Austins: Memories of a Derry institution

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Social media users this morning have been sharing their memories of Austins - Ireland’s oldest department store which closed its doors this morning, in a move that has sent shockwaves through the local community.

Writing on the Derry Journal’s Facebook page, reader Shauna Starrs recalled the stores once famous Christmas windows, complete with puppets which every child had to see each festive season - along with the ‘beautiful wedding dresses’ which used to feature in the shop window.

Austins was founded in 1830 and was the world's oldest independent department store.

Austins was founded in 1830 and was the world's oldest independent department store.

Ann Watkins said today’s news marked a “sad day for Derry”, adding: “Such a shame that Austins has closed its doors for good . Think it’s sad it’s a end of an era. Loved shopping in it and going for lunch now and again.”

Rosie McBride said: “Remember me and my mum going there for lunch when I was a child. Sorry to hear it’s closing, loved it.”

Deirdre Porter said the closure marked an “end of an era” - describing it as a “landmark building”.

Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney took to Twitter to say: “Sad and concerning news of job losses in Derry”.

What are your memories of Austins in Derry?