IN this section of nostalgia, we are looking back at the Beehive store in Whitehaven.

If you’ve been living in Whitehaven or close by for awhile, then you’ll surely have heard of The Beehive, whether you visited yourself, or you have heard about memories from older relatives.

Beehive Drapery Establishment, which was one of Whitehaven’s leading department stores trading from 57-60 King Street, spread over three floors. The Beehive’s opened in 1860 when the name was first used by Robert Douglas who traded from No.59. In 1890, Thomas Browne and Co bought both numbers 58 and 59 and after WWI, they expanded the store adding the further premises of number 57 and 60.

That iconic shop where you could buy everything, from a pin to a train set or a hat to a shovel. It was the store to visit when you went shopping in your best hat and gloves in King Street.

And true to its name, shoppers, like bees to honey, and with their purses full of money would be attracted to the emporium in goodly number to spend their pounds shillings and pence.

Children would be enthralled by the toy department in the basement and save up their weekly pocket money for meccano sets, a dolly or Dinky car.

Owned by the Browne family and memorable for its unusual payment system which saw canisters of cash, receipts and change whooshing around the pneumatic pipes from one floor to another, the whole town was saddened when The Beehive closed.

Happily, the large gold beehive that hung above the main door was saved and is part of The Beacon museum collection.

The Cry Baby was one of the most unique, and slightly terrifying features within the store.