McCartney Times

Blackler’s Store

Blackler’s Store

Blackler’s Store

53 Great Charlotte Street Liverpool L1, UK

Original Tel: “Royal” (709) 6260 – yes, they had words for telephone exchanges in those days!!!

Blackler’s Store was one of Liverpool’s finest, a multi story emporium, based on The Lafayette in Paris and I have very happy memories of sitting on Santa’s lap (and remembering him smelling of beer), when I was but a little tot. Mum used to take me there every year, (except 1941 when it was bombed), and in fact, I carried on the tradition when Ruth was a young ‘un. I have a delightful photograph of her and her Cousin Geraldine on one of these memorable occasions.

It had a huge glass dome at the top and a permanent blow up Santa. You will find a 1968/69 Christmas Grotto documentary on – Blacklers Department Store, narrated by Ken Dodd, Liverpool’s much beloved comedian.

But its real claim to fame is that George Harrison once worked there. After he failed to make the grade with his exams at The Liverpool Institute, in an effort to get some kind of job without any qualifications, the job centre sent him to Blackler’s, where they needed a window dresser.

Unfortunately, by the time he got his interview, that post had been filled, and they offered him a job as an apprentice electrician, so he took it.

George is quoted as saying “So I got a job cleaning all the lights with a paint brush, all those tubes to keep clean, and at Christmas, I kept the Grotto clean.” Little did he imagine what the future held for him. But by the age of 17, he was able to tell his boss he would be leaving to go on tour to Scotland, backing Johnny Gentle.

The shop has since been changed into a slew of smaller and varied retail premises.

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