After fifty years trading the door shut today for the last time on the Costume Shop in Putney. Made famous in the early 1970s for the scandal involving the-then Chairman of the Labour Party the right-honourable Mr Benn, the Costume Shop has otherwise been one of those stalwarts of London life. Here and very much at the time the centre of a vibrant alternative scene, the News Of The World’s exposure of the so-called ‘seedy underbelly of Putney’ only attracted an outpouring of others who wished to experiment with being a clown, a chef or a knight in red armour. Though almost always a cowboy, or a spaceman.
It was here that that the system arose whereby a man looking for a particular adventure could advertise quietly by the colour and the pocket from which he wore his hanky. Red meaning skin diver, orange a wizard, green for the deep-sea diver, and light blue for a blow job. For example.
“It’s the interweb,” said the Shopkeeper. Indeed, and as is becoming the case the high street suffers from advances in online shopping. They couldn’t package it, the service was personal, “We’re a fucking magic shop. We rode high on the Potter boom, got sloppy. The kids today they don’t want to pay for their costumes, for their magic adventures, for their high energy disco. We got complaints. I mean - course you can’t get Wifi as a fucking caveman."
Or it seems, a muffin.