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People can combine a morning of shopping with an afternoon learning more about life behind the counter when a History Professor from the University of Wolverhampton and a University Centre Shrewsbury English Literature Professor join together to lead a free study event.

The session, focusing on the role of male shopworkers from the 19th century onwards, takes place on Saturday May 7 at Rowley’s House in Shrewsbury.

‘The Man in the Shop: Life Behind the Counter in the Victorian Period and After’ Study Afternoon will run from 1.30pm to 3.30pm.

Prof Laura Ugolini from the University of Wolverhampton, will present a talk on ‘Counter-Jumpers’? Male Shopworkers in 19th and Early 20th Century Britain’.

Prof Deborah Wynne from University Centre Shrewsbury will discuss representations of male shopworkers in popular films and television programmes, including Hobson’s Choice (1954), and the recent series, Mr Selfridge and The Paradise.

Prof Wynne said: “We’re inviting people to join us in looking at shopping in historical contexts, asking questions such as ‘why were male drapers thought to be doing ‘unmanly’ work?’ and ‘how has popular culture presented the man behind the counter?’

“We also want to hear from members of the public who have known male retailers from previous decades or remember shopping or shopwork experiences in the past.

“Why not pause in your own shopping in Shrewsbury to come and find out more about the history of shops and shopwork?”

To book places for the study afternoon email communications@ucshrewsbury.ac.uk or call 01743 297185.

Alternatively, people can visit the information point at Guildhall at Frankwell Quay (SY3 8HQ) which is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Thursday and 9am to 4pm on Fridays or Rowley’s House at Barker Street (SY1 1QH) on Wednesdays between 11am and 2pm.

For further details on UCS events go to: www.ucshrewsbury.ac.uk/public-events

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