Terrifying trees and Geoffrey the Giraffe - nine city shops of yesteryear

Timothy the Tree in Mothercare, Norwich back in 1994.

Timothy the Tree in Mothercare, Norwich back in 1994. - Credit: Archant

We can all remember the shops we visited as children, whether we were test driving the ride-on cars in Toys 'R' Us or running away from Timothy the Tree in Mothercare.

Archant community content curators, Sarah Ravencroft and Siofra Connor, have searched through the Norwich Evening News archive to find some retro pics of the Norwich shops we've lost.

Mothercare

Mothercare in the Castle Mall.

Mothercare in the Castle Mall. - Credit: EDP.DFT

This well-known baby shop has now been replaced by Poundland in the Castle Mall, but during its lifetime it was known for its terrifying Timothy the Tree, which used to sing to unsuspecting shoppers.

Timothy the Tree in Mothercare, Norwich back in 1994.

Timothy the Tree in Mothercare, Norwich back in 1994. - Credit: Archant

Toys R Us

Geoffrey the Giraffe with Toys 'R' Us competition winners in 1999.

Geoffrey the Giraffe with Toys 'R' Us competition winners in 1999. - Credit: Archant

With its building still left vacant following its closure, Toys 'R' Us was a child's paradise well-known for its cheery giraffe mascot Geoffrey and middle aisle packed with ride-on toys for children to test drive to their heart's content.

The middle aisle of Toys 'R' Us where kids could test drive ride-on cars.

The middle aisle of Toys 'R' Us where kids could test drive ride-on cars. - Credit: Eastern Counties Newspapers

One Step Beyond

One Step Beyond in Norwich.

One Step Beyond in Norwich. - Credit: Archant

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Back in their late-90s, early-00s heyday, video games were everywhere, with independent retailers were popping up everywhere in the city.

One of the best-loved shops was One Step Beyond with racks of video gaming delights.

One Step Beyond in Norwich.

One Step Beyond in Norwich. - Credit: Archant

HMV 

HMV on Gentleman's Walk.

HMV on Gentleman's Walk. - Credit: Archant

Thankfully HMV still exists in Chantry Place, but once the chain had a jumbo-sized store on Gentleman's Walk containing just about every record imaginable.

JJB

JJB Sports on Westlegate.

JJB Sports on Westlegate. - Credit: Archant

Before Dave Whelan's sports shop empire tumbled in 2007, JJB stood on the corner of Weslegate offering a wide variety of sporting goods before it was replaced by Tesco.

JJB Sports on Westlegate.

JJB Sports on Westlegate. - Credit: Archant

BHS

BHS in Norwich.

BHS in Norwich. - Credit: Archant

A more recent departure from St Stephen's Street in the city, BHS is yet to be replaced after it shuttered in 2016.

Littlewoods

Littlewoods in Norwich.

Littlewoods in Norwich. - Credit: Archant

Located where Primark now stands, Littlewoods disappeared from our streets in the mid-00s as the company rebranded to focus on catalogues. 

Debenhams

Topshop in Norwich.

Topshop in Norwich. - Credit: Archant

Another recent departure from the city, after it fell into administration last November, the building remains vacant.

Canary Store

Norwich City's Castle Mall fan shop, Canary Store.

Norwich City's Castle Mall fan shop, Canary Store. - Credit: Archant

Before the club unveiled its state-of-the-art fan hub under Pilch, fans had to go to the club's significantly smaller Castle Mall store to buy merchandise and tickets.

There were queues around the shopping centre when Darren Huckerby turned up to sign autographs.

Darren Huckerby is swamped with fans at the Canary Store.

Darren Huckerby is swamped with fans at the Canary Store. - Credit: Archant


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