Hounslow - closed branch

Mr O B Miller and Mayor unveiling plaque at Hounslow 1956 | John Lewis Partnership Archive
Mr O B Miller and Mayor unveiling plaque at Hounslow 1956
John Lewis Partnership Archive
Hounslow handbill from 1950s | John Lewis Partnership Archive
Hounslow handbill from 1950s
John Lewis Partnership Archive

Waitrose Hounslow opened at 201-205 High Street, on Tuesday 6th November 1956, its third and largest supermarket. Originally the site of the Town Hall, previously it had been the Empire cinema, the side walls of which had been incorporated into the new building.

To commemorate the site of the Town Hall, Mr O B Milller, Partnership Chairman, unveiled a plaque, welcoming the Mayor and Mayoress “We have been trading in your borough in a small shop for some years, but this is our first large-scale undertaking here. This business, is owned by all the people who work in our organisation and all the new workers here will become Partners, just in the same way as all the other twelve thousand members.” The mayor replied: “I would like, Mr Miller to welcome you to Hounslow High Street and to say we are glad to have you here. You look like being a very definite acquisition. Our wives are just itching to have a look round your shop!”

The fascia above the doorway was of pearl grey vitrolite carrying the sign “Supermarket” in red and white script lettering and two vertical lit signs of “Waitrose” in black and gold perspex lettering on a lime-yellow Perspex background gave the appearance of being lit, even in daylight.

As well as wide range of foods being on offer, both side walls were dedicated to non-food goods – nylons, hot water bottles, toiletries and toys. The shop could be quite a family occasion with mummy getting on with the family shop while little boys examined Dinkie cars and trumpets

By Linda Moroney (05/10/2012)

Comments about this page

  • I was one of a number of trainees drafted in after a refit in the mid 1960’s as a ‘floor guide’ to help customers find their way around. Mr Warrington was Branch Manager and he had 2 golden rules – learn to speak in 3 minute bursts (to synchronise with the aircraft noise) and for us trainees should not to act like bananas and ‘hang around in bunches’ ! Classic stuff. The refit was implemented by John Halstead and Eric Norwood which gave me an early taste of Merchandising. Hounslow had red lino type material which covered the blockboard shelves secured by moveable brackets in vertical channels in the fixture spine. A screwdriver and hammer were an essential part of the tool kit to change shelf heights. They don’t make ’em like that anymore ! A vacancy came up soon after in Merchandising but I was too inexperienced at the time. Little did I know that 10 years later I would fulfil a long held ambition and become one of the longest serving members of the department (1978-2005) which I thoroughly enjoyed. I have a fond memory of Hounslow for that reason.

    By Terry Hammond (11/11/2013)
  • As a child in the 1970’s we always shopped here and I remember the store well. On the rare occasions I visit Hounslow I can’t go into WH Smith which now occupies the building without thinking of those days.

    By Jason Mullen (27/10/2013)
  • No personal memories myself, as I’m too young to remember Waitrose, Hounslow, but my mum, Margaret Strutt, worked there. She started when she was 15 and left at the age of 21 to have my brother 46 year ago! She now works in Waitrose Sunningdale in the Dining Room.

    By Caroline Strutt (08/10/2012)

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