From London Shop Fronts, Creative Commons - link below
I've walked past Blustons hundreds of times. It has the most striking shop front on Kentish Town High Street. By quite a way. Today, my curiosity took me inside.
Blustons has been here since the 1920s. It has huge glass displays - as you can see. They take up half the total floor space or more. Dated, conservative - but not at all tawdry or mildewed. The "ladies clothing" is bright, stylish (if not entirely in style), and to my lay eye appears excellent value.
Inside, there are wonderful sepia portraits of the founders (you can see them in Kim Cunningham's photo here, along with the current proprietor, apparently the grandson) - and cuttings about 'the shop time forgot', and similar. Otherwise, it's fairly austere. Not much in the way of shop fittings. Just half-a-dozen or so racks. And a friendly welcome. The shop wasn't exactly doing a roaring trade for a Saturday lunchtime - but I wasn't the only customer.
Blustons backs on to the most hidden and atmospheric Kentish Town locality - the Crimean quarter. Alma, Inkerman, Raglan and Cathcart (the last two were British military commanders) Streets were built shortly after the Crimean war, and have survived largely in tact. Willes - of Willes Road nearby - was another Crimean general.
Ewan-M: Creative Commons
Amid these streets is a pub, 'The Crimea'. At least, it was a pub. The building's been turned into flats, but charmingly the signboard survives. A rather distinguished representation of the Crimean war.
This blog has been illustrated with photos from other sites. My thanks to the London Shop Fronts site, to photographer Kim Cunningham whose own website is well worth a visit, and Ewan Munro's photostream for the 'Crimea' pub sign.
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