O tempora, o mores! Thinking of the glories of university shops of yore is rather depressing. Although given the prevalence on my own campus of sweatpants, hoodies, skinny jeans, I can't say I'm surprised.
The odd thing about this thread is that someone who appreciates England, as OP appeared to, ought not to have praised the UK, which is really a sort of melange, with few common characteristics between the ingredients. I myself appreciate English and Irish culture (my family is Hiberno-Norman, which also gives me roots in those countries), but not Scotch or recent Welsh.