Idly meandering through Cliftonville, along Northdown Road, I chanced upon the most delightful of cake shop windows. Being something of an aficionado of cakes, shops and windows it seemed like an ideal opportunity to snap away, with customary broad-smiling, wide-eyed enthusiasm. Furthermore why not go in? I was met with the most charming of receptions from the patron Stuart Turner and staff – not unreasonably inquisitive regarding my impromptu picture taking, I explained my particular interest in the patisserie. The interior of the 50’s bakery, shop and café is perfectly preserved, with a little sympathetic restorative work. Well upholstered and formica topped the furniture is the finest of its kind, each table graced with fresh flowers, condiments and loving care and attention. An exquisite array of breads, pastries and cakes, resting on delicate doilies, displayed in glass fronted cases. I encourage you to visit, take tea, take cake, take away the fondest of sweet memories.
Should you, as I did wander down Northdown Road, Cliftonville, you will chance upon Pottons at 262.
By now however, ingress is more than somewhat inhibited.
The most exciting and extant period fascia, once gave way to oak fittings and fixtures festooned with all manner of menswear, exotic and plain accoutrements, now inaccessible.
A few sad remnants were on sale, administered in their final days by Lorraine, employed for 35 years in a family business, whose trade had once included made to measure, fine millinery and quality accessories for the discerning gent around town.
There are days when there is little else to do on the seashore than stare endlessly out to sea, seeking respite from the unrelenting rays of the sun, or conversely turning one’s back on the incoming squall.
Hunker down and hope.
For these very same and sane reasons, the urban district councils have provided you with the very means to realise the wildest of your wildest dreams.
No two are the same, look carefully – they are nuanced, under financed, resilient and emboldened against the elements. Design applied by untutored hand, cast in concrete, stone and brick, glazed, unglazed and amazing.