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Saturday, 19 December 2015

Santa's Grotto

The best thing about Christmas when I was a small child was going to Santa's Grotto where in the days before paranoia set in you were allowed to sit on a strange man's knee. All the big Liverpool stores had their Grottos but my undoubted favourite was Blacklers. Getting the bus there with my mother and brother on dark and wet December day was beaten only by Christmas Day itself. And I'll say one thing more. Chocolate Selection boxes were considerably bigger than they are now!

This was Blacklers before my time and before the Blitz all but demolished it.

The new Blacklers was rebuilt in 1953 and this was how I remember it, huddled under my mum's umbrella

                                                    Not exactly Vegas but magic to us.

                                               Toys on offer. They sufficed.

                                            Though not everyone was pleased

                                           Maybe they had just seen Scary Santa!

And for those who like trivia, George Harrison worked there in 1959 as an apprentice electrician. It was a wise move opting for The Beatles for Blacklers closed in 1983

And Merry Christmas! Time to sink into reflection, indulgence and chaos. See you  in the New Year. God willing.


Maria Zannini said...

I don't think we can ever top the excitement we had as kids.

For me, it was downtown Chicago. All the major stores would put on phenomenal displays, but hands down, everyone wanted to go to Carson, Pirie, Scott where they had all their windows dressed with an animated elf shop.

It looked just like the scene from The Bishop's Wife with Cary Grant.
--except in color. :)

Mike Keyton said...

That sounds absolutely fabulous, Maria. I miss the magic I tapped into so easily as a child. I get glimpses every so often.