Ebenezer House

In the 1980s Trewins expanded when they obtained 42-44 Queens Road.  It was not feasible to integrate the building with the main store.  It became the home for toys, gardening and Christmas stationery departments.

Ebenezer House                                                                                                            It consisted of many small rooms over several floors which developed into an odd shaped shop with lots of nooks and crannies and rickety stairs.  It was affectionately known as Ebenezer House.

Toys had one half of the shop with an office and first floor showroom.  Gardening was in the other half with a small covered courtyard at the back (which had a very fragile roof.)  Separate from this was a large patio outside, to the rear of the property, next to Trewins car park for displaying garden furniture and outdoor toys.  A nearby portacabin was used for storing the furniture.  From September to December each year Christmas stationery replaced most of the gardening side.

Don’t forget to duck
The upper floors became stock-rooms for both departments.  Many of the rooms were still covered with wallpaper from the original houses.  There were squeaky wooden floors, narrow staircases and low ceilings with beams which had to be covered with thick sponge to protect those who forgot to duck. [Ouch! Including me.]

Exposed to the elements
Access to the shop for partners (staff) was at the rear through the car park, up a long ramp and down a set of open tread stairs.  All exposed to the elements!

Although working conditions could be difficult the atmosphere in Ebenezer House was warm and friendly.  Set apart from the main store it managed to create the feeling of a small family run shop.

Comments about this page

  • I too spent 6 months working here in 1987 under the very strict and stern Mr Rastrick.  Good time but a trek to get to the shop floor, up that ramp horrid in the rain going to tea break and the kids used to wreck the display toys as we tidied up each Saturday, we would be retrieving bits of toys from up and down Queens Road.

    By Katie.wingfield (24/11/2017)
  • I worked in the toy department when it occupied Ebenezer house, another outpost of Dennis Rastrick’s empire.

    From tricycles in the basement accessed by a hatch in the sales floor (we nearly lost a few staff and customers down the hole.) All the historically domestic rooms upstairs were given over to stockrooms; the Lego room, the bike loft, the dolls room (scarey in the half light of a 40 watt bulb) and debits – in the bath!

    AnĀ upstairs room was used for a time as the DM’s dining room I was told.

    We used to shut the shop when the Chelsea supporters were herded down the underpass by the police on their way back to the station from a football match.

    Kath Hill and May Howarth were my right hand men, perfectly formed under 5′ to get around under the beams.

    By Richard Symonds (19/04/2008)

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