13th January 2019

Mel and her jewellery, Craft Coop, High Wycombe

Previous Years:

13th January 1999

Reception at the BBC, Wood Lane W12

I must have been working quite late this week as the end of my contract on Comic Relief Jukebox loomed. As the caption says, this is the BBC’s reception. The floor above contains the news room and it was this part of the building that the IRA tried to blow up in March 2001.

13th January 2009

Black dresses - Oxford Street

There is something about shop windows in the dark winter afternoons – they look so sparkly and desirable lit from within like this. Funnily enough I’ve been working in a shop this afternoon (see photo above) and our window has been crucial at drawing customers in. I really noticed today that the lights weren’t on properly – the shop window was not the magical illumination it usually is – we need to fix that or our sales will suffer.

Shopping has changed so much in the last ten years. When I took this photo there was a lot more choice of shops on the High Street or shopping centre – there were record shops, more book shops, banks in small towns, department stores…. In the Eden Centre in High Wycombe empty shops now stay empty for months if not years, and people moan that there’s nothing to tempt them into town, nowhere good to buy things. The Craft Coop shop that I’m associated with is, I think, the only independent shop in the whole of Wycombe, certainly the only one that sells gifts, but it’s a ‘pop-up’ shop so won’t be there for long. It’s a vicious circle – if shopping centres and High Streets can’t attract and support interesting shops, people won’t visit them, so the existing shops in those centres and high streets suffer, and close down, meaning less choice for customers and a depressing atmosphere that no-one appreciates and which adds to the downturn. The answer has to be that we redefine what shopping is.