Monday, December 05, 2011

The Best Shop in Scotland

I love living here!  I find it comforting that my youngest child doesn't remember living anywhere else.  I feel we're putting down roots.  One of the reasons that living in this community is so wonderful, is that it is just that, a community.

I was in the town of Langholm today.  It snowed overnight, so I didn't drive on the road that would get me there the quickest, I drove the big, well travelled and plowed roads.  Langholm is about twelve miles from the house.

While I was in town, I needed to stop by the most wonderful shop in Scotland, Latimers!  I love this shop and I will use any feeble excuse to go in.  This place has a wonderful, old fashioned way of doing business.  It has been around for years and it stands by the things that they sell.  They sell everything in here.  Really.  Everything.

I went in to buy a new grate for the fire.  You can buy a grate, an ash shovel and replacement fire bricks.  There is even some black stove polish if you need it.

One of the things I find comforting is a place that sells rope and string.  There is a nice assortment here.  From the sort of handy string for tying up packages (Does anybody tie up packages in brown paper these days?) and garden canes to a new clothes line.
Need a new brush for your broom?  I love brush heads and brooms.  They are nothing except practical and handy.  Now that I'm thinking about it, the door mat in the kitchen is well past the point of being useful and should be replaced.

This aisle is where I could be lost for a large chunk of time.  Why don't I have a mixing bowl in every size?  The kitchen gadgets are on the right hand side of this aisle.  If they don't have it here, you just don't need it.
I mentioned that it has snowed recently.  Guess where you can buy a snow shovel?  That's right!  I asked if they had sold many shovels today.  They had. I then showed him a photo I had taken with my phone of the amount of snow that had fallen at Whitelees this morning.  "Jings!" was the response I got. 
That's the grate I bought on the counter there.  I also bought a small tin of rust-proof primer and a tin of yellow paint. Paint is found behind the area where the china and fine glassware are stocked, just past the tools and nails.  The Man of the Place is giving our air cylinders a new coat of paint.  Rust never sleeps.

The back room is where they sell beds and carpeting.  The second floor is where the furniture is.  Sorry, no photo available.

Now that I'm home, it turns out that the grate I bought is a bit too big.  I'll take it back tomorrow and exchange it.  I don't have a receipt, but the man behind the counter will remember me and just swap it across without any bother.  That's how they do business.
Wal-Mart in the US has killed off all the shops like this in America.  I am SO glad that we don't have Wal-Mart here.  Yes the prices are lower in that big, faceless, soul destroying store but at what price to the community?  Family owned stores that are not a franchise of some other chain are almost extinct.  Wouldn't it be great to get them back?

Almost every farm in the area has an account there. Every raffle draw will have one prize in it, donated from Latimers.  Local brides get their names on the Latimers Bridal Registry.  I know I have rose-tinted specs on . . . . and I'm sure somebody will point out how messy the front counter is in the sixth photo of this entry - and how inefficient it is to tally up my purchases on the back of a scrap of paper.  It is probably bad business that even though my purchases came to £31.24  I was only charged £31.00, but they have my undying loyalty.  I will continue to give that shop my business for the rest of my days.


Betty said...

We used to have stores like Latimers in our town, but Walmart ruined everything. My children tell people that "Mom's soul collapses in Walmart," and I think that's an accurate description.

Peggy said...

I hope you never have to go into a Walmart ever again. They don't deserve your custom.

Susan @ A Slice of My Life said...

Oh looks simply delightful!

Everyone having an account reminds me of when Shaun and I had been married for a year or so and were headed to CO to meet his family and see where he grew up. He was also on a misson to pay an account he had sort of left town without paying. It haunted him.

I was convinced they would've written it off as a loss years before, yet, not only did they remember him, within moments they came out with a stack of handwritten recipts that was his account. I was amazed and ready to move there right that instant!

Sarah said...

I liked Latimers when we visited :)
Luckily Walmart isn't everywhere, but then there's Kmart, Target, HomeGoods, take your pick. They're all nasty.

Peggy said...

Sarah - I don't remember going to Langholm with you, but we must have! I would have hated you to miss it. I am so glad I don't have to go to the stores you previously mentioned. It upsets my sensibilities.