Retro items from an “Aladdin’s cave” in Aberdeen will go under the hammer tomorrow.
Family-run outdoor and clothing store McKay’s began trading in 1905 and has been a haven for obscure and rare fashion finds since.
But as plans for the redevelopment of Queen Street progress, and amid safety concerns about the roof, Aberdeen City Council bought out the remainder of owner Gordon McKay’s 99-year lease and took over the premises in November.
Mr McKay has now relocated to Great Northern Road, and is holding a closing down sale.
Bervie Auctions and charity Smile Scotland have also taken some of the stock, which they plan to sell off.
In its heyday, McKay’s attracted customers from across the country keen to scour its “mountains” of retro clothing.
During the 1970s and 1980s in particular it was well-renowned within music circles, with touring pop stars visiting Aberdeen frequently flocking to see what they could find.
Dave Smith, of Bervie Auctions, has now amassed hundreds of pairs of vintage cords, brightly coloured “glam rock” flares and sta prest wrinkle-resistant trousers.
Unworn, and with their labels intact, the items are thought to have laid undisturbed in storage for close to 50 years.
Mr Smith has already had interest from retro enthusiasts and fashionistas ahead of them going on tomorrow.
He said: “The clothes have been stored in the basement of the shop since the 1970s.
“There are brands including Levi’s and Wranglers.
“We’ve got around 200 pairs and I think we’re going back for more.
“They all have labels on and have never been worn. It’s strange to come across such a large collection.”
Among the items are 20 pairs of Levi’s cords, a “Western-style cowboy cut” Wrangler denim jacket and a box of 1,500 government-issued leather shoelaces.
Mr Smith added: “Some of the trousers are smaller sizes, with waists between 27 and 29 inches.
“We thought they could have been boys’ trousers at first, but the legs are really long.
“So maybe it’s just that people were thinner back then.”
Aberdeen charity Smile Scotland was also involved in moving some of the stock between locations.
It also kept some items for itself and will auction them at its Oyne premises on February 1.
Chairman Clive Hampshire said: “As a charity we were proud to help out one of Aberdeen’s retailing landmarks, that has been family-owned right the way through.”
Queen Street area
Aberdeen City Council has its sights set on a number of “unsightly and inefficient” properties in the Queen Street area it wants to replace with its £150 million vision.
It plans to redevelop the street by building more than 300 homes, which will sit alongside offices for public services and open space.
Council officers have been in contact with Aberdeen University, which owns a car park and the Musicrange tuition centre.
Talks are also underway regarding the future of the Police Scotland division headquarters and Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service base there.