The Lost Precinct Advent Calendar – #5: Dunn and Co.

Hat’s the way they did things back in the day

The Ad of Christmas Past

Appropriately, our fifth window coincides with the F.A. Cup Second Round Proper. Part and parcel of F.A. Cup football, more so in the later rounds, was being suitably attired for the game. In our advert, the team was drawn to Arsenal. Being as it dates from 1979, our fellows could have been from Sheffield Wednesday, who popped in to the branch opposite the Hole In The Road.

In reality, the Owls drew 1-1 at Hillsborough, then 3-3 at Highbury. During the second replay, they lost 2-0. By contrast, the Gunners went on to lift the F.A. Cup thanks to Alan Sunderland’s 89th minute goal (after Gordon McQueen and Sammy McIlroy made it 2-2 for Manchester United).

The Shop of Christmas Past

For many people under 40 years of age, “Suits you, Sir” was a sketch from The Fast Show. It satirised the old fashioned gents’ outfitters which have largely vanished from today’s town centres. When I worked in Manchester during the noughties, there was a fantastic one on Oxford Road opposite Revolution. Halon’s shop was a joyous escape from the Burtons and Top Mans seen in most shopping centres.

Before 1996, there was a national chain noted for its millinery and formal coats. Dunn and Company was formed in 1887 by George Arthur Dunn, a Quaker. By the 1980s, changes in fashion trends saw Dunn and Company look out of place in a more competitive marketplace. The name was sold to Ciro Citterio in 1996, with their stores leaving our High Streets in 2003.

S.V., 05 December 2015.

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