A Portrait of Hopgoods (Gentlemen's Outfitters), Diss - 4th January 2006

Hopgoods in Diss announced sometime during 2005 that it was closing down, as the proprietor wanted to retire. It's a quintessential traditional Gentleman's outfitters, and has customers who come far and wide, at least as far as London and Peterborough. Sadly, even though it's for sale, there doesn't seem to be much interest in such traditional niche markets any more (even though it's popular in its own field) and so it seems unlikely that it will be taken on as a going concern: another part of rural life will disappear. Although I'm not exactly a regular, I have bought several belts and ties and suchlike over the years. This on its own would not normally be grounds to pester for a photo-shoot, but luckily Nosher's chum Peter works in the shop on Mondays and Wednesdays, so it provided a perfect opportunity on the last full day of holidays before the return to work to look round and document some of it (with thanks to Peter, and Mr. Hopgood for permission).

next album: The Villainy of Supermarkets: A Debate, Diss - 12th January 2006
previous album: New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, Suffolk - 1st January 2006

A whirly sock rack

The back of the store (which is a surprisingly long way from the front)

Boxes of things

A tailor's tape measure

Glass-topped cases and shelves with stripy pyjamas

More pigeon-holes, this time occupied by various gloves

A strange lower-half of a mannequin, suitably covered with long-johns

More cubby-holes, relfected in a convex mirror

A stack of coat-hangers

Peter puts some pyjamas away

Clerical, Lovat, Rustic and Oatmeal: mystery boxes with interesting names

Jackets, all in a row

More jackets in a row

Upstairs, in a back-room, there's a strange ex-window-display owl keeping watch

In the office, a small model of a Hopgoods van

A sewing machine covered in fruit stickers

Undertaking sewing repairs

A Singer seqing machine

Creases are pressed into a pair of trousers

The owl and a box of Hopgoods paper bags

At the front of the shop, Peter checks a pile of clothing

Branded coathangers, including Butlin's, Cunard White Star, White Horse Whisky and several from Germany and Holland

Peter, surround by shirts, looks at a red sock

A Hopgoods clothes-brush

Looking back along the shop towards the back

Like extras from an episode of Dr Who (featuring the Autons).

A heap of size 7-and-a-quarter cloth caps

Peter and his assistant

Peter runs after Nosher, who'd left his tripod behind

Hopgoods - front aspect

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A whirly sock rack