The classic cars and fashions in this view of Regent Street and McIlroy’s department store wonderfully evoke the 1940s.

McIlroy’s was established in 1875 by William McIlroy, an Irish draper, with branches later opening across England and Wales, including Oxford Road, Reading, which was known as the ‘Crystal Palace of Reading’ due to its 2000 feet of plate glass windows.

At the date of the 1948 photograph McIlroy’s would have also housed Swindon’s library, the first public lending library for the town, being set up in the store in 1943.

McIlroy’s probably means even more to many people as a music venue.

In the 1930s a spacious ballroom above the store, with panelling and chandeliers from the cruise liner Mauritania was opened.

The Beatles played there on July 17, 1962, with only 360 audience members despite the venue capacity of at least 1500.

Macs also hosted the Rolling Stones on November, 21 1963.

Lead guitarist Brian Jones was reviewed by the Swindon Evening Advertiser, which said: “His command of the style is authoritative, and he managed to achieve a mellow, amplified sound where most West Country ‘rock’ groups only muster a harsh twang."

McIlroy’s was finally shut down in 1998 and was missed by many who have fond memories of the store over the years.