Sheffield shop’s 45 years of history

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It’s been a Sheffield institution for almost 45 years.

Rare and Racy on Devonshire Street was the focus of many passionate objections to plans to demolish shops and replace them with flats.

The store opened in November 1969, and partner Alan Capes said it had a compulsory purchase order on it at the time.

Ten years later the shop’s frontage was falling off and had to be replaced, a move that almost ‘bankrupted’ the owners, he said.

Mr Capes added: “That was in 1980 and it is now holding up the other two shops. People don’t realise what a wreck this is, the landowners haven’t spent a penny on this building.”

By yesterday more than 400 comments had been submitted to the application. In 2006 owners were overwhelmed by a similar amount of support when the shop had financial troubles.

“We are pleased with the support,” added Mr Capes. “I don’t know what will happen if the plans go through - I like to live in the moment. It can take years to get permission and we have a lease that runs for two-and-a-half years so presumably they wouldn’t do it before then anyway it is just they haven’t bothered to tell us.”