Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire
At the Co-op
The things you see going shopping… I’ve noticed before some of the creative ways that various Co-ops have had with their store fronts, especially wonderful tiled ones from the 1930s. But now and then I come across one of an even earlier vintage, often showing what strikes me often about early shopfronts – that they were built to last in a way alien to most shopfitters and store owners.
A purist might well say that the decoration on this frontage is rather a hotchpotch – cherubs among reeds sitting on scrollwork…date stone and cherubs and triangles and swags all crowded together. But that hotchpotch is quite close to the spirit of the English Renaissance decoration of the 1500s and 1600s that this building is referencing. It always was a bit of a mash-up, but a charming and lively one for all that. They liked this sort of thing in the Elizabethan period, they liked it in the 1890s, and I like it too.