Wednesday, 29 April 2009

The Death of an old Friend.

Close your eyes…. I want you to think back to when you were about 13 years old…. what was the one store, that when hitting the high street with your mates on a Saturday afternoon, was as essential to your shop, as 8 hour cream is to your under eyes now? You remember it surely? Think hard think back! The smell when you first walked through the door (kind of like a library but without the books), the racks beyond racks of unorganised cheap clothing, the miserable Saturday girls that so clearly didn’t want to be there? The painfully tight, printed t-shirts they would mass-produce and we would all wear to underage discos?  It was a place you’d buy your favourite dress from, wear it once, and after washing it, would unfortunately shrink and would only be suitable for your Barbie doll’s. If my description baffles you, you clearly have fonder memories of the place then I do… or, maybe not as good a memory as I? The store in question is Bay Trading… good old Bay Trading. God this store almost feels like family to me, I spent so much time with it as a child! 

When I was growing up, my parents didn’t give me pocket money, so I spent most of my childhood attempting to make money by any means possible (like Del Boy but without Rodney and Uncle Albert.) I would wash your car for you, I would knock on your front door, clutching an old mans flat cap, filled with copper coins from my dad’s jeans, and say “ want me to brighten up your day with a little singing” hoping you would indulge me... it never happened! I would sell you homemade Rose perfume however, I would normally have stolen the Roses from your garden minutes earlier! Needless to say, I spent the majority of my childhood pretty skint. However one thing my parents, mum in particular, were always happy to do, was to buy me clothes…one catch, they were always from Bay Trading. I remember every Saturday I’d head of with my indulgent mother to Birkenhead, first stop Bay Trading! This place, and my mother, were single handedly responsible for making me spend my early teenage years looking like mini prostitute. Bay Trading was the only place that indulged my Mel B obsession by stocking a leopard two-piece, which consisted of a tiny crop top, mini skirt and matching headband! There was the bright yellow, lycra ensemble I lived and died in for an entire summer. Not to mention my mock Tommy Hilfiger halter neck dress, that led me to kiss at least 3 boys at the underage disco, AKA, The Planet dance.

However I was struck with a slight glint of sadness to discover that Bay Trading is now going in to administration. It has become the next victim to fall fowl to the credit crunch that is working its way through our high street like a vicious cancerous tumour. Maybe the reason for my sadness comes from this and this alone, or, maybe it’s the fact that I never quite got my vengeance on the place for making me into a leopard wearing, hooker age 13? Yet the more I look back the more I think, compared to all the other 13 year old Bette Lynch’s, (my friends) I always looked quite on trend, quite in fashion and 'well turned out'. So maybe for it's time Bay Trading wasn’t all that bad?

With the departure of Bay Trading, comes the eminent loss of 1,000 jobs across its 268 stores nation wide! This is the biggest grievance of all. The closure of Bay Trading, like Woolworths before it, is sad, for us, because it’s an institution closing, but even worse for those who work there. We still have our memories but they no longer have their jobs.


  1. Thank you for a a very touching article. I work as a manager for Bay and have forwarded this on to our head office. Thank you again. x

  2. I love your post.
    It is amazing!
    Keep writing :)

  3. Thanks to both of you for the lovely comments! London - I hope your job isn't under threat? And hope it all works out well for you. Helen - thanks again for the lovely msg...keep reading !! xx

  4. I had to feel sorry for you when you said that no-one would listen to your singing :( haha