Monday, 7 September 2009

James Smith & Sons - Umbrellas!

This shop is such a gem - whilst there have probably been some changes since 1830 when it was founded, walking in there you could be forgiven for thinking not much has changed since at least the 1940s. You can read up on the history of the place here but I would recommend just going in for a browse. I have actually purchased an umbrella here - I was sick of crappy £5 umbrellas that blew inside out or came off their spokes so I invested in a £40 one from here and I love it. It feels sturdy and reliable and I like the weight of it in my hand. I am paranoid about leaving it on the tube but so far it has lasted 2 winters so I figure it has already paid its way.

What I really want to buy is an old fashioned wooden handled umbrella, maybe with a duck head as a handle but so far I haven't done so - the closest I came was buying a stick for my dad for his 80th birthday. It was so beautiful and they packaged it up and posted it to Australia for me. The guy who served me seemed like he had been there all his life - he may indeed have been a descendant of James Smith, I was a little scared of him so I didn't ask! In an ever changing city, places like this should always stay the same - I hope this particular shop does at least

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