  |  June 5, 2015 at 11:01 am

    I lived In Abingdon form 81 – 86 I loved going to Haken and Bell of a weekend to buy my records and John Menzeis in the corner of the market square where we bought our computer games, good times and brilliant memories.

    My brother worked in Dewhursts the Butcher at that time aswell.

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