Country boy in the big city: retail

For someone who is used to a petrol station and a post office as to what constitutes retail in their area, moving to Lincoln was a real culture shock and one I felt I had to embrace.

While my small village of Brayton is located 30 minutes down the road from York and 40 minutes from Leeds, it still seemed a massive transition in the summer of 2015 when I came to the University of Lincoln.

Vintage shops, record shops, branded shops, you name it and Lincoln can supply you with it. In what was an exciting and ground breaking time for me, I found myself soaked up in this cultural hub that I hadn’t even considered until I looked round it as one of my UCAS options.

I had thought Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester to be cities where I may end up when I eventually came to university but little did I know, historic old Lincoln would be the place I would choose to reside for the next three years of my life.

Maybe it was because it reminded me of the shops of nearby city York or maybe it was the friendliness of the people. Whatever it was, I was hooked and I couldn’t get enough of the place.

My favourite shops in Lincoln include Yak at the start of Steep Hill and vinyl record store, Back to Mono. Both of them have items of reasonable price and both will leave you wondering how much of the shop you can buy with your student loan.

The only issue with this new thrill of buying such different and intriguing items was the fact there was nowhere to buy such goods in a 35 mile radius of my village during the summer and winter breaks.

Often trips to Leeds and York would ensue through these times and from my days in college and scouting through the record shelves of Vinyl Eddie, I found my adopted local store for records. While Crash Records in Leeds was also a favourite spot of mine, the familiarity of Vinyl Eddie made it an instant winner in my eyes.

With one vintage clothing shop needed to get me hooked, I searched for inspiration nearer to home.

The Vintage clothing fair at the Leeds Corn Exchange is like no other. Usually, vintage fairs follow the primus that you get nice vintage clothes in a poor location or you get a nice location with lots of drab looking clothes from a 90’s looking wardrobe. However, this hidden gem in Leeds had paved the way for all other vintage clothes events and combined a beautiful interior building with equally impressive clothing pieces.

My search was finally over and it felt for the first time since I joined the university that I had some form of stability and consistency in my life. For university, that is all you can ask for in a time of mass change.

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