IT felt ironic that, with the exception of Christmas, the HMV shop in Shields, hosting a closing-down sale, was busier at the weekend than when the chain’s fortunes were faring better.
Would that they had had the custom earlier.
In the same way, there is an element of ‘use it or lose it’ about the town’s market, where I made this poignantly timely find.
In the first instance it was nice to see the Friday flea market relatively busy: a decent number of stalls, and plenty folk looking round, despite it still being a cold day in February.
It shows that the demand for a market is still there.
And it was certainly worth browsing to turn this up. As kids, we used to play 78rpm records like this on an old wind-up box gramophone with a faded velvet turntable and needle as big as a tack.
In fact, some of the discs were even older than this – great big things as thick as dinner plates which, I think, had been my grandmother’s.
This one, I found evocative on so many levels, not least because of the lovely original His Masters Voice (HMV) label.
But I also wondered what resonance, for readers, the name of the record dealer might have.
Gordon Eades Ltd had branches in both Fawcett Street, Sunderland, and Grange Road, Jarrow, where they are actually listed as being a piano dealer’s just before the Second World War.
There is no date for the record as such, but it features melodies sung by Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald from the film, Maytime. This MGM musical romance was made in 1937.
The screenplay was rewritten from the book for Sigmund Romberg’s 1917 operetta Maytime by Rida Johnson Youn.
The film’s story line, apparently, resembles Noel’s Coward’s operetta Bitter Sweet.
Even the songs have a certain aptness when considering the decline of a great music label: Farewell to Dreams on one side and, on the other, Will You Remember?
It cost a quid by the way. Cheap at the price.