The original Welwyn Stores was completed in October 1921. It fronted on to what had been a cart track - now Bridge Road - on the site currently occupied by Rosanne House. The first departments were groceries and provisions, meat, fish and poultry, fruit and vegetables. The first week's turnover was £200. Gradually the building was enlarged, the premises serving as a centre of social activity until the steady expansion of trade necessitated the introduction of new departments. Designed by Louis de Soissons its replacement contained not only a Department Store and restaurant, but also 62 flats, a masonic suite and a sports club. The new building was completed in 18 months in June 1939. This new store - facing The Campus - eventually had over 50 departments with almost 2.5 acres of selling space. With the demise of the Welwyn Garden City Company, Welwyn Stores became part of the Howardsgate Trust, until 1983 when it was sold to The John Lewis Partnership. Thanks to the John Lewis Partnership archive and Eric Balley for supplying the above information.

Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Times clipping from 19th April 1950. Photograph of Althea (who donated the clipping to the WGC Heritage Trust) with the author Eric Williams signing copy of his book Wooden Horse.
Welwyn Stores
Signed letter from George Bernard Shaw to Langdon-Davies (buyer for the Welwyn bookshop at Welwyn Stores) dated 23rd September 1944. Donated by Althea R for the WGC Heritage Trust's 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project.
Welwyn Stores
B.N.Langdon-Davies - buyer for the Welwyn bookshop at Welwyn Stores. c1949 Studio Lisa photograph. Donated by Althea R for the WGC Heritage Trust's 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Department Stores badge celebrating 21st anniversary of the opening of the store 1939-60. Donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive by Leslie W as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Department Stores wooden box (lid open) stamped with 'Pure Ceylon Tea packed "specially" for Welwyn Dept. Store 1LB net'. Item donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive by Leslie W as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Department Stores paper bags - donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive by Leslie W as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Department Store Bacon Department. Ernie S, who donated this image to the Trust's archive, told us that inter-departmental competitions were held at the store and that the Bacon Department were the winners on this occasion - the photograph is dated 1977. Ernie had no recollection as to what the competition was for so if anyone does remember please let us know as we would love to be able to add this information to our records.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Department Store paper carrier bag. Donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive by Sheila W as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project and shown here courtesy of the John Lewis Partnership.
Welwyn Stores
One of the Trust's more unusual donated items! A bunch of plastic grapes once used for display on one of the Food Hall counters in Welwyn Department Stores. Donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive by Sheila W as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project.
Welwyn Stores
WGC - part of town plan - drawn by Louis de Soissons in the 1930s. This section shows the site of the original Welwyn Stores (yellow stripes) and the earliest section of the new stores. Item donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive by Joan & Tony L as part of the 'Where Do You Think You Live?' project.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores - colour postcard of the original store in Bridge Road. Donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive by Duncan M as part of the 'Where Do You Think You Live?' project.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores - buyers & staff 1951 - Anthea M (4th from the right in the second row) worked at the Stores and kindly donated this picture to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive as part of the 'Where Do You Think You Live?' project.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores 1955 - display of merchandise for children and babies. This image is from the John Lewis Partnership archive and is shown here as part of the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust's 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project. Copyright of this item remains with the John Lewis Partnership.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores advertisement dated 1937 - publicising the 'Traveller and Delivery Services' offering two deliveries daily and four within Welwyn Garden City. It states 'Our Travellers, experienced men fully trained in every branch of the Stores' Service, call regularly and your orders are delivered the same day' and appeared in the Barn Theatre programme for the 1937-38 Season - Welwyn Drama Club presented 'The First Mrs Fraser' on 4-9th October 1937. Item from The Barn Theatre archive.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores - aerial view that shows the second site facing The Campus in the centre of the picture. To the left almost hidden by a row of trees can be seen part of the original stores facing Bridge Road - much of that store has been demolished with much of the site on the corner of Parkway & Bridge Road overgrown. This item is from the John Lewis Partnership archive and is shown here as part of the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust's 'Where Do You Think We Worked' project. Copyright for this image remains with the John Lewis Partnership.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores - 1920s bakery counter. On the right is the baker Mr Curry. This image is from the John Lewis Partnership archive and is shown here as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project. Copyright of this item remains with the John Lewis Partnership.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Department Stores - Birdcage fashion. Newspaper clipping dated 10th March 1967 donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust by Janet W (Buyer for the Birdcage fashion department) as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores small car park c1938 showing the air raid shelter that was sited where the sunken roundabout was later built. Image from the John Lewis Partnership Archive.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores - 1920s dispensing chemist department. This image is from the John Lewis Partnership archive and is shown here as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project. Copyright of this item remains with the John Lewis Partnership.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores 1950s - dispensary. This image is from the John Lewis Partnership archive and is shown here as part of the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust's 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project. Copyright of this item remains with the John Lewis Partnership.