Ar­cade’s happy birthday

Midweek Visiter - - News -

WAYFARERS Shop­ping Ar­cade has been at the heart of South­port’s sea­side town for 12 decades – and is mark­ing 120 years since it first opened its doors.

The im­pres­sive ar­cade, orig­i­nally named the Ley­land Ar­cade af­ter South­port’s Lib­eral MP, was opened in 1898 and was de­scribed at the time as “prob­a­bly the hand­somest ar­cade in Great Bri­tain.”

The ar­cade, is lo­cated on Lord Street, was the brain­child of South­port busi­ness­man, John Humphrey Plum­mer. Af­flu­ent late Vic­to­ri­ans were keen to shop in a clean spa­cious environment away from the dirty streets, so the ar­cade was con­structed in an elab­o­rate and el­e­gant style specif­i­cally to at­tract them.

When it opened, the Vis­iter de­scribed it as “the most splen­did cov­ered shop­ping ar­cade be­tween South­port and Mi­lan”, and it could be dubbed “the Rialto of South­port”. It was an in­stant suc­cess. In­side to this day are a va­ri­ety of shops which all boast ma­hogany shopfronts, an­other favourite ma­te­rial of the late 1900s.

Yvonne Burns, Wayfarers cen­tre man­ager, said: “We are re­ally ex­cited to be cel­e­brat­ing our 120th an­niver­sary.

“The ar­cade has so much his­tory and we are look­ing for­ward to shar­ing this with our cur­rent re­tail­ers and loyal cus­tomers.”

The ar­cade is cel­e­brat­ing its 120th mile­stone with an ex­clu­sive shop­ping event this Thurs­day, Novem­ber 1.

From 12pm, there will be free food, drink, en­ter­tain­ment and ex­clu­sive dis­counts.

There will also be an ex­hi­bi­tion which will look back on its his­tory.

Wayfarers: 120 years

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