Scarborough Joke Shop influences Selfridges

Two of Yorkshire’s oldest and best loved joke shops have found themselves in the limelight as they serve as inspiration for Selfridges' latest pop-up venture.

London's prestigious Selfridges department store is gearing up to tickle the funny bones of its patrons with the launch of "Joke Shop Corner Shop." In a bid to spread laughter and cheer, Selfridges extended a special invitation to three distinguished joke shop owners, including Scarborough's own Miles & Liz Jackson, to partake in their launch party earlier last week.

Situated in the heart of Oxford Street, Selfridges has transformed a section of its store into a whimsical haven, featuring an assortment of comedic treasures, pranks, and novelty items.

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The Scarborough Joke Shop and Dinsdales in Hull, received an unexpected call from the renowned London department store seeking "inspiration" for their latest project.

Liz & Miles Jackson at Selfridges Launch PartyLiz & Miles Jackson at Selfridges Launch Party
Liz & Miles Jackson at Selfridges Launch Party

Liz and Miles Jackson, owners of The Scarborough Joke Shop, along with two other esteemed outlets in Cardiff and Hull, were invited to attend the launch event on Thursday for Selfridges' reimagined joke shop, a testament to the celebration of traditional British humour.

Selfridges' pop-up shop promised to encapsulate the whimsical essence of the traditional joke shops, drawing from the charm and humour found in establishments like The Scarborough Joke Shop and Dinsdales’. With displays featuring classic gag items like whoopee cushions and itching powder, the temporary store aims to evoke laughter and mischief.

Miles says “For the past few weeks The Scarborough Joke Shop has been sending products and props to Selfridges and it really is amazing what they have done with it all. Their windows really capture the Joke Shop vibe.”

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Laura Weir, Executive Creative Director at Selfridges, explained, "The Joke Shop at Selfridges draws inspiration from local joke shops across the country, as well as the tongue-in-cheek aesthetics we've seen and loved this season. We're transforming our corner shop into a comedy store, with windows celebrating the best British jokes and larger-than-life art commissions. We want to raise a smile and make mischief.”

Miles Jackson at one of Selfridges' display window on Oxford StMiles Jackson at one of Selfridges' display window on Oxford St
Miles Jackson at one of Selfridges' display window on Oxford St

Scarborough Joke Shop owners Miles and Liz recounts “It was a fun evening. Rather random seeing the London crowd thinking that our trade is some kind of cool sideshow that was pastiche worthy, but we were treated like VIPs. It was also great fun catching up with old friends from the business that we’ve known for decades!”