Wednesday 19 July 2023

Not one, but two!

Montague Burton's retail acumen is well known: ideally chosen corner plots, a style recognisable from 100 yards, complete understanding of the psychology of the customer base, and teetotal dance halls or snooker halls above the showroom. Appealing to the less well moneyed gentleman, his shops were to be found in nearly all industrial or otherwise working-class conurbations. Lucky old Aberdeen: not only two Burton buildings, but separated by a distance of less than 100 yards.

Like so many others, these splendid edifices are in need of a little TLC. Number 1 on Union Street is currently vacant: the building is instantly recognisable, and has one surviving foundation stone - highly likely there were once 2 or more.

Number 2 is a very short step away on St Nicholas Street: also instantly recognisable, but no foundation stones remaining - the building has been reworked at street level at least once. No matter - the upper stories are easily viewed by a pedestrian walkway.

In spotting this frontage, it suddenly became clear that one could see both buildings at once.

I don't know if this can be done anywhere else in the world. When you consider the Keighley Dee-Fest, and meetings with Ben, Katie and Jenny, this seems to have got the Orkney holiday off to a very good start. (Ironically, we parked outside the latter-day incarnation of Burotns. So three, I suppose, on one day)