The Depression, 1930s

The Strand Arcade Today

The depression brought everything back down to earth in the early thirties. One regular visitor to the Strand, Barbera Preece, remembered the spirit of friendliness and resourcefulness in the arcade that lasted throughout the war.

The Nut Shop, which still operates today, opened in 1939. The owner was Karl Mendels who had recently arrived in Australia after fleeing Europe with his young family to escape Nazi persecution. Mr Mendels rationed his popular sugared almonds during the war years. "The shop would only open for a few hours in the afternoon and we would sell a quarter of a pound to each customer, unless they were in uniform, then they were allowed to buy half a pound," according to his son Paul, who still runs the family business.