27/02/2018
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Talking Shops, The Engine Shed in Stirling, until 22 June 2018

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Talking Shops - A History of Scotland's Shopfronts is a new exhibition which explores the history of the country's shopfronts over the years.

The exhibition, featuring photos and artefacts from across Scotland, is intended to celebrate the diversity of styles of shopfronts which can be found across the country.

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Samples of materials commonly used in shopfronts – such as the toughened, coloured glass Vitrolite, which can still be seen in many historic building facades – will also be on display.

One of the key exhibits is a golden beaver sign (pictured) which once took pride of place as part of the shopfront of a Stirling hat shop and now forms part of the collection of the Smith Museum and Art Gallery. Beavers have a long association with the hat-making industry as a source of material and consequently as a symbol of the trade. Resources on traditional sign-writing and a video highlighting Scottish shopfronts will also be on display.

Historic shopfronts

Speaking ahead of the launch, Dorothy Hoskins, Technical Outreach and Education Manager at the Engine Shed said: “With so much shopping taking place online and the growth of chain shops who do not necessarily have a traditional shopfront that focuses on their goods, it’s easy to forget how impressive, memorable and well-displayed shopfronts could impact on business.

“We want to explore the benefits that changing technology brought to shops as they developed, with glass, lightweight alloys and mass production all allowing for brighter, bolder and more impressive frontages, helping to spur competition in towns.”

Talking Shops is at the Engine Shed until 22 June, open Mon-Sat 10am to 4pm.

The Engine Shed, Forthside Way, Stirling FK8 1QZ; tel: 0131 668 6800; website.

(image copyright The Engine Shed)

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