Grouts

"Granny aprons, acrylic cardigans, outsize girdles...Carol from Palmers Green misses this haberdashers."

Dear london-rip.com, Carol here from sunny Palmers Green: Grouts of Green Lanes, N13… I REALLY miss it! Grouts was the unlikely name for a haberdashers shop which stood for around 85 years at the corner of Green Lanes and Devonshire Road in Palmers Green.

During that time, it had scarcely altered at all. It specialised in bits of ribbon, odd buttons, tea towels, zips and cotton reels in a fantastic choice of colours - not surprisingly it went out of business a couple of years ago, despite its vast range of granny aprons, vile acrylic cardigans and a disturbingly extensive collection of outsize bras and girdles - all of which seemed to be in a unpleasant pale yellowish shade.

All the shop fittings were original and it boasted an incredible arrangement of overhead wires, which could be used to send money from one side of the shop to the other. The shop closed down around 2003, but the cash telegraph system - as it was known - was sent to the Lowestoft Museum of Transport.

With haberdashery shops becoming rarer and rarer over recent years, I suppose it was inevitable that good old Grouts would go too. But it was a bit like an elderly relative who just keeps going on - most of us who live here never really believed it would die. It had been here so long, after all. Now, in its place, is a ghastly Italian furniture shop. Grouts, it’s true to say, is sadly missed. RIP.