Devastation

Photo:The day after the bombing: Tyrrell and Green lies in ruins on the right hand side of the above photo

The day after the bombing: Tyrrell and Green lies in ruins on the right hand side of the above photo

By Jonathan Blatchford

A sitting target

As the world began its unstoppable march towards the Second World War in under thirty years, it became obvious that Southampton was a sitting target. A wealthy, industrious port town, it would surely be one of the prime target for enemy attacks. And so it proved to be. The world of Tyrell and Green was about to be shattered.

Direct hit

On the night of 30th November 1940, Tyrell and Green suffered a direct hit from a German bomb. The store was utterly destroyed. Being only a couple of hundred yards from the docks, the entirety of Bar Street suffered a similar fate. Such devastation to one’s livelihood is frankly hard to conceive. The Gazette of the 4th January 1941 relayed the details of the bombing, sombrely stating that:

The building...is a total loss, and all Partners who knew Tyrrell and Green in the days of peace – a fine shop in a fine shopping centre - will surely share with Southampton Partners the keenest regret at this destruction of one of the Partnership’s most important branches.

All not entirely lost...unbelievably

The building on Bar Street might have been a total loss, but the concept of Tyrrell and Green was not. With a large degree of foresight, anticipating the aerial bombardment of Southampton, the directors of Tyrrell and Green had taken the precaution of purchasing and opening a very small branch of the store in Winchester. Under a week after the bombing trading resumed; a true expression of Partnership spirit and resilience!

This page was added by Jonathan Blatchford on 27/08/2014.