Shopping on Gloucester Road




Gloucester Road in Bristol is sometimes referred to as the last high street in England, and it is a bit of a weird mix of shops.  I was walking along it last week when I saw these two fabulous dresses in the window of a charity shop.  The one on the right looks like exactly the sort of thing that my mother wore to dinner dances in the 1960s and 1970s – lame dresses with chiffon sleeves – just glorious, and the one on the left was the epitome of glamour when I was growing up with the psychedelic print and the macrame belt.  This is unfortunately the bet photograph that I could get, so I went inside and they had a small selection of clothes which looked liked someone’s mum’s wardrobe from the seventies.  I couldn’t resist this for £5.50 a very smocky dress but with this wonderful print:



The man behind the counter, of course, couldn’t resist a crack about how bright it was.  I was discussing this with my quilting friends last week – why do so many men in quilt shops seem to think they know it all and that we are just waiting for their pearls of wisdom?  They are usually second career age open a little knitting shop with the wife types.  I don’t mind men in textiles at all, you only have to go to the big quilt show at the NEC to meet some really lovely men on the stalls; it’s the patronising ones I can’t stand – I get enough of that at work, I don’t want it when I’m shopping too.  That said, I once had a wonderful time in one of the hardware shops on Gloucester Road.  Even the men I know dread going in because of the patronising ‘you were going to do what with that?’ line, so I screwed up my courage.  I bought some sandpaper.  ‘What do you want it for?’ said the man behind the counter slightly down his nose, ‘To put on the back of patchwork templates to make them grip the fabric.’  Which shut him up temporarily.  It was a while ago in the days when we still drew round templates made out of cornflake packets.

Nevermind all that, I love my frock and the gorgeous fabric.  I am a bit fed up with hearing about ‘pops’ of colour.  This is more like a full artillery barrage of colour and all the better for it.  I now need a seventies party to wear it.

2 thoughts on “Shopping on Gloucester Road

  1. my mum still has things like tht in the back of her wardrobe. Theres one pair of lime green mettalic platforms that make my eyes water thinking about them. and my aunt, always a conservative dresser, still tells of the time she made my mother get off the bus a stop early so they wouldn’t be seen entering the disco together when my mum wore a lime green trouser suit with orange accesories six months before anyone else in county durham had even heard of trouser suits

  2. I wish my mum still had her formal stuff from all those dinner dances with my dad. She was a devil for lame and I would love to have some of the vintage stuff, although quite a bit did get cut up for dolls clothes at one point. Your mum sounds like a helluva girl, though. Trouser suit or lime green would have been impressive, but both together…

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