One of the great record stores in Northampton was located in the infamous Frank Brierley store (he went to prison for handling stolen goods, he was a legend in Northampton, and there are books and poems about him) in Gold Street Northampton, this was the early 1970s and was there for probably 3 years. It was only a few doors away from John Lever Records. The actual record shop was a purpose built hut type building standing on its own on the lower ground floor, it mainly stocked the top 40. I remember buying Puppy Love! The store long gone is now a Snooker emporium. Comment: John Atkinson.
(July 25, 2013) mandy robinson said:my mother davinia macleod worked for frank brierley in gold street.he later had a temporary shop in the coop arcade in .the 70s.i was ateenager then,i remember him well,usually stood on a chair selling his wares very witty man,very popular .a real entertainer,and he,d disappear from time to time and we,d all know the long arm of the law had caught up with him.i,m not sure if frank brierley was jewish or not .you brought back memories with the skull and crossbones carrier bags.you realise as you get older that you don,t find so many great characters in life as when you were younger.i moved away from northampton in 1992 but one great memory i have is of frank brierley and all the times we went in his shop what an entertainer. mandy robinson
(July 25, 2013) Anonymous said:my mother davinia macleod worked for frank brierley in gold street.he later had a temporary shop in the coop arcadthe 70s.i was ateenager then,i remember him well,usually stood on a chair selling his wares very witty man,very popular .a real entertainer,and he,d disappear from time to time and we,d all know the long arm of the law had caught up with him.i,m not sure if frank brierley was jewish or not as he
(Dec 11, 2012) don fisher said:Remember going to franks shop in bridge st peterborough, many years ago, the reason for my comment is a few days ago i came across one of his carrier bags which on one side has a picture of a skull and cross bones and the pirate written underneath. on the other side were the address's of his shops; gold st belgrave gate leicester and the words
"if we can't sell it cheaper we don't stock it" the bag carried a jumper i bought which after one wash as i remember would have fitted an orangutan never mind it was cheap r.i.p. frank
I'm 47and remember goin to Brierleys it was great me and my late mum June was always there shoppin i still av clothes my mum bought me from there .our Xmas Dec's was always from there and tree Dec's istill Av them all and they always get put up at Xmas rip frank missed very much .x
Frank Brierley was a legend of Northampton.
With his discount shops, around the county he had a heart of gold when It came to his customers.
From his shop in Saint James's to his shop on Gold street in the Town, Frank gave relief to struggling mothers on a budget to having that just needed item.
If Northampton council saw sence then they would put up a monument to him.
Just noticed the shop featuring in Midsomer Murders S4 ET Dark Autumn around the 1hr:16min mark.
Little mention is made of Frank Brierley's retail business in Northampton before he set up shop in Gold Street. He (with his wife Rene) had a small corner shop in St. James, on a parade opposite Franklins Gardens. This would have bene in the later 1940's and 1950's
I met Frank on several occassions , I traded with both Jill Blundell and Pat Truitt , Jill and her husband Bill ,Pat and her husband Mike in their respectively businesses…..I have often wondered what happened to their families. Wonderful times , fantastic history, greet fun and memories of the most fantastic successful people and trading years
I was Googleing the Brierly name to see what came up.
When I was growing up in Northampton there was a huge stigma to shopping in Brierleys. If anyone was wearing something scruffy or was seen to have something or other of poor quality the playground cry was "Urgh! Brierleys shopper!" or "See that Frank Brierley? That's your dad, that is" in a History Today stylee.
Every Saturday as a kid I'd go to town with my parents and every so often one of them would announce "We can pop into Brierleys to get one of those" (where "one of those" would invariably be an item they knew they'd only use once or twice and so weren't prepared to pay the going rate for said item).
Every time this would be greeted with much wailing and gnashing of teeth on my part. We're not going in there! What if someone sees me? I'll never hear the end of it! I never convinced them not to go in though, much to my shame.
Of course being spotted *in* Brierleys wasn't a problem because that meant whoever spotted you was also in there, so you'd ignore them, pretend you hadn't seen each other and it was never mentioned again. Ever. No, it was the actual going in and coming out that was the problem. If someone from school happened to be passing and spotted you! The shame, the ignominy...
To be fair, Frank was ahead of his time as his store probably fell somewhere between a Wilko and a Poundstretcher in terms of the type of stuff they sold, with the added frisson of never being sure if what you were buying had fallen off the back of a lorry or not! It's worth noting that as I type this I'm sitting here wearing a t-shirt with "Brierleys" emblazoned across the chest below the iconic green vertical stripes. They are sold by a company called "Shoe Town Shirts" who can be found on Facebook (they also do a John Lever Records t-shirt too, actually).
I saw them and, as an adult, couldn't resist the delicious irony of buying and wearing something with a brand written across the front that would have made my childhood self roll up into a ball and whimper!