28 May 2018

Marks & Spencer Holloway Road closing in 2019

M&S have just announced the closure of some of their stores across the UK and this will include my local branch in Holloway Rd, shown here.
Whilst I am sad for the people who work currently and will lose their jobs I must admit that I always enjoy shopping in this branch precisely because it's never very busy in there!
In particular I have always found the food hall a pleasant place with nary a queue at the checkout. When this branch closes my nearest M&S Food will be up at Archway, an uphill hike, or at Angel or Crouch End, both a bus ride away. But that's not gonna happen – we are really lucky in the Holloway Nags Head area because the area is awash with supermarkets, various food outlets, market stalls and all sorts – we have so much choice that I am sorry to say I doubt M&S will be missed and I doubt those special journeys will be made.
But aside from the people and the products, I wonder what is going to happen to the marvellous late-1930s Holloway Road shop front when M&S move away? I hope it will be protected. There are very few of these façades remaining in the UK. It will need a large company to take the whole site in order to keep the frontage intact. Sub-dividing into single shops will probably result in the loss of the ground floor features including the marvellous metal edged windows and fluted faux chrome pillars with octagonal bases and tops. Though it's a shame the company has changed the original letters on the front so many times over the decades – hints of the fixings can still be seen in the main pic above. Perhaps they could have saved a bit of money there by just leaving well alone as I am sure only a handful of us ever noticed the change in typefaces over the years.

Marks & Spencer, 420 Holloway Road – architectural details
Another similar M&S shop front can be found at Clapham Junction.

Read more about the closure of this store in The Islington Gazette here though please note that the B&W pic shown of the store in 1931 is not the same site – M&S's current location is the company's third site in Holloway. Find out more on one of my guided walks!!

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