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Records were my main interest, but occasionally I was tempted by the badges and posters in the Kard Bar, located in the Handyside Arcade. The arcade itself was surreal. It seemed to have moods - its glass roof made it as dark or as bright as the day outside. There were streetlights in the middle of the footpath. I’m not sure I ever saw them lit. How did this place get here? [I know now it was a beautiful Edwardian structure. Over time, it adapted and, full of independent shops, it thrived during the 1960s and was still doing good trade in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1987 it was swallowed whole and regurgitated as a completely bland adjunct to Eldon Square.] I recall it as a wonderful place where tribes of punks, mods, hippies, and heavy metal kids mingled freely. Aside from the main Kard Bar shop, for a while, they also had a record shop opposite that was rarely open - probably only on a Saturday afternoon… and then only if you nagged them to open it. While I was waiting to get in, I’d press my face against the window pane. Always a fantastic display of independent singles. So tempting.


Dave Harwood
28 Oct 2023 at 02:45
I found this advert in the ‘Newcastle Evening Chronicle’ dated 14th February 1975: “NEARLY NEW RECORDS BOUGHT AND SOLD - KARD BAR, Arcadia, Percy Street.”

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