Lewis's Canteen by Stephen King

The Lewis's Fifth Floor project is an amazing time capsule of mid-century department stores. The fifth floor of Lewis's in Liverpool was ultra-glam in its heyday. It closed in 1980 and has been untouched ever since, like the Miss Haversham of retail. Photographer Stephen King has documented what's left. Portraits of staff who worked there, back on the floor, add an extra dimension and testimonies from the people who shopped there chime in like the tinkling of teacups to create a very vivid picture of life on the floor. I can smell the hair lacquer from here.

The photos are in an exhibition at The National Conservation Centre in Liverpool until 30 August 2010 and in the book Lewis's Fifth Floor: A Department Story. Thanks to Johnny and Kate for the tip-off.

Hi Anne,

I was reading about this recently and very intrigued, as I grew up in Liverpool but never know it existed. Very exciting! I can't get to the exhibition but have put the book on my birthday list. Hope you are keeping well and enjoying working from home.


That's just amazing isn't it ? Those lights are way cool. Shame more places don't survive in the same way . . .

DW x

Hi Anne

This is great, I'd heard of these spaces but never seen photos. Oddly, I know the photographer, he's also a very good skate snapper.


Highly recommend this exhibition!
Very fitting also as sadly Lewis's department store is closing after more than 150 years trading.

Thanks for discovering us such a haunting place full of memories and stories!! We´ve written about the proyect on our web so our visitors can know it!!
Deeply grateful to Anne (to Stephen and Neutral Spoon 2, of course)!!

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