Episodes

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01Harveys Of Halifax20210208When the pandemic is over what will be left of the UK’s High Streets?

Thousands of traders – big and small – have already gone to the wall. Many more are struggling to survive.

In this five-part series the cultural historian, Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan tells the deeply personal stories of five small businesses from across the UK, fighting to keep their heads above water. She also reveals the often surprising social history that lies behind many of our shop windows.

In today’s programme, Deborah talks to Tracy Harvey, managing director of the family-run department store Harveys of Halifax, and gets a snapshot of the history and peculiar appeal of department stores from sociologist Professor Pamela Cox

Written and presented by Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan
Producer: Tara Holmes

A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4

Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan examines the pandemic's impact on the High Street.

Social historian Deborah Sugg Ryan examines the pandemic's impact on the High Street.

01Trading Spaces20210208Social Historian Deborah Sugg Ryan examines the pandemic's impact on the High Street.

Social historian Deborah Sugg Ryan examines the pandemic's impact on the High Street.

Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan examines the pandemic's impact on the High Street.

02The Queen Victoria20210209When the pandemic is over what will be left of the UK's High Streets?

Thousands of traders – big and small – have already gone to the wall. Many more are struggling to survive.

In this five-part series, the cultural historian Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan tells the deeply personal stories of five small businesses from across the UK, fighting to keep their heads above water. She also reveals the often surprising social history that lies behind many of our shop windows.

Today, Deborah makes a virtual trip to the pub to talk to James Burrell Cook, landlord of the Queen Victoria in Maldon, about his battle to keep going in the face of successive lockdowns. We also hear from Dr Damon Taylor about the cultural history of the Public House.

Written and presened by Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan
Producer: Tara Holmes

A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4

Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan examines the pandemic's impact on the High Street.

Social historian Deborah Sugg Ryan examines the pandemic's impact on the High Street.

03New Image20210210When the pandemic is over what will be left of the UK’s High Streets?

Thousands of traders – big and small – have already gone to the wall. Many more are struggling to survive.

In this five-part series, the cultural historian Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan tells the deeply personal stories of five small businesses from across the UK, fighting to keep their heads above water. She also reveals the often surprising social history that lies behind many of our shop windows.

Today she focusses on the beauty industry and hears from Lisa Owen who runs the New Image beauty salon in Bangor, North Wales. Her business has been devastated by Covid but she’s determined to fight on. The Guardian’s beauty editor Sali Hughes gives an overview of the industry and Professor Jessica Clark, author of The Business of Beauty, reveals the secret history of the beauty parlour.

Written and presented by Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan
Producer: Tara Holmes

A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4

Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan examines the pandemic's impact on the High Street.

Social historian Deborah Sugg Ryan examines the pandemic's impact on the High Street.

0420210211Social historian Deborah Sugg Ryan examines the pandemic's impact on the High Street.
04The Pavilion Cinema20210211When the pandemic is over what will be left of the UK’s High Streets?

Thousands of traders – big and small – have already gone to the wall. Many more are struggling to survive.

In this five-part series the cultural historian, Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan tells the deeply personal stories of five small businesses from across the UK, fighting to keep their heads above water. She also reveals the often surprising social history that lies behind many of our shop windows.

Today Deborah’s off to the movies, as she drops in on Andrew Poole, the manager of the family-run Pavilion Cinema in Galashiels in the Scottish borders. 2020 was supposed to be a year of celebration – the cinema’s 100th anniversary – but now Andrew admits the whole industry faces an uncertain future

Written and presented by Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan
Producer: Tara Holmes

A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4

Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan examines the pandemic's impact on the High Street.

Social historian Deborah Sugg Ryan examines the pandemic's impact on the High Street.

05Small Stuff20210212When the pandemic is over what will be left of the UK’s High Streets?

Thousands of traders – big and small – have already gone to the wall. Many more are struggling to survive.

In this five-part series the cultural historian, Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan tells the deeply personal stories of five small businesses from across the UK, fighting to keep their heads above water. She also reveals the often surprising social history that lies behind many of our shop windows.

Today in the last programme of the series, Deborah talks to Hellen Stirling Baker, owner of Small Stuff, a specialist toy shop in Sheffield, about why she actually moved into bigger premises during lockdown.

Written and presented by Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan
Producer: Tara Holmes

A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4

Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan examines the pandemic's impact on the High Street.

Social historian Deborah Sugg Ryan examines the pandemic's impact on the High Street.