© 2009 Lynsey

007 – Retail angels

The retail angels can be found in the old James Smith’s building, I’d guess as a result of some renovation in the 1930-40s. I’m guessing based on the art deco style font – see the letters ‘J S’ and less clearly, ‘LTD’. James Smith’s was one of those legendary department stores when I was a kid visiting Wellington. Although it’s tatty now, corners protected from the worst of the vulgar ravages remain.

While trying to find some historical info about the building I found it’s Wellington’s obscure connection with Charlotte (Jane Eyre) Bronte. According to the Lesbian/Gay Historical Walk of Wellington,

Mary Taylor (1817-1893), a former lover of Charlotte Bronte (who wrote that she had “more energy and power in her nature than any ten men”), came out from England in 1845 with her brother Waring Taylor and founded a drapery store on this site in 1849, named after herself. It was described as one of the principal stores of Wellington in 1853. Bronte died in childbirth in 1855 without seeing Mary again. In 1859, unable to find anyone here she had anything in common with, Mary sold the store to her assistant, James Smith (who renamed it after himself and later moved it to its present site) and returned to England.

03. Every day is an opportunity to reflect on the past.
04. Every day is an opportunity to cultivate the promise of the future.
05. Every day is now. The present moment.

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