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores - flag. This image is from the John Lewis Partnership archive and is shown here as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project. Copyright of this item remains with the John Lewis Partnership.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores - Welwyn Department Store Gramaphone & Record department c1965. This image is from the John Lewis Partnership archive and is shown here as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project. Copyright of this item remains with the John Lewis Partnership.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores - letter to all children who visited Father Christmas - undated. Father Christmas thanks all the children who have written to him and explains that he has been kept busy mending broken toys and making new ones - ending with the hope that all will be ready for Christmas and that he will try to bring what is most wanted. This image is from the John Lewis Partnership archive and is shown here as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project. Copyright of this item remains with the John Lewis Partnership.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores opening of the new store - the event was well attended as the crowd here shows. Image dated 25th June 1939 and is held at the WGC Library Local Studies Collection.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores - 1921 original store building. This image is from the John Lewis Partnership archive and is shown here as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project. Copyright of this item remains with the John Lewis Partnership.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores 1940s - perfumery department. This image is from the John Lewis Partnership archive and is shown here as part of the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust's 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project. Copyright of this item remains with the John Lewis Partnership.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores 1950s - perfumery department. This image is from the John Lewis Partnership archive and is shown here as part of the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust's 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project. Copyright of this item remains with the John Lewis Partnership.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores c1960 - perfumery department. This image is from the John Lewis Partnership archive and is shown here as part of the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust's 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project. Copyright of this item remains with the John Lewis Partnership.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores 1939 - perfumery department. This image is from the John Lewis Partnership archive and is shown here as part of the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust's 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project. Copyright of this item remains with the John Lewis Partnership.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores - restaurant - undated. This image is from the John Lewis Partnership archive and is shown here as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project. Copyright of this item remains with the John Lewis Partnership.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores opening of the new store - the event was well attended as the crowd here shows and was captured on film. Image dated 25th June 1939 and is held at the WGC Library Local Studies Collection.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores in 1935 - Vegetarian & Health Foods. This image is from the John Lewis Partnership archive and is shown here as part of the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust's 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project. Copyright of the image remains with John Lewis Partnership.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores - Vegetarian Foods on display in the original store c1930. This image is from the John Lewis Partnership archive and is shown here as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project. Copyright of this item remains with the John Lewis Partnership.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores window display 'So to Save - Sew' showing fabrics, sewing machine, Vogue designs, National Savings Certificates and a 'Bank'. Image from the WGC Library Local Studies Collection.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores - window display for Warship Week - various companies including Murphy Radio, Nivea and Shredded Wheat. Slogans include 'Your Money Will Be Welwynvested' and 'The Signal Is SAVE'. Image from the WGC Library Local Studies Collection.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores - Welwyn Times advertisement by Charles Paine dated 14th March 1940 - promoting the Stores new under 25 department which would be opened by "Greta Gynt, the famous film star". From the WGC Library Local Studies Collection.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores 1949 - Christmas display. This image is from the John Lewis Partnership archive and is shown here as part of the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust's 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project. Copyright of this item remains with the John Lewis Partnership.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores - Christmas Carnival 1951 - Anthea M (here wearing the Minnie Mouse costume!) worked at the Stores and kindly donated this picture to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive as part of the 'Where Do You Think You Live?' project.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores - Christmas Carnival 1951 - the return to the Stores. Anthea M (here wearing the Minnie Mouse costume!) worked at the Stores and kindly donated this picture to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive as part of the 'Where Do You Think You Live?' project.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores - Christmas staff party - 1936. This Studio Lisa postcard was donated by Jean P to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores
Meeting Santa at Welwyn Department Store in 1951! This image was donated to the Trust's archive by Anthea M, who worked at 'The Stores', during the 'Where Do You Think You Live?' project.
Welwyn Stores
Welwyn Stores News - advertisement from the Welwyn Times dated 8th November 1946 - page 2 - announcing the forthcoming arrival of Father Christmas & Father Neptune at the Welwyn Stores for a 'Grand Christmas Toy Fair'. This item is from a collection of newspapers kindly donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive by BJW as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project.
Welwyn Stores
Father Christmas at Christmas Toy Fair in WGC - distributed 2000 gifts by the end of his first day - article from the Welwyn Times dated 22nd November 1946. This item is from a collection of newspapers donated to the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive by BJW as part of the 'Where Do You Think We Worked?' project.
 
 
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