When visiting Hanley recently one could not help but notice the decline in Hope Street.
In the 1970s it was a bustling thoroughfare which featured a multitude of shops that included the famous joke shop near to the top and the 'stale cake shop' half way up which featured not so fresh cakes and broken biscuits to buy for not much more than a ha'penny (half of one pence).
Near to the bottom and by all accounts the big attraction on Hope Street though was Chawners. Chawners was a fashionable clothes shop featuring the avant-garde Hanley styles of the day for children, teenagers and young adults.
In the 1970s Chawners were selling clothes that were 'in'. This included the Ben Sherman with the panda collar, Star Jumpers that featured 3 stars on the front, Tonics, Tonic checks and Parallels. The latter were trendy slacks where both legs were parallel with each other in width all the way down; thus the name Parallels.
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The trousers were usually held upstairs in the two storey shop where they bore names indicating their particular colour. There were Wines (a maroon or purplish colour) Stones (a cream or an off white) Petrol Blues (a light blue) and Canaries (a bold yellow).
Information on Chawners as in who owned it, when it first opened and when it finally closed down is obscure.