In 1986, the Kleinwort Benson Property Fund (KBPF), then developing a former banana warehouse into the Thomas Neal's Centre, kindly lent us the corner unit facing the Dials for a fundraising pop-up shop. The shop was designed and built by trustee Paul Draper with interior design provided pro bono by Paul Dyson Design.
We had much help from both English Heritage and the National Trust in developing our limited edition product range and we used many of their suppliers.
The shop was initially run by volunteers covering normal shop hours, but we soon learned to open from midday into the evening. Once fully running, with an administrator in post and well-organised volunteers, initial turnover went up 700% as our range of high quality gift items sold extremely well. The shop also provided office space and the basement housed our first exhibition - Architecture, History, Horology. As a return favour, to KBPF, we also exhibited their plans for their development.
The shop helped promote the Monument Appeal, fundraising to re-create the lost Sundial Pillar, raised our profile and was very useful during the Unveiling event. Sadly, our use was curtailed when part of the roof collapsed and the shop was flooded.