They were the temples of commerce where disciples of fashion could indulge their passion.
The city’s huge department stores gave birth to a tradition of shopping in Leeds which still thrives today.
Now those big name shops which once dominated the local retail scene are featured in an exhibition at Abbey House Museum, alongside some of the fashions of the 1950s and 60s.
The Decades of Youth exhibition explores people’s memories of growing up in Leeds, with items and images on display from a period spanning more than 70 years.
Among the objects featured are two hats from city centre department stores: a green feather hat with its original box, which was purchased in the 1950s or 60s and an extravagant pink feather hat bought at Marshall and Snelgrove on the junction of Bond Street and Park Row, which shut down in 1971.
Also in the exhibition are pictures of the old Schofields department store on the Headrow which was founded by Snowden Schofield.
After starting his empire from a modest shop at No. 1 The Victoria Arcade, he expanded by buying up surrounding properties, finally replacing them with a new modern department store in the 1960s.
Councillor Brian Selby, Leeds City Council’s lead member for museums and galleries, said: “It’s always wonderful to see an exhibition give people a chance to participate like this and say exactly what local history and the city that they live in means to them.”
The exhibition also features films and digi-stories from local residents and organisations talking about being young in Leeds in the 1950s, 60s, 80s and 90s.
l The YEP will feature various items from the exhibition in the coming weeks.