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Photographer's Note

On Ducie Street, Manchester.

I was attracted by the old advertisement in remarkable condition, to begin with, but the bright red van was a bonus; if only it had been of the same vintage as the ad.

This part of Manchester, just a few minutes' walk south-east of the centre of the city and close to the Ashton Canal, is well restored, with the characteristic red brick buildings kept mercifully free of modern commercial advertising. This old ad for Gileric Gowns from H. A. Howard & Sons, outfitters, looks to me as if it has been on the wall of this building since the 1940s, or early 1950s at the latest.

Searches on the Internet for H. A. Howard and Gileric Gowns produce many photos of the same advertisement, on Flickr and other photographic sites, but none from this distance or angle, and hardly any information about the companies. Eventually I discovered that H. A. Howard & Sons were incorporated in Manchester in 1949 but the company is now dissolved.

Occasionally, in searching, I would find a comment attached to a photo from someone who had lived or worked in the building. One wrote that it was a well known landmark often used in giving directions. I could find very little about the Gileric Gowns company, but some website businesses selling vintage clothes are advertising Gileric evening dresses like this one! Only £185. And here's a Gileric tunic from the 1960s. I should ask my very old father about Gileric, since he was a tailor learning his trade in London during the late 1940s.

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Additional Photos by Andrew McRae (macondo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2875 W: 101 N: 4800] (18551)
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