Do you remember the shop?

Johnson Bros. Department Store

By Alexis Grossmith

This photograph was taken around 1965 in the soft furnishing workshop of Johnson's Department store.

When we didn't have many orders for curtains or loose covers the staff had to make draught-excluders to be placed along the bottom of doors. Firstly a tube was made from scrap material which we then had to fill with sawdust, compacting it down until the tube was full before stitching across the end of the tube.

In the picture from right to left are Emily Gore, Dorothy Wiltshire and Mary but regrettably I cannot remember the name of the girl on the extreme left.

Photo:Making draught excuders

Making draught excuders

From the private collection of Alexis Grossmith

This page was added on 12/05/2012.
Comments about this page

Hi, my father, Patrick Dawes (known as Charlie) worked at this store, as a carpet fitter and cabinet maker, along with my mother and her twin sister, Elizabeth and Margaret (known as Betty and Peggy) Woods.

By Sharon Witney (21/09/2012)

My Mum also worked in the soft furnishing department from 1946 - 1958.  Gwen Bishop later returning as Gwen Leggett. She tells me she knew and worked with all the ladies in the photo.

By Karen Pattinson (22/09/2012)

I worked as a bought ledger clerk in the office for Mr. Watts in 1948. All addition and subtraction was done in our heads because there were no calculating machines at that time. I left their employ when I emigrated to Canada.

By Frank (29/04/2013)

My late father started work at Johnston Bros in 1929 and stayed until his death in 1971; his name was Harry Buckland and he started as apprentice cabinet maker and French polisher. At a later stage he transferred as an outside representative measuring for new carpets, curtains etc.

By Peter Buckland , (30/04/2013)

Over the summer we got talking to a volunteer at Bovington Tank Museum; his name is Dale Johnson and he told us that he came from Brighton and that this was his family's business. He's now retired to Dorset but regularly visits Sussex as part of The Real Dad's Army re-enactment group (they're at Shoreham Airshow each year). I don't have an email to send him a link to this but I hope he's come across it himself.

By Nell Pulham (25/09/2013)

My first job after leaving school was in the accounts office of Johnson bros. Mr Watts was my boss. I met Robert who worked in several departments, just like "Are you being served", who I married in 1961 & we celebrated our 52nd wedding anniversary in Oct 2013. Roger Watts was & remains our friend from that era. Yes, we had a lot of fun there. Weather permitting, lunch on the beach & a quick swim - I remember Mr Garnet, window dresser, swimming too. I spent some lunchtimes looking after the cash & invoices that sped through the Lamson tubes from each department ending up in the cash office. The lads used to get together, instigated by Rob & Roger, who arranged at a given signal to send as many bullets when they knew I was in the cash office, giving me a fright as I was new & because it was a quieter time & not the usual 2 people there. I have forgotten a lot of the names. I used to also sit in the little kiosk at the front of the shop some other lunchtime breaks. Mr Bernard, who liked to be called that instead of Mr Johnson, was a very fair man & he lived in Storrington until his death. Neither I nor my husband still worked there when the fire destroyed the building & it was never the same after that. Fond & happy memories of an earlier life never to be repeated in this era.
I left the shop after a few years to work in the Evening Argus Advertisement Department just because it was a new & challenging post. It was the start of Telesales, looking after local business & taking ads over the telephone.  That's another story!
I was  Joyce Marshall then now Chalk. I know must people will know Rob as he had a motorbike, every young lad's wish list then.

By Joyce Chalk (nee Marshall) (06/12/2013)

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