What was Daniel Neal?

By Jonathan Blatchford

Photo:The frontage of Daniel Neal Portman Square

The frontage of Daniel Neal Portman Square

High quality children’s-wear

Daniel Neal and Sons held a nationwide reputation for the supplying of high quality children’s-wear, to children of all ages between birth and eighteen years. Operating from seven branches across the UK, stores had departments for boys’ clothing, girls’ clothing, footwear, baby wear, maternity wear, prams and nursery furniture. Originally started as an adult shoe shop in 1837 by Mr Neal in Edgware Road, it was Mr Neal’s son, Daniel that grew the business across London.

Developing the business

In 1911, another shop was leased in Kensington High Street. In it, Daniel’s three sons (Daniel had died in 1893) dropped adult shoes and instead focused on providing children’s footwear and clothing. The three smaller branches were sold, and all efforts were focused in the centre of London to create a children’s department store. A new site was purchased at Portman Square, and the business grew from there. So much so, that the store went into the provinces. Daniel Neal Cheltenham opened in 1937 following an agreement with Cheltenham Ladies College. Later branches were opened in Bournemouth (1947) Exeter (1953) and Bristol (1955) and the newest store in Birmingham was opened in 1960. All of the shop’s aligned themselves with local schools to whom Daniel Neal supplied their uniform. In the Gazette of 2nd February 1963, the Partnership announced its intention to purchase the whole of Daniel Neal and Sons Limited for a sum of just under £120,000. The acquisition had been completed on the 29th January.

 

This page was added by Jonathan Blatchford on 11/08/2014.
Comments about this page

My mother bought my shoes in the Oxford Street store during the 1940s. Loved the huge dolls house and wooden rocking horse.

By karlenlawrence
On 13/04/2016

We always had shoes from Daniel Neal's. I still have my first pair, tiny, red leather bar shoes with leather soles. They used to x-ray your feet to ensure a proper fit. Talking to my brother we both have remarkably sound feet for our age with no bunions corns or deformities. My baby sister's Moses basket came from there too.

By Kate Wells
On 19/08/2016

I was a pupil at Quintin Grammar school in the late 1950's. My parents had to buy my school uniform from Daniel Neal.The blazers were expensive,shoddily made and wore out very quickly (lots of us had elbow pads).I remember some bright spark discovered the button sewing wasn't properly finished,and it became all the rage to go around pulling threads and making people's buttons fall off!

By John victor simpson
On 16/02/2017

It is to be hoped that the quality of the merchandise improved after the John Lewis Partnership take over in 1963.

By Gavin Henderson
On 16/02/2017

My dear Mum was a children's Nanny in London in the 1930's and always bought their clothes in Daniel Neals. Consequently my brother and myself were also kitted out from this illustrious shop. I too remember the dappled rocking horse in the shoe department and the X-ray machine where you could see your toes in a green light in your new shoes to show you had plenty of room. I have very fond memories of Daniel Neal. We lived in Aylesbury and came up twice a year for our summer and winter shoes and clothes. It was a defining time in my childhood. This was in the 40's and 50's. and it started a love affair with London. After visiting Daniel Neal we would go to Selfridges and have lunch in their Jungle Restaurant. I always remember Selfridges had Uncle Holly instead of Father Christmas. I am now 76 and my brother 71 and we often reminisce about those happy days.A

By Christine Pittman-Corner
On 06/11/2017

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