it’s the end of an era as a Huddersfield institution the Old Kist curtain and drapery shop prepares to close its doors for good.
The Old Kist started out life back in 1967 on Victoria Lane in a double-fronted shop. To give an idea of how long ago 1967 was Jeremy Thorpe became leader of the UK’s Liberal Party and A Fistful of Dollars, the first significant ‘spaghetti Western’ film, was released in the United States.
Marcus Dawson, who is retiring at the age of 65, said: “My mother, Ivy Dawson, started the business back in the day. My older sister Roberta also worked alongside my mum and I used to go in on a Saturday and help out when I was 13.
“In those days quality Lancashire flannelette was selling at £1 – 19 shillings and 11 pence a pair. The napguard today of an equal quality retails at our shop at £50 pair.
“We used to have a large display blanket box in the window which was called an Old Kist. An old kist is a carved Scottish blanket box.
“There is a video of the old market closing down, my mum was caught on camera looking through the shop window. We moved to our new address in Queensgate Market back in 1970.
“We have been there ever since. My elder sister Roberta continued working there for a few years until I arrived in 1978. My younger brother Carl also came in and he spent 28 years at my side. The staff we had working for us were all close family friends.
“In the 1970s/80s we used to have eight storage cages full of stock. The part-time young staff we had on a Saturday were called ‘runners’ as all they used to do was go down to the cages for customers’ orders.
“I’m retiring and it will be a great loss leaving the market and will pull on my heartstrings.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our customers past and present for supporting us over the last 51 years.
“My son Stuart now runs the show but feels he needs to move on in a different direction as he has just moved into a new home he has bought.
“As we are closing down I hope that all the bargains are snapped up by our loyal customers.”
The shop will close permanently on June 30.