In July 1984 a Waitrose branch manager, driving through Pimlico, looked up from the wheel of his car and was surprised to see the incised gilded lettering of a Waitrose sign board. The sign had been uncovered during the refurbishment of a bookmaker’s shop at 16 Sussex Street. The Partnership’s Archivist was able to confirm that Waitrose Limited had indeed had a shop in Sussex Street during the 1920s. A leaflet preserved in the Partnership’s archive records that the branch was reopened, with all the stock replaced, after a fire in 1923. We know little else about the branch other than it had been closed sometime before Waitrose became part of the Partnership in 1937. A photograph of the sign board in-situ featured on the front cover of the Waitrose Chronicle on 28 July 1984.
Fast forward almost 33 years and the sign has been rediscovered much the the excitement 21st century Partners. This time however the owners of the building have allowed the sign boards to be removed and transferred to Waitrose Head Office in Bracknell. What did they find underneath? Evidence of another, even earlier, Waitrose sign!