Tag Archives: shops

Mysterious garden

Primetime Video shop rear exit

I went wandering around Prime Time on Saturday (they seem to have taken down the “VHS Sale” signs finally), and was shocked to see that for the first time I can remember, the fire exit doors at the back were wide open.

I had always assumed that there would be a rickety old metal fire escape down to an alleyway out at the back, but no! It looks like there is a rather nice little garden down there, with decking and parasols,. Looked like a lovely spot to eat your fish and chips – perhaps the chip shop will open it up – or maybe PrimeTime will take up my suggestion of turning their lower floor into a cocktail bar, using the garden at the back during the summer…

And before you ask, I couldn’t find the film I was looking for (Blade Runner the Final Cut…  Under F for Harrison Ford, S for Ridley Scott, or B in the Sci Fi section?!)

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No More Momo Franks

Momo Franks Gone

Another one bites the dust. It looks very much like Momo Franks is no more, as mentioned by Masie here. Just had a wander past to try and take my mind off the wisdom tooth, and there are big signs up saying “Entire Property Lease for Sale”, which suggests that my supply of olives and humous will have to come from somewhere else. (More trips to the wonderful TFC in Lewisham to compensate)…

Bang and Olufsen

Also added to the deadpool a while back was Bang and Olufsen. Which is a shame, as I never quite managed to go in there, but always wandered past, thinking “I must go and look at their beautiful, if overpriced hi-fi units”. Ever since I was an extremely small bugle (cornet? cornetto? no…) I rember my aunt and uncle had one of these astonishing CD players, where the lid opened automatically when you touched the glass surface with your finger! And the volume was adjusted by sliding your finger up and down the glass, which would light up red beneath it! It was all very James Bond. Anyway, now they’re gone, and you have to travel to Sevenoaks if you still feel the need.  Hope the next owners leave the clock up there.

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Live Mannequins Being Used in Blackheath Shops

Well it’s either a dog, or a very convincing robot. I didn’t think The Union did a range of studded dog collars…

I would give you a link to the shop, but they don’t seem to have a website… From Googling around, I can tell you their details though: 20 Montpelier Vale, London, SE3 0TA, Telephone 020 88524722.

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David and Goliath

Blackheath Village Deli and Starbucks

How is it that a tiny delicatessen in Blackheath right next to Starbucks doesn’t go out of business?

I thought I’d do a comparison of the two. I’d been into the Village Deli a few times. It is nice enough, but feels more like a cafe than a delicatessen. It’s nothing like Starbucks. You pay afterwards, which always feels nicer, and there are plenty of tables outside to watch the world go by.

Blackheath Village Deli Coffee

It’s not perfect though -the tables were slightly sticky, and could have done with a good wipe. A small latte was good, and cost £2.

Now, Starbucks…. You, being nice Blackheath people, know how Starbucks is, so I’m not going to describe the usual things.

Blackheath Starbucks Empty

What is odd is that from the outside you cannot see how few places there are to sit down. It is as though they have decided that they have no interest in serving customers inside. It really might as well be a booth with a dispensing flap at the front. Inside, it is like a morgue most of the time. The staff (baristas – God, what a strange word to choose), were unfaultable, but really it felt so empty.

Starbucks CoffeeThe coffee was £2.05. Not sure what you get for your extra 5p- maybe a bit more cow juice. And Nora Jones on the stereo.

I can’t help thinking that if it weren’t for the Village Deli’s location, it would have been annihilated by the Starbucks juggernaut. Not because Starbucks is better (it isn’t), but because the station is such a hub of activity in Blackheath, everyone seems to radiate towards it in the mornings and away at night, and the Deli is the first coffee shop that is visible from outside.

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Cookery Nook weird object of the month

Cookery Nook scraper

My goodness, there are some strange items in the Cookery Nook… I was trying to decide which one to go for, then this one took my eye. A dog food scraper. Brilliant! Just what every dog needs. I’m sure this theme will run and run. Feel free to send in any photos of impulse purchases from the Nook, and they will get pride of place on the Bugle.

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Prime Time – the strangest and best movie rental shop

the best video store in the world... Or in Blackheath

Imagine you were going to start a movie rental shop. There would be a number of things you’d have to consider… How would you store your DVDs so that your customers could find them easily? Would you perhaps take the easy way out, and arrange them by title? Or would you go the Prime Time route of arranging them by actor, unless the director is more famous, in which case arrange by director. Unless they’re a new release in which case they’ll be at the front of the shop… On the left if they’re cheesy blockbusters, and on the right if they’re arty.

How would you publicise your shop? Maybe put some posters in the window? Some tempting images of hollywood starlets perhaps? Or some classic film posters from a bygone age? Surely if you had interestingly curved glass display windows you’d put something there… Perhaps you’d choose to stick some bright plastic letters to the glass saying “MASSIVE VHS CLEAROUT”, and leave it at that (don’t look confused – you know what VHS is… they were those tapes the size of buses that you used to tape Eldorado on).

The really odd thing about the shop is this labyrinthine lower level full to the brim with dusty VHS tapes. Why don’t they just get rid of them? Open a bar down there or something. I have never seen anyone leave that shop with anything other than a DVD in their hand.

And then, there is the dispute. The angry sign apologising for the lack of heating… Something to do with the chip shop next door, and air vents… Anyway, I quite like it chilly… With all that velvet it starts to feel like part of a David Lynch movie.

They don’t take credit cards – the entire place seems to run on cash only. It looks like the sort of place where you should be allowed to smoke. They ask for a credit card before allowing you to take films out, which seems a bit disingenuous.

They do have tons of great films though. And a wide variety of shop assistants – some who make terrible recommendations, and some who look mockingly at the terrible films the customers choose. It’s more atmospheric than lovefilm, and you don’t get the feeling that they’re always giving you the last item on your list (probably becuase they can’t see your list – if they did, they’d just laugh at it).

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