A Portrait of Hopgoods: Gentlemen's Outfitters, Diss, Norfolk - 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, there doesn't seem to be much interest in buying into 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 and another part of rural life will disappear. Not really being a regular, despite the purchase of several belts and ties and suchlike over the years, there would not normally be grounds to pester for a photo-shoot, but luckily Nosher's chum Peter Allen 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: Dom in da Chapel, Safeway Chickens, Evil Supermarkets and Winter Miscellany, Harleston and Grimston, Norfolk - 15th January 2006
previous album: New Year's Eve and Day, Thorndon and Thornham, Suffolk - 1st January 2006

Racks of suits, and a fitting mirror

A whirly sock rack

Boxes of things

A tailor's tape measure

Stacks of shirts

Pigeon-holes, full of gloves

More cubby-holes, relfected in a convex mirror

The bottom half of a manequin, suitably dressed

A box of coat hangers, and a price list

Peter mills around

Peter puts some pyjamas away

Peter checks that everything's OK

Clerical, Lovat, Rustic and Oatmeal: mystery boxes

A discarded pricing gun

Peter at the front of the shop

Jackets in a row

A strange ex-window-display owl keeps watch

A box of Hopgoods paper bags

A collection of till rolls

In the office, a small model of a Hopgoods van

An 1800s sketch/watercolour of Diss's market place

The Hopgood's repair and alterations room

A sewing machine covered in fruit stickers

Some repairing is done

On the phone

Another Singer sewing machine

Creases are pressed into a pair of trousers

Clothes of Distinction

More backroom action

A wooden pheasant on a shelf

The staff 'kitchen'

A ton of business cards

The repairer looks up

A curious lever

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

Branded coathangers, including Butlin's and Cunard White Star

A little memorabilia corner of Hopgoods

Peter at the counter

Peter, surround by shirts, looks at a red sock

A Hopgoods clothes-brush

Another bit of the shop

It's like extras from an episode of Dr Who

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

Peter stands by the trousers

A Hopgoods sign

Peter and his assistant

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

Hopgoods - front aspect

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Racks of suits, and a fitting mirror