Tuesday, 14 September 2010


I have just returned from a very special book signing of a lovely lady who I have had the privilege to know for several years now. I am sure she will not mind me telling you that she is just 79 years young!

The lady in question is called Hazel Bleay and she has been a member of the Thame dolls house club (MTM) for quite some time. It was when Hazel began to create a miniature version of The Cadena (a cake shop and cafe that was situated in Oxford but now long gone ) that she found the inspiration to write an entire book on the old shops of Oxford. At last  Memories Of Bygone Oxford Shops has now been published and is available to purchase (see details below).  Hazel was born and bred in Oxford and is quite a character, as anyone who knows her would agree! Her book is purely based on her own very special memories.

Whether you know Oxford or not, I am sure you will find this book fascinating as it is oozing with black and white photographs of wonderful old shops as they appeared over many decades. 

Memories Of Bygone Oxford Shops, is priced @ £9.95, published by Robert Boyd Publications of Witney and is now for sale at Blackwells in Broad Street, Oxford and both Oxford and Thame branches of Bookhouse.

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Robin said...

I've also been privileged to know Hazel for some years, and went to the book signing too. I can say that I haven't been able to put her book down since I got back! Apart from fabulous memories and photographs of Oxford shops it would be a wonderful resource for miniaturists.

Mags Cassidy said...

I didn't know about the book signing but Hazel had told me about this book and I shall be putting it on my Christmas List!
Hazel is a 'super trouper' and it has always been a privilege to have her as a 'special' customer.

KT MIniatures said...

I think you'll enjoy it Mags as it's a lovely little book!

I agree that this book will be a useful resource for any miniaturist who is thinking of creating a vintage shop. There are some lovely black and white photos of shop interiors and shop fronts. I think my favourite image is the interior of the Thorntons Book Shop described as "A haphazard display of their stock". Basically there are dozens and dozens of books perched on shelves (some precariously) around a Victorian fireplace! Wonderful. Celia

jojabarose said...

Reading about Hazel's book reminded me that when I lived in Reading, Berkshire, there was a Cadena Cafe in Broad Street that we used often to visit. Sure it must be of the same chain. They used to sell cakes and delicacies, then one would go down to a lower floor for lunch or afternoon tea! Mmmmm! fond memories. A long time ago now. Pity it eventually closed down.