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Many years ago, every town, city and village had an Aladdin Cave shop where virtually anything could be obtained. Okay I understand that the DIY store came along, with the larger commercial outlook, but this also brought the disappearance of many items or the weigh by pound nails etc.
Over the past week I have tried to obtain various items without 100% success. One of those items was a simple item like a finger sewing thimble. Having tried all the thinkable outlets, I decided to try a local Asian owned shop, and believe it or not, they had the item. Not in plentiful supply, but at least they had the item, and other similar products of past years.
The other noticeable factor:It didn't matter how 'stacked-up' the shop was, the item was soon found among the array of other goods. Try that at a new commercial DIY store!.
People may not want to sew nowadays, because it is cheaper to dump, or dare I say recycle if the item is worthy of another home.
I bet there are some forum member's who have past and present experiences of the Aladdin Cave. Care to share a thought or two?.
I suppose its a bit like asking a child where bread, vegetables and meat come from, and the answer is usually "The supermarket".
Aladdin Caves in their time were the mainspring of society and communities. Another gem that as perhaps gone forever!.
A kind of early day Wilkinsons you mean?
Just like Arkwrights and open all hours too!
Slightly off subject,Fran owns a large sewing frame, which was hand made in India from mahogany, and it was missing one of the butterfly wing nuts. Tried everywhere, 'Sorry mate, it's imperial' was the stock response.
We took one of the existing wing nuts with us when we went on a holiday to America, I walked into America's equivalent of Arkwrights and the chap took it from me, walked over to a wooden set of drawers and came back with the very thing - all this took minutes and I believe it cost me 25 cents!!
Ive lived in 7 different towns over the years and one had an Aladdin's cave novelty shop.
As for thimbles,silver or ceramic these became collectors items but,like most sewing accessories there is very little demand since cheap imported clothing flooded the market
Exactly that. I remember when the 'dad of the family' use to serve me, I don't think the son would be 'down to that' nowadays. A bit of chicken wire, a few staples, and we were all backyard farmers. Not forgetting the old enamel 'billy can' for the brew (who wanted vending machines in them days) :O))
Just fancy the years of experience that went behind that deed. And all so simple with a very satisfied customer!.
like Þ² I took your Aladdin Caves literally,as to be the title of the store,rather than an Aladdin Cave of a store,..penny dropped with dagbladets ``Wilkinsons``
Still the odd one around, love going in and having a browse when ever I find one.
Always end up buying the same size screws I already have plenty of rather than the size I will probably need for the next odd job.
The last one I was in was in Matlock near the old station.
right opposite was a real grand father,father and son 'Arkwrights'- the sone being the same age as me
mid fifties- [25 years ago]
The enterprise had been in existence over 100 years then.
Did they fade away?
Not a bit of it- It flourished with B&Q sending all sorts over to obtain those odd 'n'sods that the big store did not hold .
The shop is still there - Jim as retired and it has gone out of the family- The new owner has turned it around into a Professional Trades Tool outlet and seems to be holding his own.
B&Q meanwhile has moved on too - from a DIY shed
to the Warehouse version.
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