History

The Barnsley Shopping Carnival from the Archives

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Whilst at the Barnsley Archives the other day, I found out about this wonderful event called the Barnsley Shopping Carnival. In the archives they had the booklets from 1910 and 1922 and found them so fascinating to look at and read through. These booklets were actually more like an entire book and properly bound. Inside were drawings, photographs, advertisements, all about Barnsley, shops, competitions and more.

The 1910 booklet was less illustrious and more text based, as you’d expect. This was the first year Barnsley held this week-long event and it wrote how other towns had also done in and Barnsley wanted to join in. The carnival meant gathering all the shops throughout the town and to work together to create a massive attraction to all customers new and old, they would host special offers to get them into their shops and also import some special products that could only be bought during this week. The main part of the carnival was the window dressing competitions, they had different categories such as Ladies goods to wear, Mens goods to wear, Goods to eat, Best outside decoration and Best novelty window exhibition. To entice the shoppers, they urged them also to take part in guessing who would get the awards and also written essays about the carnival.

The 1922 book had far more visuals and even the first page was printed in colour as seen above.It echoed the previous book but had far more pages as it had grown in popularity. This time, the window dressing competitions had simplified down to the categories Things to eat, Things to wear and Things to use, but had extra special prizes given by  companies if they had put any of their products amongst their window displays. The Barnsley British Co-operative Society is featured quite heavily throughout this book, advertising each and every of it’s departments, right down to particular products. Here’s a selection of images from the 1922 booklet. Can you imagine if Barnsley still did this?

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All content from the Barnsley Archives.
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