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Under the Statue

The first time I came to Lewis's
just over from Dublin 1952
just after the statue
had been put up
we were on the back of the open deck bus
and the driver said 'Look'
and I did and I was very embarrassed.
I was only sixteen!
I remember
we came from Scotland Road
and I never felt quite good enough for it. There
were white tableclothes on the tables
and I'd never seen these before.
An orchestra playing in the corner,
puff pastry, jam and cream,
cut into four for a piece each.
It's the last one left.
Remember Blacklers, all gone.
I remember
the cups of tea in the tea bar
and the struggles in the restaurant queue.
I got a peach-coloured suit from here.
I remember
in 1985 I was in the catering department.
You couldn't work without tights on.
I remember
in this café we've shared bereavements.
We know so many of our customers.
Listening to people - people with problems.
A women who just found out
she'd got cancer, having a cup of tea.
I remember
my mum bought me my first
3 piece suite from here in 1964.
It was a bed settee with 2 chairs.
It had long legs and was a reddy
pinky colour. The dog ripped it to shreds
in Christmas week and the repairer came out
at new year to repair it - imagine that!
I remember
I was with my mum.
I didn't live in Liverpool.
at the time and thought it seemed massive,
a landmark. A meeting place for friends,
old and new. A shop full of clothes
that I could not wait to buy.
I remember
my dad was in a Welsh choir.
One year they had an Eiesteddfod here.
I remember
the German sausages in the foodhall
and the posh café on the third floor.
I remember
10th October 1966
I got a job on the wig department
I was a hairdresser
before I've been here for 40 years.
There was no edge to anyone
Everyone was friendly.
I work with all sorts of people
People with cancer
People with bad haircuts
People who are poorly.
I remember
64 years ago I married a soldier
and came to Liverpool.
It was a lovely store in those days.
I came from a country village.
I remember bringing my boys to the grotto.
My eldest is now 62.
The youngest 52.
I remember
being stood up here.
I came on a date and ended up standing
under Dickie Lewis on my own.
It was probably one of the first dates I'd been on.
I remember
I lost my daughter - she was only 3.
I had to go upstairs to find her.
She's 55 now.
She was crying - very upset.
Her nose was running down her face.
I remember
trying to squeeze my brother into a coat.
The shop assistant had to say he looked
like George Best in it to try to persuade him
to put it on, but he didn't want to know.
I remember
when I was 5 I came here to the hairdressers.
You could sit on different animals to get your hair done -
horses, elephants.
I remember
my father was a seafarer and when he was home
he brought us into town
with my mother and the five children.
Our treat for the day was fruit on a stick
covered in chocolate - which
he bought from the foodhall.
I remember
everytime we came past the building
my mum used to say 'Look kids there's your dad'
pointing to the statue.
It's a tradition that shouldn't
be allowed to fold
I will continue to meet
'under the statue'
I used to go to Lewis's
And enjoy the fashion shows
Why? They are closing it
I don't really know.