Contact shops

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craythur
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Joined: Fri 20 Aug, 2021 5:09 pm

Contact shops

Post by craythur »

As a child in the 70's , I remember being fascinated by the Contact shops in Leeds. The shops were second hand stores, with, if I recall correctly, nearly new prices. The window displays were particularly eye-catching with all the exorbitant prices written by marker pen on Day-Glo green or orange card. There would be a carriage clock hanging from a 1920's air rifle next to a Victorian telescope or a cigarette lighter and an unloved Black and Decker drill vying for space with a copper and brass deep sea diving helmet nestled in amongst assorted bayonets and wristwatches which had seen better days. The rest of the stock would be suspended from the ceiling, it must have taken forever to retrieve an item from the window display, due to the chaotic arrangement of goods. Perhaps thats why I remember the deep sea diving helmet, it didn't move from its place in the window for about 15 years !

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buffaloskinner
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Re: Contact shops

Post by buffaloskinner »

Lower Briggate, used to pass it every day when I worked at Swinegate
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Contact L Brig c Leodis.jpg
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Is this the end of the story ...or the beginning of a legend?

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uncle mick
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Re: Contact shops

Post by uncle mick »

There were a few Contact shops around Leeds this one is at Bridge End
Contact.jpg
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jma
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Re: Contact shops

Post by jma »

craythur wrote:
Fri 20 Aug, 2021 8:10 pm
As a child in the 70's , I remember being fascinated by the Contact shops in Leeds. The shops were second hand stores, with, if I recall correctly, nearly new prices. The window displays were particularly eye-catching with all the exorbitant prices written by marker pen on Day-Glo green or orange card. There would be a carriage clock hanging from a 1920's air rifle next to a Victorian telescope or a cigarette lighter and an unloved Black and Decker drill vying for space with a copper and brass deep sea diving helmet nestled in amongst assorted bayonets and wristwatches which had seen better days. The rest of the stock would be suspended from the ceiling, it must have taken forever to retrieve an item from the window display, due to the chaotic arrangement of goods. Perhaps thats why I remember the deep sea diving helmet, it didn't move from its place in the window for about 15 years !
My recollection also includes loads of guitars, drum kits etc., which presumably showed failed ambitions to be the next million-selling pop group. One important factor in this was the rapid increase in consumer credit in those days - the flexible friend was a recent introduction. "Takes the waiting out of wanting."

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blackprince
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Re: Contact shops

Post by blackprince »

Good photo uncle Mick.
The H plate on the Rover dates it 1969/70 or later.
I like the "Contact " "buys anything" advert on top of the building.
Given that pedestrians rarely look up they must have been trying to attract the passing "flying car" trade
BP
It used to be said that the statue of the Black Prince had been placed in City Square , near the station, pointing South to tell all the southerners who've just got off the train to b****r off back down south!

jma
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Re: Contact shops

Post by jma »

I've a couple of memories from this scene.

A former police colleague, Terry Bettany was still a police cadet - ie a teenager too young to join the police - when he detained a smash-and-grab burglar outside that Contact shop. The suspect had a bayonet - I can't remember if it had come out of the shop window or whether he had it already - but he used it on Terry who still managed to hold onto him.

At a more mundane level, Chief Superintendent "Black Sam" Noble (mentioned elsewhere on Secret Leeds) responded to complaints about rush hour traffic congestion by introducing two part-time traffic points, one being here and the other at the Victoria Road end of Water Lane. You stood there on the pavement looking gormless in a long white plastic mac, occasionally stepping out into the road to let drivers out. One tea time in broad daylight, I was standing to the left of this picture when a drunk staggered up and began peeing in the gutter doing a reasonable impression of a dray horse from the nearby Tetley's brewery. Remember, the pubs were shut all afternoon in those day, but he's spent the day in a club. There were loads of people, especially young women coming out of work and queuing at the various bus stops, some amused, some visibly shocked so action was required. We didn't have the Pye Pocketphones at Dewsbury Road in those days and noddy riders had VHF on their bikes but I had an almost useless radio the size of a house brick with a telescopic aerial that might have been more use as a fishing rod. Using the intermittent radio was a bit like a comedian whose name I've forgotten especially as there was nobody back at the nick listening. I eventually made contact and when asked why I needed a van I replied with the single word "p*ss*r" so the van was there in a trice, but the office man later said I'd been overheard by a certain fastidious woman inspector. I think he was winding me up.

The Bridge End café just out of shot on the right is reputed to have been on of Jimmy Savile's night-time haunts, along with his white Roller but I never worked this section - except on traffic duty.

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tyke bhoy
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Re: Contact shops

Post by tyke bhoy »

jma wrote:
Sun 22 Aug, 2021 1:45 pm
Using the intermittent radio was a bit like a comedian whose name I've forgotten especially as there was nobody back at the nick listening
Norman Collier I believe. Thanks for the amusing anecdotes.
living a stones throw from the Leeds MDC border at Lofthousehttp://tykebhoy.wordpress.com/

jma
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Re: Contact shops

Post by jma »

And thanks for helping me out with Norman Collier: I had a clear memory of his act but I've been trying all day to remember his name. The human memory is an erratic faculty.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYpQyJ_bTiw

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