Author Topic: Bellman's, the Sussex Knitting Wool Shops  (Read 953 times)

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Online pomme homme

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Bellman's, the Sussex Knitting Wool Shops
« on: August 31, 2016, 17:17:41 pm »
It's funny how conversations can, unexpectly, revive memories from decades ago. In just such a conversation, and completely out of context, someone mentioned Bellman's, the knitting wool shop on the northern corner of the Broadway and Queen's Square, Crawley. I remember it as a remarkably modern, very light shop, set over two floors with a wooden, open step staircase linking the ground and first floors. It was a regular haunt of my mother in days when our jumpers were knitted, rather than bought, by her. It was very well frequented but, like so many other shops of that ilk, it bit the dust when the people started buying, rather than knitting, their jumpers. I suspect that it probably closed down in the late sixties. If not, I doubt that it survived long into the seventies. Dixons traded from the premises subsequently. I've no idea who trades there now.

I had assumed that there was just one Bellman's shop. But it seems that I was wrong in that belief. I've found reference to a number of Bellman's shops in Brighton and the surrounding coastal towns. However the business seems to have been particularly vibrant in Crawley. In 1951 Bellman's Wool Shop was to be found at 5 Grand Parade, High Street, Crawley. I suspect that this pre-dated the construction of Queen's Square and its surrounding retail complex. However by 1956 S.Bellman & Sons were selling babies' and childrens' wear at 37 Queen's Square. From 1957 to 1968 Bellman's was selling ladies' wear at 40 Queen's Square. In 1972 it was selling knitting and wool at 7 Queen's Square. I haven't been able to determine the numbering of the retail units in Queen's Square to determine which of these premises were those that I remember.

It seems that the business was founded by Sydney Bellman, who died in 1969. I've found no reference to the '& Sons' mentioned in the business trading name of 1956. Maybe they left the business and the death of its founder precipitated its demise? Others may know.

Offline John

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Re: Bellman's, the Sussex Knitting Wool Shops
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2016, 17:43:49 pm »
Mid Sussex Times - Wednesday 25 March 1942
"You know, if you don’t read history, you’re a bloody idiot." - James Clavell

Online pomme homme

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Re: Bellman's, the Sussex Knitting Wool Shops
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2016, 18:03:20 pm »
I could ask, John, why you are collecting ephemera relating to ladies' undergarments, but I won't .....  ;)

Offline John

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Re: Bellman's, the Sussex Knitting Wool Shops
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2016, 18:09:41 pm »
Everyone needs a hobby  ;D
"You know, if you don’t read history, you’re a bloody idiot." - James Clavell

Online pomme homme

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Re: Bellman's, the Sussex Knitting Wool Shops
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2023, 15:23:49 pm »
Bellman's had a department store in London Road, Brighton. It opened in the 1920s and closed in 1969. It was the company's principal retail outlet. There were also branches of Bellman's in Hove, Portslade, Haywards Heath, Uckfield, Crawley and Lewes.

Offline Tim Sargeant

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Re: Bellman's, the Sussex Knitting Wool Shops
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2023, 16:49:26 pm »

My mother often used to go into the Bellmans Brighton shop in the 1950s.
I remember it well. A good old Sussex firm.