It's a Family Affair | Rare & Racy 1 July 2017 |  Sheffield |  © Postcard Cafe |  SP1030046E B&W1

This photo celebrates the people who made Rare & Racy a special place.  A shop well known and loved in the city of Sheffield.  It was selected by Tom and Allen of Rare & Racy from a number of images taken on the last day of trading.  The title for the photo was chosen by Allen.

It’s a Family Affair
On 1st July 2017, after 48 years of trading Rare & Racy closed their doors for the last time.  The cultural map of Sheffield is presently being re-drawn with a skull and crossbones marking the spot once occupied by the store.  It’s presence in the city as a cultural hotspot, social hub, bookshop, art gallery, record store and quiet hangout among other things will be greatly missed.
Familiarity can make it easy to think a place like Rare & Racy had always existed and that it always will.  It was however only through love, dedication and hard work that the shop evolved to become the place we knew and loved before it closed.  Atmosphere, character and personality cannot be bought from a shop fitter and it is unlikely we will experience anything of it’s like again.  To many Rare & Racy was more than a shop.  It was a place of exchange where people traded ideas and inspiration and kept one another informed of upcoming events.  It was an outlet for local writers, musicians and artists.  It was a shop that connected people from across the city and other towns.
Rare and Racy served as more than just a bookstore.  People who frequented the shop can all share tales of unique moments or how they spent half of their misspent youth there.  Moments spent reading and buying books or listening to music while chatting with people who have now become important figures in the arts, locally and globally.  Rare & Racy was proof that a business can be about much more than just business. Over the years it has been a catalyst to conversations and friendships.  A place where people could tap into new or different ways of thinking and of being.  Having a chat and discussing books or politics or music was all part of feeling at home in Rare & Racy.
It was evident on the last day of trading that the Rare & Racy family extended well beyond the people who ran the shop.  Hundreds of people turned out on the day, not out of duty but because their lives are richer for what Rare & Racy gave them and the city.  It was more than a business and peoples memories of it will not simply be about it’s four walls or creaky floors.  Their memories will be of people, books, inspiration, art, radical ideas, music, connections, friendship, quiet moments, discovery, conversations and laughter.  For nearly half a century Rare & Racy enriched the lives of many and I hope the philosophies embodied by them will live on in the people whose lives they touched.
The shop may be gone but it’s heart beats on…
Best wishes to all at Rare & Racy
.
®+® 1969 – 2017
.

Below are links to photographs of Rare & Racy, a link to their website and a two music videos.  Sly and the Family Stone because it’s where the title of this post was borrowed from and a less well known Jonathan Richman song.

Inside Rare & Racy Vol I  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol II  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol III  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol IV  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol V  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol VI  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol VII  HERE

Rare & Racy shop front  HERE

The Rare & Racy website is  HERE

It’s a Family Affair | Rare & Racy

Click any thumbnail to enter the gallery of full size images

This is the seventh volume in a series of images taken inside Rare & Racy during 2016/17. See below for links to other Rare & Racy images.

Sadly after 48 years of trading the shop closed their doors for the last time on Saturday 1st July 2017.  Thank you to Allen and all at Rare & Racy for giving me the opportunity to shoot these photographs.

Inside Rare & Racy Vol I  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol II  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol III  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol IV  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol V  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol VI  HERE

Rare & Racy shop front  HERE

The Rare & Racy website is  HERE

Rare & Racy VII

Click any thumbnail to enter the gallery of full size images

This is the sixth volume in a series of images taken inside Rare & Racy during 2016/17. See below for links to other Rare & Racy images.

Sadly after 48 years of trading the shop closed their doors for the last time on Saturday 1st July 2017.  Thank you to Allen and all at Rare & Racy for giving me the opportunity to shoot these photographs.

Inside Rare & Racy Vol I  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol II  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol III  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol IV  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol V  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol VII  HERE

Rare & Racy shop front  HERE

The Rare & Racy website is  HERE

Rare & Racy VI

 

Click any thumbnail to enter the gallery of full size images

This is the fifth volume in a series of images taken inside Rare & Racy during 2016/17. See below for links to other Rare & Racy images.

Sadly after 48 years of trading the shop closed their doors for the last time on Saturday 1st July 2017.  Thank you to Allen and all at Rare & Racy for allowing me to shoot these photographs.

