Retail emporia that made history
Damian McBride suggested this list after the Tesco Express in Westminster was identified as the source of provisions (crisps, cheese, vin) for “gatherings for work purposes” in Downing Street at Christmas a year ago.
1. Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society, 31 Toad Lane, Rochdale. The first Co-op shop started trading in 1844. Nominated by Rob Dex.
2. Roberts post office and grocery in Grantham. The Roberts family including Margaret, later Thatcher, lived above the shop. Thanks to E M Rogers and Will Wormell.
3. Four Seasons Total Landscaping, Philadelphia. Press conference held by Rudy Giuliani, lawyer for Donald Trump, to explain legal challenges to counts for the 2020 presidential election held four days earlier. The Trump campaign meant to book the Four Seasons hotel, near where the Pennsylvania count was taking place. One of Damian McBride’s opening nominations.
4. Threshers, Notting Hill, and Threshers, Paddington. Both closed now; featured in the curious story of Norman Lamont, chancellor, hvem var påstått to have bought cheap champagne and cigarettes in the second when he had actually bought wine in the first. “He was set up,” said Nick Macpherson, who worked at the Treasury at the time. Nominated by Andy Ledger.
5. Greggs. Visited by Ed Miliband, Ed Balls and Rachel Reeves in a photo opportunity to exploit George Osborne’s embarrassment over the pasty tax in the 2012 Budget. Thanks to Tom Railton, Greg Dash and Matthew Bailey.
6. Contemporary Ceramics. Tony Blair’s “favourite shop” according to a feature i Sunday Express magazine in 1993. I thought there wasn’t much I didn’t know about Blair’s self-promotion as shadow home secretary, but Liebeskind proved me wrong.
7. The Truman and Jacobson Haberdashery, Kansas City, Missouri. Nominated by Ivor Crewe and Exexpat19. “Eddie Jacobson later persuaded Harry Truman as president to see Chaim Weizmann, against Truman’s instinct, and this meeting was crucial in the US becoming the first major power to recognise the state of Israel,” added Daniel Finkelstein.
8. The whelk stall. “Am I to take my orders from these political Admirable Crichtons who fancy themselves Pitts and Bolingbrokes, but who haven’t got the brains and the ability to run a whelk stall!” John Burns, Radical/Liberal MP for Battersea, first used the phrase i 1894. Thanks to James Johns.
9. Cup Food convenience store in Minneapolis. Its reporting of George Floyd allegedly trying to pay with a fake $20 bill led to his killing by police officer Derek Chauvin. From Matthew Hoffman.
10. An unknown Wuhan market stall. Nominated by Sean Rogers.
And thanks again to James Johns for reminding me that it was Adam Smith, not Napoleon, who called us a nation of shopkeepers.
Next week: Words people hadn’t heard of in January 2020, such as the rona, furlough and Omicron.
Coming soon: Soundbites that sound good on first hearing but when thought about are revealed to be nonsense, som for eksempel: “No one is safe until everyone is safe.”
Your suggestions please, and ideas for future Top 10s, to me on Twitter, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org