THE future of the iconic Browns of Chester store may remain unclear but people's nostalgia for it, is crystal.

Sharing a submitted photo of a legion of Browns staff, all dressed up for an outing in 1952, readers shared their memories of the department store.

They also commented on their love of the city landmark, and how much it was missed.

A recent visitor outside the store on Eastgate Street was the bright pink double decker bus of Harrods Beauty On Tour.

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This has led to much speculation about what's next for the property, which closed in May 2021, after 230 years of continuous trading.

While we wait for the veil of mystery to be lifted over plans, here are some of the memories shared...

Karen Jones: "It was such a lovely store, such a shame its gone. Great photograph, didn't they all look smart?"

Nicole Wilson: "Had so many firsts of so many things in this department store - first school satchel, first bra, first guitar, first Start-Rite school shoes and many afternoon teas in the restaurant. Sadly missed."

Robert Yorke Brown: "A great shame it’s gone. Has left a big hole in the centre of Chester. Growing up as a child in Hawarden, it was always known to us as a high class store."

Lynn Smith could even spot family in the old image: "Fabulous photograph, I can see my uncle John Garston on here and my aunty Jean."

The former Browns of Chester department store.

The former Browns of Chester department store.

Val Oneill: "Back in the 1960s when tights became fashionable Browns would order in a particular brand I liked and put them aside for when I needed them. Now that was service."

Janet Williams: "Browns of Chester was before Debenhams in Chester. My great auntie Gwen used to take me there when I was little and it was very posh. I learnt how to eat out using the right knives and forks - lovely days."

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Gillian Williams: "My great aunt, Irene Simcox, must be somewhere in this picture. She was a buyer for Browns and worked there for many years. When I was growing up in the 1950s she'd send me a lovely dress for my birthday, which always arrived in a Browns' box. Some of them were limited editions, and I remember being so excited to receive them."

Hazel Wakelin: "Absolutely loved this shop when I was living and working at a racing stable near Chester in the early 1960."

Browns of Chester store front.

Browns of Chester store front.

Sandra Duncan: "My mum bought some furniture from Browns when she was first married and waiting for them to finish building their first house in Heath Lane. I still have it now so the quality was fantastic.

"I know she was always annoyed that she had to drag my reluctant father in to the shop to sign the HP agreement, as the wife couldn’t do this."

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Keith Brown: "I bought a blazer in this shop many years ago, walked in and the gentleman there asked how he could help. Told him I wanted a black blazer for my Regimental reunions, he looked at me and said '44 short', then lifted one down, fitted like a glove and I still wear it every year on Remembrance Day parade."

Sally Gibson: "Loved Browns of Chester. The carpets, smell of perfume and who could ever forget those chandeliers and creaky staircase! Happy memories."

Leo Del Rey knows what they'd like to see in the vacant store, saying: "Please will Selfridges or Harvey Nicks buy this place and bring back the exclusivity to Chester, plenty of people out there with money to buy high end goods."

Whatever happens next, it's fair to say there are some big shoes to fill.