11 Sep The Heart And Soul Of CE
I remember CE in Angove Street. I remember it in Fitzgerald Street. I remember it in Stirling Street…and in Murray Street for that matter. One of the objects of this column is to get you to remember it as well, and come and visit upon that basis.
It’s changed – you can’t find Ron Frank in there, sad to say. You can’t find Ernest or Karen or Brent or me, for that matter. But you can still find the essence of the place here and there if you look around. When you go searching, look for orange dots.
They are attached to products that may have missed the attention of other photographers for some reason – older stock, discontinued products, or arcane devices. I won’t say the people named earlier were of this sort, but then we never sported orange dots.
The orange dots you see today represent a 50% reduction in price.- but the products they are attached to have lost none of their relevance or value – they have just been in the shop for an inconveniently long time. Shop space is paid space, whether the items sell or not – at a certain point in time it’s better to wave them off the deck at half price to make way for more profitable lines. This is when the clever customer should start searching the hidden shelves.
The interesting part of this is the fact that the shop staff have a number of these products on their hands that they wish to sell off – and a much larger list of items catalogued in their minds. So it was in the days of Ron and John and I. The key to this extended catalogue is not the internet or the on-line pages. It is turned by coming in to ask the shop staff if they have something you want. You may know a specific product that you want to buy – or only a need you wish could be fulfilled.
Don’t be shy – ask. They may know of exactly the thing for you.
Don’t be offended if they don’t have the thing you thought of – so much has been discontinued and stocks sold off. You cannot ask for Orwo Glass Plates for your 12 x 24 field camera any more.
Don’t be stingy. If they do have it, buy it. You may never see it again.