You can see Kavel's illustration work on her website.
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In the last of a series of reports filed from Belfast by Richard Weston, our intrepid correspondent peers into the dark corners of The Shop With No Name
It came out of the blue. Totally unexpected. Couldn't have been more of a surprise actually. About, oh I don't know, four or five weeks ago, what used to be a boarded-up bingo hall, just over the road from our studio, re-opened its year-or-more-closed shutters. But there's no more "two fat ladies" or "clickety-clicks" now; instead, we have a veritable emporium of vintage delights.
The Shop With No Name (which, incidentally, isn't its name, it hasn't got one) is both a boon and a curse.
If ever there was an ideal lunchtime distraction for me, this was it, in all its mixed up, ephemeral, kitsch, government surplus, dead man's stuff glory.
Packed full of the unexpected, so far I've invested good money in such valueless nonsense as: employment cards from the 1970s, an embroidered souvenir pennant from Lourdes, a rather fine and mighty T-square like I used in art school; a Canadian Airways luggage tag and, very best of all, a letterpress printer's composing stick.
And therein is the curse: I can't resist a bit of vintage trivia. So having a shop just over the road is far too close to resist. Thankfully, to date, I've displayed just about enough discipline to only purchase small, low cost objects. This means I've managed to abstain from shelling out on the old bicycle in the window, side-lined the fully working manual till, ignored the Olivetti Lettera 25 typewiter (just) and walked away from the not-so-old but bargain-priced Eye magazines from the early to mid 1990s (three quid a pop, they're listed on ebay at £30 each).
The crammed-full shop is run by Ian and Michael, who use it to clear surplus materials not needed for their prop hire operation. And they have all sorts of stuff. Interesting, surprising stuff; some familiar, some never seen before. Some you'd probably be happy not to see again but lots and lots that is quite fascinating.
I couldn't help wonder, where does someone get so much weird stuff from? So, the other day, I asked Ian. With a straight face he said, quite simply, "Robberies, mostly".
The Shop With No Name is on the Lower Newtownards Road, just opposite Portview. If you're nearby, you should drop in and buy something. A set of opticians lenses or a Lady Di plate, perhaps.
We know you will be as sad as we are to bid farewell to Richard, the good news is that you can read much more by him at Ace Jet 170, where he muses on design, typography, ephemera and recent finds from the Shop With No Name.
And so the news is out, after 18 years trading, Intoxica! of Portobello Road is to close. It joins a long, sad roll call of record shops we have loved and lost: Plastic Passion and its later incarnation as home of the feuding Bills, Minus Zero and Stand Out; Camden Town's hallowed Rock On; Dobell's; Ray's; At The Hop in Fulham; Spinning Disc in Chiswick and so many more.
We miss them all and dearly wish that Intoxica! was not joining this unhappy list. Intoxica! will be open until June, we urge you to pay a visit while you can.
Intoxica!, 231 Portobello Road Notting Hill, London W11 1LT. Tel: 020 7229 8010
Below: Dobell's, Shaftesbury Avenue in the 1960s
Below: a series of photos taken at Rock On in 1980 by Flickr user Affendaddy.
It is an unavoidable part of our day to walk down Rivington Street, navigating the narrow pavement and dodging delivery vans, but even on the most miserable mornings we find our spirits lifted as we pass number 72, the exuberant offices-cum-lending library-cum-shopfront of YCN.
Charlie Sheen is not alone, we have our weaknesses too. Wandering along Charing Cross Road the other day, lamenting the loss of Murder One, Shipley’s and Bunjies folk cellar just around the corner, we spotted that Koenig Books have a bargain basement. The faint scent of discounted books was too much. A moment’s hesitation, a brief and half-hearted wrestle with the conscience, and we were in.
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