John Lewis Archive Talk
15 May 2013
with thanks to Gill Horwood
New Venue Sparkles
was a previous talk at the Cookham Festival some years ago, on the
history of the old pottery at Grove Farm, that set running the germ
of an idea to bring the Textile Collection to Cookham.
Judy Faraday, the Partnership Archivist, approached the John
Lewis board and the idea took wing.
sun shone to show to its best the new Grove Heritage Centre’s
building. The Charles
Voysey inspired cedar paneling on the exterior was looking splendid
as was the light, bright interior so that the 5,500 textile designs
could be seen in all their richness.
After a welcoming tea and delicious cake supplied by the
ladies of the church, we were given a talk by Judy Faraday on the
development of fabric printing
processes over time; the Lewis family history; and how the John
Lewis Partnership came about.
were told about the opening of the Oxford Street, London store
years ago next year; the
purchase of Peter Jones in
Sloane Square and how it was managed on more modern
lines by John
Spedan Lewis, not always with his father’s approval.
Judy described how when, John Spedan was recuperating from a
horse riding accident, he thought up the partnership scheme. He
convalesced at a house called The Grove, in
Harrow, surely some
co-incidence. She also
said that 100 years ago the grocery store was
‘Waite, Rose & Taylor’.
The ten shops were acquired by The Partnership in 1937.
John Lewis stores, in previous times, did people really go to a
store, take a seat, and be served by the assistant while sitting
down – how things have changed in our internet world.
for the fabrics: there was a rosy design with Albert &
Victoria’s profiles hidden in it, designed for the royal yacht;
the purple and red floral for the
R.M.S. Titanic; and coming more up to date and within my and
many Cookham folks’ memory, the daisy-chain
pattern sold in the 60’s & 70s, the biggest seller in the John
Lewis repertoire. Judy
number of metres produced could have stretch from Cookham
to Moscow. It was a
very enjoyable and entertaining presentation.
well as its research facility the plan is to open the archive from
September 2013 to the public on Saturdays, for Partners on Thursdays
and for groups by appointment.
So take a look, sure you’ll remember the daisy-chain
patterns and others as well - a real trip down memory lane.
|Gill Horwood Introduces Judy Faraday||Judy Faraday is congratulated|
|Judy Faraday JLP Archivist at Grove Heritage Centre|
Registered charity No 1094999