Your memories: Beryl and bygone bazaars

'IT WAS like time had stood still in that shop," laughs Beryl Beattie, remembering trips to drapers Turnbull & Wilson, on South Clerk Street, with her mother in the 1940s.

The established store became a firm part of her life, right through to her adult days – it was, after all, where she would buy her Directoire knickers.

"They were made of polyester and they came down to your knees. They really were big knickers," she recalls.

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Former Scotsman shopping columnist Beryl now lives in Livingston, but visited the store for decades when she was in the city, buying everything from petticoats to Lisle stockings, bras to bed jackets – and, of course, knickers.

"A man called Mr Duffy would show customers around – he was a real gentleman. You were made to feel like royalty, which was wonderful.

"They had small rooms for customers to try things on – not like the communal ones of the modern day," she says. "The staff really knew their stuff, too. I was devastated when it closed down, but I suppose they had a lot of older customers who may have died off."

Another of Beryl's favourite Edinburgh shops was furniture supplier C & J Brown, over the road from Turnbull & Wilson.

"There were three Mr Browns who ran the shop and they were like cuddly teddies," she laughs.

"The building had been a regular tenement but they had converted it. I remember it had the smallest lift – if it could fit three people in it, then they were very squashed. The shop closed in the 1980s, as I remember."

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C & J Brown would regularly exhibit at the Royal Highland Show, with Beryl's fondest memory being Mr Brown in the late 1960s, under a canopy with his furniture covered in sheeting as the rain lashed down.

"He was still smiling, though, and talking to customers," she says. "Both these shops offered such a wonderful, personal service. There aren't many places like that nowadays."