Inside Rare & Racy Vol I  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol II  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol III  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol IV  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol VI  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol VII  HERE

Rare & Racy shop front  HERE

The Rare & Racy website is  HERE

Rare & Racy V

 

Click any thumbnail to enter the gallery of full size images

This is the fourth volume in a series of images taken inside Rare & Racy during 2016/17. See below for links to other Rare & Racy images.

Sadly after 48 years of trading the shop closed their doors for the last time on Saturday 1st July 2017.  Thank you to Allen and all at Rare & Racy for allowing me to shoot these photographs.

Inside Rare & Racy Vol I  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol II  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol III  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol V  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol VI  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol VII  HERE

Rare & Racy shop front  HERE

The Rare & Racy website is  HERE

Rare & Racy IV | Counter Culture

 

Click any thumbnail to enter the gallery of full size images

This is the third volume in a series of images taken inside Rare & Racy during 2016/17. See below for links to other Rare & Racy images.

Sadly after 48 years of trading the shop closed their doors for the last time on Saturday 1st July 2017.  Thank you to Allen and all at Rare & Racy for allowing me to shoot these photographs.

Inside Rare & Racy Vol I  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol II  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol IV  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol V  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol VI  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol VII  HERE

Rare & Racy shop front  HERE

The Rare & Racy website is  HERE

RARE & RACY III

Click any thumbnail to enter the gallery of full size images

This is the second volume in a series of images taken inside Rare & Racy during 2016/17. See below for links to other Rare & Racy images.

Sadly after 48 years of trading the shop closed their doors for the last time on Saturday 1st July 2017.  Thank you to Allen and all at Rare & Racy for allowing me to shoot these photographs.

Inside Rare & Racy Vol I  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol III  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol IV  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol V  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol VI  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol VII  HERE

Rare & Racy shop front HERE

The Rare & Racy website is HERE

Rare & Racy II

Click any thumbnail to enter the gallery of full size images

This is the first set in a series of images taken inside Rare & Racy during 2016/17.  Sadly after 48 years of trading the shop closed their doors for the last time on Saturday 1st July 2017.  Thank you to Allen and all at Rare & Racy for allowing me to shoot these photographs.

Inside Rare & Racy Volume II HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Volume III  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol IV  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol V  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol VI  HERE

Inside Rare & Racy Vol VII  HERE

The shop front of Rare & Racy can be seen HERE

The Rare & Racy website is HERE

Rare & Racy I

1. Phlegm Postage Stamp 2017 | © Postcard Cafe | SDSCF1408 1e

2. Phlegm Postage Stamp 2017 | © Postcard Cafe | SP1020941E

3. Phlegm Postage Stamp 2017 | © Postcard Cafe | SP1020941E 2

Alan of Rare & Racy in Sheffield invited me to photograph a new miniature artwork by Phlegm.  As a friend Alan has known Phlegm for many years and Rare and Racy were the first shop to sell his work.   The building in which the shop is located has over the years also featured several of Phlegm’s murals.  The most recent of which was painted last week above the shop sign and can be seen here

Phlegm has painted the miniature artwork featured in these photographs with the aid of a magnifying glass.  The last photograph shows how incredibly detailed the painting is.  I suspect very few people will ever get to hold and see the wonder of this special piece of art.  I felt privileged to see it in the flesh and like most works of art it looks so much better than in my photographs.  I have for many years been a fan of Phlegms incredible work.  From his comics, prints, paintings, huge wall murals and three dimensional installations his work continues to amaze and inspire me.

These images were shot under ambient shop lighting at Rare & Racy on their final day of trading.  The shop was very busy and I did my best not to get in the way.  I found a quiet corner behind the counter and took a number of images using different backgrounds.  Once I had shot the stamp using the Rare & Racy address labels it was obvious that it had to be the main image for this blog post.

A big thank you to Allen for thinking to invite me to see the stamp and for taking time out on his last day of business.  A kindness I will remember and another fond memory of my time at Rare & Racy from over the years.

Sadly after 48 years of trading Rare and Racy closed their doors on Saturday 1st July 2017.

Rare and Racy shop images featuring Phlegms artwork here on Postcard Cafe

Rare and Racy tribute photo here on Little Bits of Sheffield

Phlegms last gift to Rare and Racy here

More Phlegm artwork on Postcard Cafe here

Another of Phlegm’s fish caught HERE by Arty Ange

 

Phlegm | Postage Stamp