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-   -   Retail in Spanish train stations in 1937 (https://www.railwayforum.net/showthread.php?t=17148)

lcharnes 28th June 2022 04:25

Retail in Spanish train stations in 1937
 
  • Did major train stations in Spain have shops in their concourses in January 1937?
  • If so, what form did they take (kiosks? wagons? fixed-size stores?).
  • What kinds of products did they sell?

Background: in Bluejay Rises, first in the Kate DeWitt Adventures (I hope) series, Kate, our tarnished aviatrix-heroine, takes a train from Merida to Seville in Spain and arrives at San Bernardo station. Because of the concussion she suffered from having her plane shot down and because of the strain of traveling behind enemy lines, Kate's in need of a digestif to keep her stomach from rebelling. I currently have her buying a bottle of Schweppes and a tourist map at a sundries shop in Seville's station. But would such a shop have existed?

Drawing inferences from other nations' stations may be interesting but invalid given that Spain was considered "backward" compared to other European nations at the time. Thanks in advance for your help.

hereward 28th June 2022 10:17

Welcome Lance - I would have thought all manner of services would be available on Spanish stations to serve traveller's needs. Canfranc Station, built in 1928 was enormous, it must have contained restaurants and a hotel including shops. There is much intrigue surrounding the station with Nazis and spies. What nationality is Kate? You talk of "behind enemy lines," must be talking about the Spanish Civil War so what side would she be on? I know a lot of British fought on the Republican side, including Laurie Lee. Didn't Ernest Hemmingway?

lcharnes 28th June 2022 22:37

Quote:

Originally Posted by hereward (Post 96954)
Welcome Lance - I would have thought all manner of services would be available on Spanish stations to serve traveller's needs. Canfranc Station, built in 1928 was enormous, it must have contained restaurants and a hotel including shops.

I'd think there would be cafes and shops in the big-city stations, including Seville, but I've yet to find any documentation about them, including in Spanish.

Canfranc was a special beast. As large as it was, you'd expect it to have an entire city's worth of retail in it. The civil war finished it off and it doesn't figure in this story.

Quote:

Originally Posted by hereward (Post 96954)
What nationality is Kate? You talk of "behind enemy lines," must be talking about the Spanish Civil War so what side would she be on? I know a lot of British fought on the Republican side, including Laurie Lee. Didn't Ernest Hemingway?

She's British but has been living away from England for several years. Her sympathies lie with the Republicans.

A number of Brits joined one militia or another on the Republican side, either as part of the Internationals or otherwise. A few Irish fought for the Nationalists (Franco's bunch) early in the war.

Hemingway was a war correspondent in Spain in 1937 and twice in 1938. He wrote the script for The Spanish Earth (a pro-Republican propaganda film) with John Dos Passos and used his experiences to write For Whom the Bell Tolls, which ironically was his most even-handed account of the war.

hereward 29th June 2022 07:16

Thank you Lance, I need to look into it more. I will look out for your books.


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