Wednesday 3 April 2019, 16:31

Remembering Harringtons at Castle Market: Memories of Sheffield

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Harrington's clothes shop, Castle Market, Sheffield Harrington's clothes shop, Castle Market, Sheffield

Harringtons legendary clothes shop in Castle Market is the latest focus of our Memories of Sheffield series.

Back in the days when Castle Market wasn’t such a no-go area for anyone with all their teeth intact and without a Staffordshire Bull Terrier on a piece of old rope as a status symbol, there was only one clothes shop worth going to in town; Harringtons.

Bomber jackets, jeans, farah’s, sta-prest trousers, button-down shirts — if it was in fashion, Harringtons was the place to get it.

They did a line of ‘Harrington Jackets’ that many Sheffielders to this day associate with the Castle Market shop, despite it being a wider name for a style of jacket that ‘our’ Harringtons simply stocked.

Harringtons also produced of made-to-measure shirts, hand made by Mr. Harrington himself. People are so fond of the shop and those quality shirts that some still have them to this day as collector’s items.

Singer Richard Hawley was so fond of Harringtons, a picture of the shop space featured, among other Castle Market locations, in the album art for his 'Late Night Final' record.

Harringtons shop space featured on Richard Hawley's 'Late Night Final' album artwork

For those who frequented the store, an abiding memory will always be that people wanting to try anything on were directed up the ladder to long benches in the storage space where a dozen other people had the same idea.

Crouching in the tiny space and trying on the latest jeans or Ben Sherman shirt was a task in itself, but it was always worth it to be the style-conscious one out on the town that night!

People will also remember the crazy sales and marketing of the store. On one occasion Harringtons posted an advert in a local paper offering a 10% discount to those who brought the advert with them - on the same ad they jokingly mentioned that anyone wearing a silly wig would also get a free T-shirt.

Legend says that by 7am there were nearly 500 people queuing outside Castle Market wearing varieties of funny headwear.

In recent years Harringtons could be found trading at Doncaster market, although it never maintained the magic of the Castle Market days. Likewise the newer Moor Market doesn't seem to have anything to compare close to the old Harringtons.

Harringtons actually left Castle Market in 2006, well before the former market's closure and subsequent demolition, but the memories of it remain. Unfortunately the Doncaster market store also closed in 2017.

We should probably give a special honourable memorable clothes shop mention for Sexy Rexy on Pinstone Street too (another location now being redeveloped). Remember that place?

Sexy Rexy shop on Pinstone Street, Sheffield

A version of this article was originally written for and published at Social Sheffield / We Love Sheffield magazine.

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