Hardware / ironmongery shops are one of my two favourite type of shops - the other is haberdashers. I like these shops partly because they contain such interesting, random objects and huge variety of shapes, textures and colours and partly because all the stock implies doing and making things and all kinds of practical activites - which is what I most enjoy.
This one is probably the best ironmongers I have ever come acros; it's in Hereford on the Welsh / English border. The guy who runs it is hugely knowledgeable and his stock includes everything you could possible think of in the hardware line - lots of it really old-style. While I was there people were coming in for things I couldn't believe you could still actually buy but that you might still really, really need!
As you'll see from these pictures, the best and quirky thing about it visually is the way he has stacked similar types of things together. And you can't believe that there could be so many versions of the same object.
The shop is the absolute antithesis of the DIY superstores with their paltry stock and ill-informed staff. But sadly, old-style shops like this are very much under threat - especially as apparently younger generations don't have so many practical skills, don't want to make or mend and prefer the annonymity of generic supermarket-style stores.
So, if there is a shop like this near you - PLEASE use it!
I bought a hearth brush - I've got a strong feeling they don't sell them in Homebase.
There were simply masses of things in this shop which I would find useful. I can spend a long, long time going through this type of stock.
Mincers -just one of the items reminiscent of a different way of life with not much of a role left in the age of fast food.
Love the name - ha ha!
You may also like my other postings on shops:
Chocolatier & Patissier
And don't forget - comment is free! I'ts great to hear what you think!