Hammonds, Kingdom of Light and Magic, Elves and Timelessness

Many years ago, on the day before Christmas, I visited this palace of 1970s light and magic, a little East Yorkshire boy on his way to Santa’s kingdom.It was on the top floor, up the same stairs I now walk forty plus years later. My little nose pressed against cold glass, gazing down at the city I would remember all my life, despite exile and life’s journeys. In the basement was once another magical kingdom, a second one scented with pungent cheese and fresh coffee, with buns and exotic fruit from dusty lands. The kingdoms of my childhood have vanished into the briny air of the Humberlands but the shell remains. I love this shop, it anchors me. And when I hear another person talk about Hammonds I smile because I know our personal histories intermingle and that we belong somehow, one to the other, both to the city and era.

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