Tuesday, 4 September 2012
I guess every city has its hidden treasures - and this, to my mind, is another one of Bradford's. Rimmington's Chemist has occupied its site near City Hall since the 1830s. Founded by Felix Rimmington, the shop's history is interwoven with that of the city, right up to the present time. Felix Rimmington was one of a few expert chemists involved in trying to solve London's 'Jack The Ripper' murders in 1888. He also solved the humbug sweets poisoning case, when twenty Bradford people died as a result of eating sweets laced with arsenic and sold from a market stall.
The shop was bought and refurbished a couple of years ago by local businessmen Qaisar Sheikh and Sajid Hussain, who both trained as pharmacists at Bradford University. The shop still has many of its original wooden fittings and has been carefully redesigned to reveal their beauty whilst providing a bright and contemporary shopping environment. All those labelled drawers would at one time have stored ingredients for remedies prepared in the shop and they are also collecting and displaying some of the original medicine bottles. Rimmingtons provides a full personal pharmacy service and stocks a variety of beauty and healthcare products, including traditional British favourites such as Bronnley soaps, Yardley scent and Kent combs and brushes.
It's worth a visit. The owners are very friendly and enthusiastic (and were happy to let me take photos inside). I hope their business will prove successful and enduring, though I gather that like so many shops in the city centre they are struggling somewhat, due to the generally depressed nature of the area.