Everything you could ever need under one roof

Schoolboys playing with a slot-car racing set called Trix  in the toy department of Binns in November 1965
Schoolboys playing with a slot-car racing set called Trix in the toy department of Binns in November 1965
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FROM the excitement of the toy section to the glamour of the beauty counter, department stores have provided generations of shoppers with everything they needed all under one roof.

We all have vivid memories of being dragged round one department store or another by our parents when we were little, but now find ourselves flocking to those same stores to look for a gift, an outfit for a wedding or a new lamp for a bedroom.

Everything was for sale, including stuffed stag's heads, when RW Forsyth closed in November 1981

Everything was for sale, including stuffed stag's heads, when RW Forsyth closed in November 1981

Edinburgh has played host to an abundance of department stores over the years – many of which have long since disappeared, but some which have firmly stood the test of time.

As John Lewis prepares to celebrate its 150th anniversary next month, we take a look at some of the stores which have furnished, clothed and entertained residents over the years. Nothing was more entertaining to a young child than the toy section of any department store – as two young schoolboys playing with a slot car racing set in Binns in November 1965 would no doubt 
testify.

But for some, department stores were all about the fashion. The models posing outside the George Hotel wearing clothes from Darling’s department store in Princes Street were the height of fashion in April 1969, with one modelling a chic women’s trouser suit.

However, one of the department store’s unique features is its versatility – the fact that you can get everything you need in the one place. This was never so apparent than at the closing down sale of RW Forsyth in Princes Street in November 1981, where everything – including stuffed stags’ heads – had to go.

Fashion shoot for Darling's department store in April 1969

Fashion shoot for Darling's department store in April 1969

Sir Hugh Fraser invited some primary school children to watch him switch on the clock at Frasers in October 1980

Sir Hugh Fraser invited some primary school children to watch him switch on the clock at Frasers in October 1980

Marks and Spencers have a new store in Princes Street Edinburgh, June 1957. Female employees in the Ladies fashion department beside the skirts.

Marks and Spencers have a new store in Princes Street Edinburgh, June 1957. Female employees in the Ladies fashion department beside the skirts.