Friday, 15 April 2011

Millett's, Croydon

For a chain that has such a strong presence in high streets around the country, there is very little on the web about Millett's history. It seems the company was founded by one J. M. Millet in 1893, with originally two shops: one in Bristol and another one in Southampton. The changes between the two spellings "Millet" and "Millett" are a bit of a mystery. In the 1930s the shop in Bristol traded under the name "J. M. Millet & Sons" (the advert is at the bottom of page 14 *). However after World War II it seems the family changed the spelling of its surname and the shops followed suit. Until 1970 Millett's remained a relatively small retailer with nineteen outlets. That year it was purchased by Blacks and a period of expansion began. Nowadays there are more than 200 Millets shops in the UK.

The design of the sign below would suggest it was painted in the 1950s.

Boots & Clothing.
Motorists' Equipment.
Leather Coats, Gloves, Etc.
See Our Windows
Round the Corner

*: on a completely different note, it is quite amazing how all the information about the different scenes and actors of "1066 and All That. A Musical Comedy of English History" in this souvenir programme is completely buried under adverts. A great guide to shopping in Bristol in the mid-1930s though!

Location: Surrey Street / Picture taken on: 17/06/2008

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