Vinall's, Eastbourne


Mr A E Rush, Mayor of Eastbourne from 1938 to 1943, bought the business of Vinall’s in 1919, by which time it had already been established for over 40 years. On the 19th December 1942, the rear of the premises was wrecked by a stick of bombs that fell across adjoining shops. Within four days Vinall’s re-opened on the opposite side of the street. Five weeks later, these premises were bomb-damaged and another move had to be made. On the 19th November 1942, Vinall’s moved back to its original premises.

The Partnership in Eastboune

In the Gazette of the 8th February 1947, the Partnership announced that it had acquired a shop in Eastbourne by the name of Vinall’s. The Partnership warmly welcomed its staff of about thirty, whose average length of service at that time stood at about ten years.

The shop was located at 129-131 Terminus Road, on a good site, with a frontage of about 50 feet. It sold Piece Goods, Haberdashery, Fashion Accessories, Soft Furnishing, Household Linen and Blankets, all typically John Lewis trade.


Vinall’s remained in the John Lewis Partnership until 1953, when it was sold as part of the company’s policy of rationalisation.  Smaller business units which had not proved sufficiently profitable to be retained permanently were disposed of. Vinall’s was thought to be too small a shop in which Partnership policy could be correctly conducted. The shop’s location in a holiday resort meant was held to be the cause of erratic sale, and too many variants out of the business’s control.

The sale of Vinall’s was completed on the 29th August 1953, and the shop was acquired by Macartney Stewart Limited of Sussex.

Comments about this page

  • Thank you for the information about Vinall’s – I have been trying to find out about the shops location due to my late mother working there when she was 17, just before she was evacuated to Christchurch during the war. Both my grandparents and parents were born in Eastbourne having lived in Old Town.

    Interestingly after my mother passed on I found a letter from when she worked at Vinall’s, 55 & 57 Terminus Road, Eastbourne. The letter is dated 1st January 1943 and reads:

    Dear Miss Dawson,

    I am writing a personal letter to thank you for your courage, loyalty, friendly practical co-operation and splendid service you have rendered making it possible for Vinall’s to carry on business, not only to start again, but to commence after losing only three and a half working days. This splendid example of team work under difficult conditions will always be remembered by me with grateful thanks.

    Please accept my best wishes for a peaceful and progressive time during 1943.

    Sincerely yours,
    A E Rush

    The letter was personally signed by him.

    I thought you might like the information as it is such a lovely letter at such a difficult time and I learned from your information that Mr Rush was Mayor of Eastbourne up until 1943.

    Kind regards
    Liz Jones

    PS – if you would like a photo of the letter sending through please let me know.

    By Liz Jones (24/09/2019)
  • Many thanks to Stephen Rosenberg for locating the precise location of Vinalls.

    By Hannah Raeburn (31/05/2016)

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