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Real History logo Old Real Foods shop front

Real History

A Drapers Shop

In 1971 the building that now houses Real Foods was a Drapers Shop. Isn’t that quaint? These days most people below a certain age (and this includes most of the Real Foods staff) have no idea what a drapers is or was. The term is not used much today, but it refers to retailers of cloth.

The stone work of the building at that time was painted, there were some very naf railings and some rather dodgy windows. The original railings had been removed during the war and were presumably suitably recycled for the war effort.

By 1975 the drapers had closed and Real foods had moved into the building. As you can see from this 1980s picture the stone work was still painted, the railings still naf and the windows were definitely not in keeping with style of this beautiful Georgian Terrace building.

Real Changes

Modern Real Foods shop front

Real Foods, however, had a plan!

In keeping with our belief that history, community and beauty are important to all, whether an individual or a company, we embarked on a restoration project that was costly in terms of time and money.

The paint was stripped from the stone work to restore it to its wonderfully classic Edinburgh grey colour. The windows were removed and replaced with ones in a typical Georgian style. The railings were removed and lovely new Georgian style black ones were added. Finally, the concrete blocks which covered the basement area and had definitely not been part of the original building, were removed to open up the outside basement areas to daylight again.


We are proud of our building and believe that the changes we have made have enhanced its appearance and restored to it the grace, beauty and elegance of former times.

What do you think?

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