Does anyone remember Bird’s second hand clothes shop in Charnwood Street? Here are some memories from Sarah Lissaman whose grandparents kept the shop:
Their shop was Frank Bird or it may have been Frank Bird and Son. It sold second hand clothes, and as a child I stayed there most Saturday nights. I used to climb into the window and sit there or try on the clothes. I used to be allowed to use the ‘reach me down’, a pole with a brass hook on the end to pull down the canopy over the window.
My Grandpa would go to wealthy people’s houses in Stoneygate etc. to get the clothes to sell, and liked to think he had a better class of second hand clothes! – but my mum says he often would give clothes to poor people for free. He also stood on Leicester Market for many years and was quite a well known character.
The first thing I did when I arrived on Saturday afternoon, once given a few pennies, was run down to Paddy’s Swag and buy a toy. Sometimes it was plastic spiders or flies, or finger nails painted red. Also I remember the kind of small ladybird or fly which you held a magnet behind to run over your jumper. It would move if you wiggled the magnet underneath. I would also buy joke items to scare or annoy my parents when they joined us for tea after work.
I’m not sure if the photo above is of the same shop – can anyone tell me? Paddy’s Swag Shop was a few doors down to the left if that helps.
Many thanks to Sarah for her memories, and to Michael Westmorland for permission to reproduce the photo.