Waite Rose and Taylor

Waitrose Acton Hill
Mr A E Rose
Mr W W Waite c1908

Waite Rose and Taylor open a small grocery shop at 263 Acton Hill, London.

Wallace Wyndham Waite was born in 1881, the son of a successful civil engineer until an unexplained change in family circumstances meant that Wallace had to earn his own living when he was only 11 years old. Wallace was apprenticed to a grocer in Pontypool on the day before his 13th birthday. It was a three year apprenticeship, “living in” over the shop and away from his family.

By 1904

Mr Waite was working in London and determined to have his own business, and with Arthur Rose and David Taylor, he opened a shop in Acton. The London district of Acton was a rapidly growing middle-class residential area, and in 1903 a shopping parade was built on Acton Hill. The three businessman together rented 263 Acton high Street from local businessman Charles Oliver Hicks.

Rose was the company secretary and accountant, Waite was the grocer, and Taylor probably the first of a series of managers. David Taylor left the business in 1906 and in 1908, Waite and Rose formed a private limited company, coining the name “Waitrose”  from their own surnames. In 1923-4 Mr Rose withdrew from the business, after a period of ill-health.

On 16th October 1937

The Waitrose grocery shops became part of the John Lewis Partnership. The Waitrose staff of 164 became Partners less than a decade after John Spedan Lewis had founded the Partnership in 1929.

Comments about this page

  • Thank you for your comment. I have corrected the errors. Inconsistencies in style are due to the fact that this is a longterm project (over 10 years now) which is supported by an army of wonderful volunteers with a variety of writing styles.

    By phaedracasey (17/04/2023)
  • Three minor points.

    1) The caption for the photo of the store is wrong. As the article correctly notes, the address was 263, not 261. You can see the number on the door. You might want to crop out the misleading 261, which is the address of the shop next door, which appears to have sold clocks.

    2) A couple of paragraphs later, you write: “David Taylor left the business in 1906 and 1908, Waite and Rose formed a private limited company….” This apparently should be two sentences: “David Taylor left the business in 1906. In 1908, Waite and Rose formed a private limited company…”

    3) You are inconsistent on the use of “Mr” with surnames. I like it better when you use them, but the sudden switching back and forth in the next to last paragraph is jarring.

    By John Freed (08/04/2023)
  • Hello Margaret, and thank you for your comment. According to our records, Arthur Rose of Waitrose was born in London. His father, John, was born in Scotland. We are planning a piece of Arthur Rose soon, so watch this space!

    By phaedracasey (21/02/2023)
  • Doing family History Rose was a Scotsman from Nairn

    By Margaret Robson (17/02/2023)
  • So interesting I had not idea that that was the start of Waitrose, two combined names back at the beginning of last century. When next in Acton, haven’t been for years, will try and find the original spot. Lovely history

    By Caroline Langdon (09/12/2021)
  • Yeah, that puzzles me too.

    By miss g raffe (16/05/2015)
  • Why did David Taylor leave the business in 1906?

    By Scott Tikaram (29/12/2014)

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