Strand Arcade, Derby


When the Strand Arcade opened in November 1882, the Derbyshire Advertiser thought it could help the city emulate the likes of London or the ‘cities of the Continent.’ The arcade runs in a pleasantly-shaped curve from the equally-attractive terrace of buildings called The Strand to the Sadlergate, which itself has a range of interesting independent shops. It is some five minutes’ walk from the mainstream shopping centres in Derby, though, so does well to have a very high occupancy rate, with a steady footfall, many coming specifically for the shops that are trading in the arcade. Impressive arched entrance at both ends, with stone mouldings and glass ceiling its main features.

My favourite shop today

Unusually for me, I’m picking a jeweller’s as my favourite shop today. This is not only because they had the perfect gift for my wife’s Christmas present, but also because I loved the way they make their own arty jewellery, and even go up to Whitby in North Yorkshire to source their own jet off Whitby beach to make some of their beautiful pieces. GGG Jewellery is the name.

My pick of the arcade’s past

There was great excitement in March 1885 when Derby’s first telephone exchange opened in the arcade, allowing phone calls to be made to nearby towns. The Derby Daily Telegraph described the telephone as “one of the most valuable commercial conveniences of modern times.”

The RSPCA moved into Number 8 in 1938, offering free veterinary treatments for the pets of the ‘deserving poor’. But with the outbreak of war a year later, there were immediately queues of people in the arcade, lining up to have their cats and dogs put down, as fears of what the future held grew. The resident vet, Miss Emma Meynell, pleaded with pet owners to keep their animals, as they would provide companionship and solace in difficult times. And by the end of 1939, the arcade office was offering air raid protection for pets.

This arcade in films or books

A 1990 book was published about the history of The Strand Arcade. Barbara Salisbury was the author and it appears to have appeared only in hardback. Has anyone seen this book? The Strand Arcade – a history.

What’s your favourite shop in the arcade today?

What memories do you have of visits in years gone by?

Have you got any good stories to add on the past of this arcade?

Have you seen Strand Arcade in any other film or book?

Is there a website for this arcade?

The Strand Arcade in Derby does not have its own website, but is active on Facebook.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *