A JEWELLERS in the heart of Newcastle city centre throws open its doors following a major £1m refurbishment – the most significant since its conception in 1892.
Northern Goldsmiths, on the corner of Pilgrim Street and Blackett Street, is unveiling its new look showroom to the public this weekend after two months of restoration, which involved the iconic 24ct gold leaf Rolex clock being removed and reinstated in that time.
The 22-strong team based at the Newcastle store welcomes its first customers into a fresh cream interior, replacing the duck egg blue that covered the walls prior to the work – which is a move reverting to the former décor dating back to the 1900s.
A beautiful Grandfather clock with a mercury pendulum, the original chandeliers and an ornate product showcase cabinet known as ‘The Birdcage’ have all remained part of the store’s fabric.
Craig Bolton, executive brand director for Goldsmiths said: “The task to refurbish some of the existing store fixtures has been particularly complex as many of them on display on the sales floor are listed. They have therefore had to be sympathetically restored in accordance with our local authority planning and listed building consent.
“While the historic aspects of the brand have been preserved, we’ve combined old and new with additional fixtures and fittings that have been carefully selected to enhance the look and feel of the showroom.
“We have also worked alongside our luxury watch brands to create a series of ‘shop in shops’ bringing another dimension to the store and ensuring our clients continue to receive the first class choice and expert service they would expect from Northern Goldsmiths.”
This sees an extension of the Rolex Boutique and the introduction of an Omega Boutique. The first floor of the 12,000 sq ft property will now serve as a dedicated Goldsmiths Services area dealing with client repairs, and offering additional customer seating and consultation space.
As part of the launch, Northern Goldsmiths is calling for people in the North East to come forward with their timepieces from years gone by to collate a 3D archive showcase – seeking memorabilia from its 123-year legacy to either borrow or buy back.
Craig added: “Northern Goldsmiths has long held a place in the region’s hearts – part of family history for many and a go-to destination for those special occasions. We would like to create a visual representation of Northern Goldsmiths which can be enjoyed in the store for years to come.
“We know that the ‘kissing clock’ achieved its name due to its popularity as a proposal spot in the city. Often the ring came right out of the window so we’d love to hear from those who may have been part of this lovers’ tale.
“We’re also on the lookout for anyone who has an ‘original Northern Goldsmiths’ watch which used to be manufactured in the workshop above the showroom in Newcastle. We only have a visual of one at the moment but it would be a triumph to source an actual piece.”
Northern Goldsmiths is celebrating its ‘Big Day’ with a red ribbon cutting and Champagne for its first flurry of customers. Anyone interested in putting forward their items of nostalgia should email: NorthernGoldsmiths@opr.co.uk with a photo and brief description of the item.
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