THIS category was a tale of stalwarts, old friends returning, and relocation.
Lots of noise was made in the Bradford retail world when TJ Hughes returned to the city after an eight-year absence.
But equally as loud was the relocation of department store chain Boyes from North Parade to the Kirkgate Centre, after 15 years.
In the end, it was lights, camera, action on stage, as a long-standing member of the Bradford retail community came out on top. Bradford Camera Exchange was announced as the winner, recognising the continuation of its service to photography enthusiasts, which began in 1936.
Current owner John Greenwood explains how it was his father who set up back then with a business partner, with Mr Greenwood joining the fold in 1963.
He said: “It’s staggering isn’t it? It’s superb when you think of the people we were up against, with big business like that.
“Here we are, little us, still clicking away, still going strong through all these years.
“You’ve got to move with the times, I guess, and try keep up with things.
“But at the end of the day, I think it’s the service that you give and the fact that people can trust you.
“There’s lots of places you can buy things that we sell nowadays, but there’s very few places where you can go and get the advice and expertise that we offer and this is the difference as well really.”
The business-owner admits none of it would have been possible without the shop’s dedicated staff. He said: “We’ve got some excellent people who’ve been with us a long time and have got a huge amount of knowledge.
“It’s a big subject really, because you’re dealing with products that are going back many decades.
“You’re not just dealing with the latest electronic digital wonders.
“You’re asked to sort out 1950s cameras and even earlier ones – I think we’ve got one in second-hand at present which is a First World War camera.
“So you’ve got all this history you’ve got to understand, as well as the latest technical things.
“Then of course there’s the photo finishing side which we do and we’ve got some excellent people there as well, who’ve spent their entire working lives in that industry. So they’ve got the knowledge which, again, probably surpasses what other places can offer really.”