The biggest pile of rubbish or another insight into life in the 20th century? While you decide, I’ll tell you why I love these bits of ephemera.

Lets start with graphics and design. Throughout the decades, graphics and design have always reflected popular tastes, fashions, fads, trends and styles. Some of the bags are fairly plain and dull, while others really set the scene. From the austere perfunctory Klitz’s bag to the more stylish Aldersons’ with its’ early 60’s TV and spiral note to the quite funky, “we sell it all” Rumbelows bag of the 70’s.

What they sold too in an interesting snapshot into the high street. Most record shops were born as an accessory rather than a main store. So, if you sold radios, televisions and gramophones, it made sense to start selling a few records too. Record shops also grew out of music shops who’d be just as happy to sell you sheet music, a piano and later a record or two.

Department and chain stores were just as happy to flog you records as they knew that stocking records would bring in those teenagers who had a bit of cash, and they’d be in week after week. I remember my local WH Smiths who had a purple room upstairs with six listening booths where you could check out the latest releases.

So, these bags which should have ended up getting thrown out are an important social statement. They’ll not have made a jot of difference to life as we knew it, but can now tell their own story some fifty years on... Some of the plastic carriers are current.


This part of my site is an add-on only. Something of interest, but there’s only so much time! If you like these bags you should really see http://www.britishrecordshoparchive.org/

The British Record Shop Archive is a superb, and dedicated archive of these wonderful items and filled with detail. 

Thanks to Disc-O-Box - Blandford, Circular Records - Norwich, Replayed Records - Swanage  for adding to this page.

British Bags

British Sleeves

British Carriers

International

Discovery Records - Stratford-Upon-Avon

Long defunct store that was housed in the then “new” precinct starting off in a small pokey side shop and expanding in to a larger unit where Cd’s invaded like a rash. 

Photo - Richard Howarth

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Own a record store? Have a bag? Want free publicity?

Send it to me and I’ll add it to the site.

email : jrave45@gmail.com