Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

The Recession is Over


Look, it must be, I took Mr Uphildowndale to the store in York, where I’d seen signs that the recession was deepening.

And lo, it has to come to pass that all discounts are off,

recession ends

the asking price is back too £9.99

recession ends 2

Ahhh, but wait, it’s not actually sold yet has it? Maybe we shouldn’t count our Easter chicks before they’ve hatched.


Barnitts  store is a bit of a gem, I could have left Mr Uphilldowndale in there for many happy hours, it sells what our friends Mr and Mrs Ogg  might refer to as ‘items of faffness’ Mr Uphilldowndale loves such places and enjoys seeing all the very useful faffy things, woodworking  tools, small things in little plastic bags, balls of string and other  very important things*.  See  dodgy photo below. as they say in York, “if Barnitts haven’t got it, you can’t get it anywhere!”20140415_103315

On entering Barnitts I thought I was going into a small shop selling light fittings (I’m always trying to source light fitting I like, I’ve not managed it yet) to my amazement, it was like entering, Narnia I found myself in  a warren of departments, all on different floors and levels I emerged an hour later from a door way two shops down from where I’d gone in!

I discovered many shops are like this in York, the result of trying to squeeze modern shopping fashions into a historic city of jumbled buildings.

If you wanted to buy a new tea pot, Barnitts will have 20 to chose from, a flask to keep the tea warm? dozens.’ Letter boxes? Did you want brass or wrought iron? and a door knocker to match? I can’t imagine what it must be like to stock take, but I do know the total stock value must be massive!

This letter box is in a door at York Minster, not Barnitts, but I’m rather taken by it.


letter box york minster



*String is a very important thing
  Rope is thicker
  But string is quicker

Spike Milligan

Of course for full on faffness, you could make your own string

Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

7 thoughts on “The Recession is Over

  1. We have a shop much like that in spirit if not in scale here in Langholm and people come from miles around to wander round it.

  2. Possibly after your last post about it a dozen people went straight off to Barnitts to buy the placard at the favorable price. Someone in the buying department decided that interest was increasing and put the price back up.

    We have a 70-year-old general store over in Central Lake called Bachmann’s. We all say that if you can’t find it there, you probably don’t need it anyway.

    Faffness, eh? I like it. The word that is . . . .

  3. My kind of shop 🙂 Great link on string making as well, liking the blog.

  4. That’s definitely my kind of store. I used to work in a old-fashioned, traditional hardware store albeit much smaller than Barnitts. xx

  5. That type of higgledy-piggledy shop is fantastic. They make even boring items seem quirky and interesting. My other half is always conserving pieces of string, tape and other ‘items of faffness’ which I fail to see the use for!

  6. I’d certainly enjoy poking through the wares in that shop! I remember once being in an old hardware shop in the UK, and there was so much inventory going back years, that you could seemingly follow the evolution of tools as you sifted through the displays. Really enjoyed York when I was there, and I like the letterbox, too 🙂
    Bet Spud was happy to see you back home.

  7. Exeter is similar, traditional shop front or architecture, some seem even part of the Roman wall, but modern things inside. I quite like it!

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