1981, a fateful year for John Barnes

By Jonathan Blatchford

Photo:A plaque adjourning one of the walls of Waitrose John Barnes, reminding customers of the fantastic heritage that the store now sits upon

A plaque adjourning one of the walls of Waitrose John Barnes, reminding customers of the fantastic heritage that the store now sits upon

Waving goodbye to a way of life

The drapery and furnishing departments of John Barnes closed their doors to the public on the 17th January 1981. This completed the demise of the entire department store, on the cards since the opening of Brent Cross in 1976. It was a sad day indeed for many, to whom John Barnes had not just been a department store but a way of life and a livelihood. 253 Partners passed on to pastures new, taking with them a bundle of a happy memories had in their unique branch.

Photo:A collage of images celebrating John Barnes, orignially put together for the front cover of the Gazette, 17th January 1981

A collage of images celebrating John Barnes, orignially put together for the front cover of the Gazette, 17th January 1981

The Food Department becomes Waitrose

But the Partnership’s flirt with Finchley Road was by no means over. For the food department was entirely taken over by Waitrose. The entire premises were to open as a Waitrose on the 2nd February 1981. Instead of operating out of the basement, the Waitrose would operate from the first floor. The basement was turned into a car-park. The opening of Waitrose John Barnes has proven to be an adept move, as the store continues to trade strongly to this day. Any customer visiting the store now are reminded of the special place that John Barnes holds in the Partnership’s history by a poignant wall of script in the shop.

This page was added by Jonathan Blatchford on 14/08/2014.

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