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I started work at Trewin Brothers in April 1958 in the Carpet Department, as shown in the photograph. Unfortunatly the photograph has been printed the back to front as the linoleum was on the right as you entered the department from the main shop.I was taken on by Mr Timson himself, no staff office in those days. He was also manager of the Furniture Department and Gardening. He was also Deputy General Manager.
My Mother worked for John Lewis , the morning she went to work she was met with the sight of John Lewis still burning ,
The staff went to Peter Jones .
When John Lewis had their anniversary I supplied a couple of German Incendiary bombs the type that the Germans dropped .
My whole family have worked at some time for the partnership totally over 60 years .myself as a junior salesman in1967 in the stationary department
After the war John Lewis partners that left to fight in the war were invited to go on a refresher course at Odney , that’s where my late mum met my late Father and had 52 years marriage
I went with my mother once a year to Daniel Neal’s for shoes and loved the x ray machine. The shoes were very expensive. I also remember going to a nearby store that had pony rides but can’t remember exactly where that was. It was all a great adventure as we went in the train to London
Information on the John Lewis Partnership Heritage Centre can be found here: https://www.johnlewispartnership.co.uk/about/who-we-are/heritage-centre.html
Thank you – correction made.
In 1958 I joined the JLP Radio, Television, Washing machines & Fridges repair department above the department store. It came under the name of Taylor & Prentis if I remember. Some of the engineers repairing the sets in the workshop were ex WW2 veterans. They had a team of service engineers going to homes to repair the TVs or if unable to repair them bring them back to the service dept. They had a French polisher who repaired all the scratches on the wooden cabinets TVs came in those days. They also had aerial installers who collected new TVs from all the London stores, delivered, installed & put up aerials if required. As an apprentice I went out with the drivers to help. I remember picking up a TV from Peter Jones & delivering it to the actress Joyce Grenfell off the King’s Rd. She gave us 10/- shillings each to take her old TV around the corner & install it in her uncle’s flat. I also remember installing the aerial on the roof of actor Edwin Richfield’s house in Buckinghamshire. And most memorable of all taking Joe Meek’s Sobell portable TV down the road to his recording studio above the leather goods shop in the Holloway Rd. My memory of that was the kitchen sink full of dirty crockery, Heinz the blond German from the Tornados sitting on a couch signing a contract & the floor in the recording studio being covered in recording tape. About 5 years later the Partnership decided to close down completely their servicing dept.
At the time I joined it was on the first floor next to the mattress or curtain making department then moved to the top floor through the Display Dept. I remember a young couple from the display department leaving to emigrate to New Zealand, buying a VW camper van outside Australia House in the Aldwych and driving all the way down to Singapore, selling the van to Australians going the other way & sailing down to Australia.. They used to send us regular air mail letters of the exploits driving through countries like Iran & Afghanistan. This was when 1000s of Australians were doing the trip regularly & before all the troubles started in those countries. Next to the canteen they had a snooker room were we spent our meal breaks & a rest room
I have many happy memories of the 5 years I worked there.
I have one hat from Peter Jones (Sohn Lewis and company limited) but I can not figure out which decade belongs Design .. and it’s purpose ..
I thought may be hier some one know?
Where I can send picture?
The Moreland Hall, mentioned above, still exists as the school hall of Hampstead Parochial on Holly Bush Vale. There are reports that early performers were put off by the smell of cabbage from the school kitchens.
I remember going to Jessops in 1962 as a small child. And what I loved was they had this to my mind magic thing , where you bought something in one part of the shop and they sent the bill by tube whizzing round to where you went to pay the bill. Does anyone else remember this?
Good to read the comments on this page.
Good memories of Graham Connew. My section manager with Fred England and Mr Pike Department Manager Furnishing Fabrics.
Met Fred a few years back when he was DM Carpets Cribbs Causeway he was just off with Betty to Australia.
It was good times at Trewins especially with Graham Connew, always the joker!
Bar Street in line 3 should read Ber Street – a well known street, here in Norwich. It’s still there, at the back of the existing JL store – you can check it out on Google maps.
My mom m left me outside in the pram, (apparently) with the doorman, she shopped inside. 1946 onwards. I’m still shopping in Waitrose now!
In the 1960’s Mum shopped at Pratts and used to treat us to an icecream in the restaurant. I remember little scoops of vanilla ice cream with a wafer served in silver metal goblet-type bowls with long spoons. White linen tablecloths and table service.
In 1956 my first pair of nursing shoes were purchased by post from Daniel Neals recommended by the then Westminster Hospital.Very comfortable and lasted 4years.
I recall buying a heavy gold watch strap for my wife from the secondhand counter in the front of the store around 20 years ago. Too bad that secondhand ceased to be part of JLP’s retail interest!
Thank you for your comment. Articles on the Memory Store have been contributed to by members of the public and volunteers. Due to this, we do not hold a list of sources for this particular article as sources may sit outside the John Lewis Partnership’s archives. If you have a particular question about Bon Marche please get in contact at email@example.com and a member of the archive team will be able to assist.
All the best,
It is possible that Holdron are related to the Holdron store which occupied no’s 110/148 Balham High Road around 1910. Amongst other things they sold very early cabinet record players.
I knew the High Road very well in the 50’s and 60’s but cannot recall this store which would have occupied a substantial area judging by the numbers.
I saw the name and address on a record player being sold on the BBC programme ‘Bidding Room.’
Jones Brothers gave me my first job in 1987, I was a junior circuit trainee. I spent 6 months on the glove dept Mrs Morris was my manager, then went to the linen dept and finally the toy dept at xmas time. My Auntie Wendy worked in the staff canteen.
Do you have any sources you can cite for the information on this page?
Pleased I have found this page. I joined the hairdressing department in Bainbridge as an apprentice in January 1971. Very interesting to read the history of the Partnership.
Thank you for you message, I have passed your details onto Geoff as requested.
Remember my mother taking me to Daniel Neil’s in London about August of 1959 or 60 to be outfitted for my uniform for St. Joseph’s Priory in Dorking. Coming from Jamaica all of the woolen clothes were rather daunting but so grateful for the advise to get two cardigans and not one!
was this written by my old manager Geoff Pilgrim if so can you let him have my email
Hi I have a 1959 Alec Hodsdon spinet I acquired in 2020 from Peter Barnes Harpsichords. I was thinking of doing some research on his output, though it looks as if much of his work was actually done for the John Lewis partnership, so it would be interesting to know if any workshop records were kept. I like the fact that he was based in Lavenham as some of my family come from that part of the country. But I understand that Fred Sykes actually carried on most of the business after Hodsdon took more of a back seat later on – I don’t know if others have information. I would be interested in getting in touch with Camilla who has posted below.
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