I see from Mark's Clarence Valley Today that Grafton icon Mackellys is to close. I repeat Mark's comment in full:
Sad news this week that Mackellys is to close down its three branches in the Clarence Valley. The age of the country department store probably finished thirty years ago so we have been lucky to have this "dinosaur" in our midst for those extra years.
That leaves us with just chain stores left and although they employ lots of people it just isn't the same. They are the equivalent of the hamburger chains, cheap and devoid of any service and personality.
Mackellys will be especially remembered for the extravagant displays at Jacaranda. Who could believe that hundreds would've crowded around a shop window to see a six foot egg hatch into the beautiful Jackasaurusaraurus.
It's a cliche but with Gerards, Schaeffers, McKittricks etc all long gone the closure will really be the end of an era.
Searching around, I found a story in the Grafton Daily Examiner of 29 January 2010 on the closure.
I know things have to change but, like Mark, the replacement of the local or regional by the chain or franchise does make me sad. It's part of the paper that I am writing at the moment on social change in New England in the second half of the twentieth century.
By the way, I know that I plug Mark's photo blog a lot, but it really is worth a visit.