Jones Brothers: The Partnership Years 1940-1990

A Jones Brother promotional leaflet from the 1950's
The exterior of Jones Brothers in 1985

Wartime Restrictions

Jones Brothers was lucky enough to come through WW2 unscathed. There were however a number of restrictions on the shop.  One the biggest was the fact that due to the sheer size of the Jones Brothers premises, the wartime government requisitioned part of the property for their own usage. The knock-on effect for the rest of the shop was substantial. Space was at an absolute premium.

Post-war extensions

Under the Partnership, Jones Brothers had to wait until after the war before any substantial changes were made. In 1950, the food hall that had been closed by the war was reopened, and in the same year, property that had been requisitioned by the government in 1939 was handed back. This prompted years of prosperity and growth, and there were numerous renovation projects, including the 1963 project to extend the food department, which had been made entirely self service in 1957.

Jones Brothers stays rooted at the Partnership moves on

Despite enjoying a strong local trade and many loyal customers, the Partnership announced its decision to close Jones Brothers in 1990. With the opening of John Lewis Kingston set for 1990 and John Lewis Brent Cross already doing fantastic business less than twenty minutes away, the need to have a department store on Holloway road was becoming increasingly limited. On the 21st July 1990, Jones Brothers of Holloway closed its doors for the very last time. With plenty of fond memories to take forward with them, it was undoubtedly the end of a chapter, but equally was sure to be the start of something new.

Comments about this page

  • I have fond memories of Jones Bros on Holloway Road, firstly being dragged around it by my mother on her Saturday shopping trips and visits to ‘The Buttery’, and then later (around 1978/79) when I became a Saturday boy there. I started off in DIY on the 1st floor (by carpets) with Mr Nunn and then progressed to being on the sales floor in Radio & TV in the basement, working for Mr Small. I learnt what customer service was, how to sell to client’s needs and how to be part of a team… great lessons for a 17 year old. I recall the fuss made when Bob Hoskins would come in and want to buy a TV and would only deal with Pete Christofi! My younger sister would also later follow my steps and become a Saturday girl there too. I was sad to see the old place close in 1990, an institution and end of an era.

    By T M-Collinson (13/02/2024)
  • 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.

    By Adrian Ambroz (07/01/2024)
  • 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.

    By MRS S J BROWN (14/07/2023)
  • I started first job in Jones brothers as junior display carpenter/designer
    central display studio top manager David hare .. remember Brian etc display signs..etc..a few years later became display carpenter designer carpenter..for the Jones bros display team a few floors lower.with Jackie..including sue .Jackie ..Lynne..etc till.82…great days…

    By Billy (bill) Chapman (27/01/2023)
  • I’ve found a receipt for my parents Grandmother Clock (“Model” 67001″ bought from the Jones Brothers Holloway Store. Must have been at 1985 or so.
    The clock still works to this day!

    By Sally (17/07/2021)
  • Hi Karen,

    What an interesting find! Unfortunately we don’t have anything similar in our archives so I am not able to shed any more light on this for you i’m afraid.

    Kind regards,

    By imogen (13/07/2021)
  • I’ve recently found a Jones brothers box lid in my loft and wondered if you could tell me more about it, it’s a burgundy brown colour and says Costumes, dinner dresses, walking dresses, evening dresses, bridal dresses down the left side and mourning dresses, children’s dresses, washing dresses and travelling dresses down the right side

    By Karen (30/06/2021)
  • Hi Paul,

    Apologies for taking so long to reply, That’s a great find! The tokens were issued in the 1930s and were given out to customers when they made a purchase, they provided the customer with a 1d discount on purchases made on Thursday mornings. Hope this helps!

    By imogen (26/04/2021)
  • Today I found a Jones Bros [Holloway) aluminium token in a field in Great Hallingbury, Essex which was issued to get more business on Thursdays. Do you know what period these would have been issued?

    By Paul Chapman (09/04/2021)
  • I got my first job in 1971 after leaving art college, in the JLP Central Display Studio, based on the top floor here. I worked on Jonelle packaging and internal forms.

    By Adrian Pearman (11/03/2021)
  • Hi Stephen, thank you for your comment. The scarlet canopies were installed in 1984 and the photograph was taken in 1985. Kind regards,

    By imogen (17/08/2020)
  • I worked as a security guard from 1980 to 82 and the store certainly never had those bright red canopy’s hanging down over the windows if they had them they were never used so I’ve no idae when this photo was taken.

    By Stephen West (11/08/2020)
  • Closure of the store at the time was controversial – Here is a link to the Hansard debate, featuring contributions from concerned local MPs including a Mr Corbyn!

    By A Holloway (22/04/2016)

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