Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Reflections 2013 - Our 20th Birthday

It was quite a year......

Our 20th Birthday celebrations kicked off with a "Towering Sale"...............

Your twenties is apparently your defining decade - you have probably noticed that Ian has already started his redefinition process....... and I'm hoping to tone up a bit myself!  

Earlier this year we were delighted that our application to upgrade our key corner position on Junction Road, within the St. John’s Grove conservation area was successful and a grant towards the cost of our scheme has been awarded.  Working with local architects Lyndon Goode we set about designing a new frontage which through sensitive design would enhance the individuality and character of the building, as well as providing improved access. 

 Relocating the entrance from the existing location at the corner to the side elevation (on St John's Grove) we have provided an effectively level access for our disabled customers and those with pushchairs and prams, as well as creating the opportunity for a more coherent elevation to Junction Road.

There are loads of little details that we think makes the new map gift shop stand out, as well as giving us more space for more fabulous products.  Come in and have a look around. We were really delighted that Paul Culliane accepted our commission to make our new threshold, which has touched all our customers and thanks also to Rianne who guilded the curved fascia and front door for us.

We are also delighted that Natasha Bhatia approached us to show her striking work - as part of Islington Exhibits.  I particularly love her  "Urban Fabric" photographs, they have a tactile and layered quality both visually and poetically, plus, I was lucky enough to receive one of Natasha's stunning photographs from Santa this year!
Urban Fabric (India)
Untitled II, Gold Series

In september Ian enjoyed being under the spotlight in the Kentishtowner and in June we celebrated a joint milestone birthday shopping event with Rowan Arts.

It has been an exciting year for Archway too - with the launch of it's very own town centre website, a new literary festival ArchWay with words and my personal highlight was Paradise Lost? when Archway Tower became the backdrop for an amazing piece of aerial theatre by Scarabeus.

Exciting developments continue in Archway-  it is proposed to convert Hamlyn House in Archway into a Premier Inn and Archway tower is set to be developed into apartments by essential living. Not wishing to jinx the plans or say too much (to court controversy) we really hope the impetus for change continues as it is long overdue.

Preferred design from Essential Living

We have been privileged to have been embraced by this community and we have very much enjoyed becoming friends with our customers over the last 20 years!  Sadly this year we said goodbye to a very special "ballsy lady" who we met right at the start of our time in Archway. We'll remember Sue fondly for her friendship and laughter, her radiance is much missed!

This rollercoaster of a year came to an end with unprecedented Christmas sales too - here's to 2014!

Thanks very much to Dylan Collard for his photo shoot of our christmas windows - I think you'll agree that this particular corner of Junction Road looks majestic!

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