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Who remembers the Rubber Shop?

18/01/13

When Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives staff put some photographs online they could not have imagined the public response.

The Rubber Shop, on George Street in 1986. Aberdeen City Council's planning department had recently transferred a collection of photographs to the Archives for safekeeping and to make them accessible to the public.

When the Archives staff decided to put some of them onto their Facebook page, they were stunned at the amount of interest and comments people left. The photographs show George Street and the surrounding area in the 1970s and 1980s. One photograph of the Rubber Shop soon had over 1,400 'likes' and was shared over 160 times.Their page also saw over 800 new members.

Fiona Musk, archivist, Aberdeen City Council said: "We're delighted to give people the chance to see these photographs, showing the changes that have taken place on Aberdeen's main shopping streets over the past 30 to 40 years. I particularly like the ones showing the pavements teeming with people, and the changing fashions. It also shows that archives are not always dusty, historical documents – they can also be modern records, and what better way to document changes than with photographs." An orderly queue waiting outside the Regal cinema in 1953,to see Robert Taylor and Ava Gardner in 'Knights of the round table'.

She continued: 'These photographs are very useful in documenting the history of Aberdeen. We regularly receive inquiries from people asking for information about businesses which no longer exist, and these images give us the chance to show where they were and what their shop windows were like. The photos of the cinemas in particular can be quite enlightening as they show what films were being shown at the time."

To view the photographs on Facebook visit: www.facebook.com/aberdeencityandshirearchives

There are over 20,000 items in this collection alone, ranging from photographs, notes on sites of archaeological and historical interest.

The City Council's planning department regularly transfer records to the archives section, and the photographs are a welcome addition to the already rich historical collections held by the council. With records dating from around 1179 up to the present day, the history of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire is available for anyone to look at.