WITH the news last week that work is finally due to begin to convert Paisley's former Arnotts department store into flats, today we look at the Art Deco building in its 1940s heyday.

Situated opposite the town's historic Abbey, the store was known to generations of 'Paisley Buddies' as 'Cochrans' and was the poshest shop in the town.

Older readers will recall taking the store's white marble staircase or the creaking and clanking cage lift, complete with a uniformed lift operator, upstairs to the tea-room.

In 1964 the store was acquired by House of Fraser. Like many other acquisitions the purchase was negotiated over dinner, the price worked out on the back of a paper napkin, endorsed by Hugh Fraser and pasted into the company's minute book.