An article from the Ross-shire Journal, which describes in detail the Shops in Tain during the Christmas of 1895.
The Christmas season has returned once again, and in the ancient burgh of Tain, things have assumed quite a lively and Christmas-like appearance. The shopkeepers in town-fully alive to the requirements of the festive season-have their shops and windows stored and decorated with an abundance of all the substantial materials and delicate dainties which are so savoury to the public taste on such occasions. The Drapers and Grocers take the lead as regards to window dressing, and many pretty shows have been exhibited. Taking the drapers first, visitors to the town are at once attracted by the brilliant and happy display in the shop windows of Messrs Alex. Ross &Co., High Street. Mr Ross, who, a short time ago commenced business in Tain after a considerable experience in the south, has his windows laid out to perfection, for beauty and taste they are unequalled.
Unequalled in Town.
One window is tastefully laid out with handkerchiefs, satchels, cushions, tea cosies, dolls, perfumes, and a unique variety of Christmas and New Year gifts. This, with a pink background, forms a most effective show. In the other window is shown a beautiful range of Pongee silks tastefully puffed down the sides, and in the body of the window, there is to be seen in perfect harmony a lovely range of coloured materials suitable for evening wear. The decorations reflect the utmost credit upon our townsmen, Mr Ross, who, we may state, is the youngest merchant in the town. Proceeding along the High Street, we come to the millinery saloon of Mr Andrew MacDuff Ross, which is under the superintendence of his niece, Miss Ross. Here there is to be found.
An Excellent Assortment
Of Christmas and New Year gifts, which are laid out in such taste as reflects great credit on the mistress of the establishment. Mr George Anderson of Lamington Place has his decorations, which his plate glass window shows off to advantage. Mr Andrew MacDuff Ross, Cameron Buildings, has also his window laid out very nicely with fans, handkerchiefs, pincushions, needle cases, etc., and a large variety of other artefacts suitable for Christmas and New Year presents. In the grocery line, Mr W J Munro, High Street, takes a lead by a long way. In one of his windows a beautiful arch stretches from one side to the other, bearing the following words which are made up,
Entirely of New Halfpennies
“A Merry Xmas to you” A crown, also made up from halfpennies, rest on top of the arch, and, suspended by a chain from the centre, is a large heart, also made up of new halfpennies. The idea of the halfpennies is a new one in Tain, and the result of Mr Munro’s efforts have been greatly admired. His window also contains an endless variety of fancy goods, cakes and sweets. Inside the shop, and immediately behind the middle counter, another large arch is to be seen, with huge Chinese lanterns suspended from it. At night, when the shop is lit up, the whole scene presents a bright and elaborate appearance. Visiting the Public Supply Stores-Mr Duncan Matheson’s another excellent display is witnessed. In one window a huge pig is the leading feature, and other decorations made up of cakes, chocolates, sweets, oranges, apples, and many other delicacies, are only emblematic of the ability of the dresser, and the store of good things he has for his customers. Taking a look at the Stationary Shops, one is at once struck with the huge display of Christmas and New Year gifts at Messrs W. Smith & Co. have issued a pretty enormous variety of albums, stationery cases, photo frames, diaries, pocketbooks, photo screens, in embossed leather, inkstands, jewel case, purses, card cases, handbags, picture books. The inside of the shop is beautifully done up, and,
Is Well Worth a Visit
Mr H. W. Graham, Tower Street also shows off a beautiful selection of Christmas and New Year goods. Those visiting Mr Graham’s card room are at once struck with a large assortment to choose from. Mr Graham this year has done a large trade in private cards, which he prints very neatly indeed. Coming to the Jeweller’s shops, the shop windows of Mr William Ross, watchmaker and jeweller, are very attractive. The display of gold and silver jewellery is such as to tempt anyone to buy. The whole stock and the multitude of Christmas novelties and its arrangement are alike distinguished by good taste. We especially noticed some fine ladies’ chatelaine gold watches surrounded with diamonds and pearls, diamond and other gem rings, brooches, and pendants in a great variety. Perhaps the most interesting article in his unique collection of stock is the fine and valuable collection of antique china, fine ivory miniatures, and gold watches. One,
Gold Watch, Over 200 Years Old
Has a beautiful enamelled miniature of the back of its case, said to be the reproduction of an oil painting of a French duchess. The dial is surrounded with diamonds, and the hands are also mounted with diamonds. The watch has been much admired by a large number of the public. The novelties in Mr Ross’s shop are laid out for public inspection with so much good taste and skill that Mr Ross is to be congratulated on his ability as a window dresser. In closing, we may state that the Tain merchants this year have outstripped the decorations of all former years, and have their goods displayed in a manner which does each and all of them the utmost credit.