Silk Shop: Tunbridge Wells


The Gazette of the 27th April 1946 announced the acquisition of a new branch, that of Bon Marche in Tunbridge Wells. The shop was a general drapery and clothing shop with a frontage of thirty-nine feet, and sixteen members of staff.


The business was founded by Mr RC Dowson in 1878, and had then a staff of three. He was succeeded in about 1920 by his son Mr LJ Dowson, from whom the Partnership took over the business.

Becoming a Silk Shop

The Partnership actually purchased the shop through its Silk Shop chain, suitable considering that the Tunbridge Wells premises was similar in size and style to the newly acquired Silk Shop branches in Edinburgh, Newcastle and Hull. From 1950, the shop officially traded as Silk Shop Tunbridge Wells.


Silk Shop Tunbridge Wells lasted in the Partnership until 1953, when it was sold as part of the company’s drive to sell on small units which had not proved sufficiently profitable to be retained permanently as members of the group. The premises was simply too small a shop in which Partnership policy could be correctly conducted.

The sale of Tunbridge Wells was announced in the Gazette of the 29th August 1953, and was officially sold to John Perris Limited of Croydon on the 24th August 1953.

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