Charity / Fashion / Vintage

Buy Vintage – Buy History

Today I have decided to carry on with the vintage theme. Now I am not normally a fan of vintage items, mainly because I struggle to pull them off, but sometimes something catches my interest and then my imagination.

A couple of weeks ago I was in the Bethany Store on George Street, Aberdeen and I was speaking to a couple of their members of staff about my Blog. They pointed me in the direction of a kilt jacket hanging on the front of one of their stands. The quality of this item was beyond doubt, a beautiful heavy wool fabric, but still soft.

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The staff then proceeded to point out that this exquisite jacket was from 1962, and was originally made on the site of 29 George Street, I can only presume, the site of a Kilt Maker. This is interesting on two counts:

  1. The location of the Aberdeen branch of The Bethany Christain Trust is 129 George Street
  2. The location of 29 George Street now lies incarcerated under the foundations of The Bon Accord Centre

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Now as many Aberdonian’s will already know, the Bon Accord Centre sits on top of what would have been the top end of George Street, between Upper Kirk Street and Loch Street. It was demolished in order to make way for regeneration of this area in the late 1980’s. Much of the demolition taking place in 1987 leading to the completion of The Bon Accord Centre in 1989/90.

I happen to own a particularly lovely book called Lost Aberdeen:

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Extreme left is the turreted No1 George Street. The fine details are apparent. After being a men only bar it became a Next fashion shop. It survives along with the former Tylers opposite, both now flanking the entrance to the Bon Accord Centre.

Now unfortunately due to only being able to start my laptop in ‘safe mode’ it does funny things and inserts pictures at strange angles, which means I have had to flip the image in paint to get it the right way up. So those familiar with the entrance to The Bon Accord Centre will recognise that what is on the left, should be on the right!

As I said before, 129 George Street survives as The Bethany Store.

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Now I don’t think that I need to point out the slightly sombre romance of a garment being lovingly created in a premises that no longer exists. For it’s owner to pick it and cherish it, and possibly pass it on to a loved one, and for it to be eventually donated to a shop only a few doors down from the place of it’s inception. Somewhere, under our modern world of shopping centres, places where the past time of shopping goes on unaffected by wind and rain, lies the grave of the creators of this garment.

So it is now that I reiterate the sentiment of the title of this post, that when you buy vintage, you buy history, and whether you feel it suits you or not, surely that in itself is something to be cherished.

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