Column: Inside the Shoe Tardis

Carol Forster
Carol Forster

Well dear readers, some good memories came back to me this week about some of the cafes and shops we used to have back in the olden days, here in Lancaster.

Firstly do you remember Potters cafe on Penny Street?

I certainly do as I was a Saturday girl there in the 1970s and particularly recall their scrumptious cream cakes and ice-cream sodas, not to mention the tight squeeze from kitchen to table.

It had quite a scrummy menu, and I recall a generous boss who would give us a few such delights at the end of a long and busy day, taken from a giant fridge.

I also remember dropping ice-cream all over someone and I apologise to said man right now who was thankfully a patient one!

My second memory is of Olivers cafe which was on the other side of Penny Street. This was one I personally frequented back in the 1980s and I particularly liked the fact that it was on an upper floor so you had views of the street.

This proved quite interesting at times, over your sandwich. They did yummy cakes too, as I recall, and had a bakery downstairs.

It was a pleasant cafe and the staff were friendly too.

I also have a bunch of memories of the shops which used to live around the Boots area back in the 1970s and 1980s – the St Nicholas zone.

For one, a large clothes shop on the corner near a gas shop – possibly Dorothy Perkins – which had circular clothing rails, then opposite I remember a really nice cafe I used to pop into for lunch. They did delicious open sandwiches with toppings like cheese or ham and pineapple, which seemed unusual at the time.

Not far away from this, there was also a great underwear shop for those who knew their tights from their pop socks! Ooh la la!

However, one of my favourites, was a shoe shop on Penny Street near where River Island now stands – Dolcis -which had a brilliant selection. I remember spending hours in there back in the 1980s and I certainly wasn’t alone.

The main problem was leaving. It was like entering a shoe Tardis and being transported to a better world. Mrs May would have forgotten all about being strong and stable in there!

Ah!