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Page last updated at 15:17 GMT, Thursday, 17 September 2009 16:17 UK
Sexy Rexy and other shopping stories
Sexy Rexy's gents' outfitters, Sheffield
Sexy Rexy's suit shop was on the corner of Pinstone Street and Cross Burgess Street. Sheffield Town Hall can just be seen in the right of the photo.

A Matlock-based car sales manager has revealed himself as the 70s fashion icon posing outside Sexy Rexy in this photo.

Local author Neil Anderson is producing a book about the 1970s Sheffield shopping experience and had almost given up the search for the two dapper gents - but then he got a phone call...

"I was sitting in the office late one night when my mobile rang and a jolly sounding guy announced he might be the man I was looking for", said Neil Anderson who is writing the book.

"John Townsend apologised for taking a while to get in touch - but was quick to remind me that the shot was nearly 40 years old!"

Sexy Rexy was one of the most popular outfitters at the time. The photo above shows 'fab two-piece suits' for just £16.95 as part of Sexy Rexy's opening offer.

It was located on the corner of Pinstone Street and Charles Street, next to where Pollards cafe is now. The tower of the Town Hall can just be seen in the top right of the photo.

Perfume counter at Walsh's, Sheffield, 1972
Perfume counter at Walsh's department store in 1972. The building was on Sheffield High Street and is now TJ Hughes.

Other Sheffield shopping favourites were Chapel Walk and Walsh's department store on the High Street. The family-run company opened in 1875 selling baby linen and ladies' clothes before expanding into a bigger department store. The shop became Rackhams, House of Fraser, and is now TJ Hughes.

Nicholas Atkinson of the well-known Sheffield department store says he has fond memories of The Moor in the 1970s and is pleased to see a renaissance beginning, with plans for new markets and other improvement works.

"Sheffield in the seventies was a such a fantastic and buzzing place," says Nicholas. "I remember our 'In Gear' boutique in Atkinsons; imported Afgan coats from Kabul. They used to stink!

"I'm looking forward to the buzz starting to return to The Moor with arrival of the new markets building, new retailers and all the work going on to improve the environment."

Neil Anderson's book will also include the memories of Peter Wigley, Sheffield's first publicity officer and the man who commissioned Sheffield's first promotional film City On The Move. Find out more about the film:

One of Peter Wigley's fondest memories was the rivalry between Sheffield and Leeds, and which city offered the best shopping experience in the 1970s.

"We were always trying to get one over on each other," remembers Peter. "One year I had some carrier bags made which said 'Shop In Sheffield This Christmas'. Our plan was to sell them to local retailers. We had 10,000 printed but only ended up selling 9000. Then we had a brainwave and decided to take the remaining 1000 up to Leeds. Girls from the office put on mini-skirts and went to a West Yorkshire shopping precinct. They were literally swamped with people wanting the carrier bags!

Sexy Rexy is now a gambling acrade called Quicksilver
Sexy Rexy is now a gambling arcade. One of the original models, John Townsend, is on the right

"The same day we were contacted by Bob Langley from the Nationwide programme who asked if they could come and film Sheffield's Christmas illuminations. I told them what we were doing in Leeds and they decided to extend the programme to fit that in as well! Our friends in Leeds were not best pleased as you can imagine! It's fair to say that Sheffield won that Christmas."

Neil Anderson says he hopes the 'Shopaholics Guide to 1970s Sheffield' will give "a shot in the arm" to the city centre in 2009:

"We hope that by reminding people what we used to have, we can encourage potential investors to think seriously about Sheffield."

The book is being compiled by the producers of the celebrated Reel Monty - the 1972 Sheffield promotional film that shot to fame following its inclusion in The Full Monty - in conjunction with The Star.

Shopaholics Guide To 1970s Sheffield goes on sale at The Star Shop on York Street, Sheffield, S1 at 11am on Wednesday 25th November. The author Neil Anderson will be doing a signing session. It is also available on line at the ACM Retro website.

Chapel Walk in Sheffield, 1974
The view down Chapel Walk in Sheffield in November 1974

Have Your Say

What are your memories of shopping in 1970s Sheffield city centre?

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Harry, Sheffield

I bought my Black Leather Trousers from Sexy Rexy in Sheffield, price £14 50 ha ha.

Robert Oxley, Chesterfield

I remember working at Sexy Rexy for a short time before I went to work at Atkinsons, good times.

Phil Carson, Rotherham

I remember Castle Market (I was around 10 at the time), I used to go there with my mum for the fresh meat and fish and we always stopped off for a tub of prawns.

There was also Harringtons clothes shop where the school craze was started for wearing a Harrington jacket and smart 'R's' jeans (the ones with no pockets) We would walk what seemed like miles from Castle Market, up High Street then down the Moor all for the weekly shop, then would walk all the way back to Pond Street to catch a bus home... oh happy days.

Chris Senior, Sheffield

I can clearly remember the tiny sports shop on Leopold St across from what used to be Wilson Pecks music shop - Birds Sports. They crammed every kind of sports related gear into these tiny premises - footballs would be hanging from the ceiling, stuff like Subbuteo sets would be out of sight in a rear stockroom. We also used to visit Suggs on the moor in the arcade (since demolished) where John Fantham of SWFC had a barbers shop.

Karen, Calgary, Canada

Wallis and Top Shop my fave shops, I used to work in a "Boutique" near C&A's... AND you are right, those afghan coats didnt half PONG, didn't stop me from wearing it though... Sheffield town center was THE place to be on a Saturday afternoons in the 70's...

Elaine Brammer, Sheffield

What was the name of the large department store where the large Argos is now, opposite the Co-op and Primark??? I thought that was Walshes. There was also a lovely Arcade on Pinstone St.

Jane Black, Norfolk

There was also Cockaynes another department store opposite the High Street end of Chapel Walk. Also down Chapel Walk there was Cann the Music Man (a record shop). Walsh's was a lovely department store and when we visited Sheffield on Saturdays my parents used to take me and my sister for afternoon tea there (always silver service!)




SEE ALSO
Memories of Sheffield Fiesta
10 Aug 09 |  History

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