Mr W W Waite

Wallace Wyndham Waite’s family were agricultural engineers from Bugbrook in Northamptonshire.  His father was a civil engineer and the early years of Wallace’s life involved several moves including living in Bedgellert in Wales, the Forest of Dean, Sutton in Surrey, Rock Ferry on Merseyside and then settling in Shepton Mallet, Somerset.  He went to Shepton Mallet Grammar School but the family fell on hard times and on the day before his 12th birthday he left home to become a grocer’s apprentice in Pontypool.

The Waite Family Tree

After finishing at W Pegler & Sons (where he had received no pay for his first year’s work, £5 for the second year and £10 for the third!) he came to London with £1 in his pocket.  He walked from Paddington to Blackfriars Road enquiring for work at every grocers he passed until eventually he was taken on by Granthams where he earned 7/6 per week living in.

He married a girl from Shepton Mallet, visiting her every weekend by train and catching the milk train back on Monday mornings.

He then found work with Boulinns and Coopers which is where he met David Taylor and Arthur Rose.  The three young men then decided to go into business opening their first shop on Acton Hill in 1904.

Mr Waite at 1963 Branch Council Dinner

Mr Waite at Branch Council Dinner – 1963

Comments about this page

  • Dear Trevor, thank you taking the time to comment here. We’d love to hear more of your memories of Mr Waite!

    By phaedracasey (12/02/2024)
  • Wallace Wyndham Waite was my great grandfather on my mothers side, my grandmother being Monica Freeman (nee Waite). I clearly remember my great grandfather (he was affectionately know as WW in the family), at his last residence in Maidenhead.

    By Trevor Marshall (10/02/2024)
  • Hello Phaedra. Yes I am happy to help if I can, although as I mentioned below some of the information I have is not easily readable. If the volunteer could email me directly we can try to work out what might be relevant to their research and the best method to communicate it. Kind regards.

    By Mrs Monica Collier (née Waite) (15/05/2023)
  • Hi Monica – thank you for your comment, that’s really interesting. We have a volunteer keen to do a better Waite family tree, so would be really delighted to receive copies of the information you mention, if you would be happy to do so.
    Phaedra, JLP archivist

    By phaedracasey (15/05/2023)
  • Ref the request for info below from Iain Waite, WW Waite was my great uncle too and I am shown on the bottom line of the family tree above. I have a full page copy of the above tree linking back to William the Conqueror and also a fuller (somewhat illegible) hand written version linking to George Herbert etc. I also have some info and photos on WW Waite’s parents and siblings e.g. Charles Partridge Waite (my grandfather), Lilian and Elsie, plus info on more recent generations. But that would probably need to be pursued outside this forum on the Waitrose story.

    By Mrs Monica Collier (née Waite) (10/05/2023)
  • I’m doing the WAITE family tree if anyone is interested. Looking for more info regarding Wallace and his siblings Cyril (my grandfather), Harry, William, Robert, John, Lillian, Bertram, Charles, Adolphus, Elsie, Gertrude and others I may be forgetting…plus living children and grandchildren.

    By iain kevin waite (08/04/2023)
  • Thank you for your comment – that’s really interesting. We know that Mr Waite had 8 brothers and 3 sisters, so it’s certainly a possibility! Do let us know if you ever work it out.

    By phaedracasey (08/02/2023)
  • I have often wondered if by any chance I was related to Mr Waite. I suppose there must be a very distant connection but tha5 will be very distant indeed. It was most interesting to read a little of the history especially as when I was in my teens I worked for a while in a grocery store. The owner wanted me to continue in the business but I left and went into furtherveducatio. However, my fascination with the grocery trade remains.

    By Terry Waite CBE (02/02/2023)
  • My stepfather,now deceased was Welshman ,
    William Waite,his brother in Brampton is alive, Wallace William has a son named Mark Waite in Toronto.

    By Jane Waite (19/08/2019)

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