Welwyn Department Stores

Opening day

Welwyn Department Stores opening day

This is an aerial photograph taken on the day Welwyn Department Stores opened for the first time – were you there?

This page was added on 11/01/2010.

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  • photo does not openj

    By Jason (04/08/2018)
  • Dear Jason, Thanks for letting us know. I’ll see if one of the volunteer editors can resolve this.

    By Marion Hill (04/09/2018)
  • Mum worked at Welwyn Department Stores from 1942 until 1980 when she retired. Before WDS, she worked for Barclays Corsets from 1939 until 1942. Initially, Mum was paid 15/- for 5-day evening shifts from 6:30 to 9PM but after World War I when I started secondary school she worked from 9AM to 3:30 PM 5 days a week for £1 a week. As I grew up, her hours went up and she was soon being paid £7 a week for the job.

    By Joseph Peterson (06/05/2015)
  • My first memories of the stores are going ther as a small child with my Nanny Smith who lived in guessens road. There were magical childrens rides at the entrances into the store my favourite was yellow & I think was a rocking boat it could seat a child at either end. At christmas time we would go to see Father Christmas in his magical grotto. That was in the 50’s & 60’s.

    In the early 70’s I started work in the children’s & ladies shoe department I really enjoyed working there. The shoe department had a clarks fluroscope X-ray machine that let you see how much room there was in the shoes your child wore. These days this would not be allowed due to IRMER regulations regarding ionising radiation exposure limits. The buyer & some of the other staff in the department lived above the store in theĀ  staff flats.

    Because the stores still had working gas fuelled lighting when the 3 day week arrived they could continue to trade for almost their normal hours utilising the gas lighting to save electricity. So no extra time off for us.

    Happiest memories the staff Xmas parties, the Cherry Tree disco nights which all the younger staff went to & the feeling of family at the stores.

    Scariest things during my time there. A mouse got into the staff ladies toilet several of us ended up standing on the seats & side & one day I pressed the wrong button on the goods lift & ended up in a very dark & spooky attic I was very glad when the lift started to descend again.

    By Jyll Marsh (24/05/2014)
  • My mother also worked full-time as a silver service waitress in the Park Way restaurant within the Welwyn Department stores for a couple of years around 1970-72. Also I recall my mother telling me that she served H.M.Queen Mother when she visited the Park Way restaurant on her visit to WGC back in 1970!.

    By Michael S (10/12/2012)
  • My Mother had her first Saturday job at Welwyn Stores in the fashion department helping to pack the customers purchases, she was paid 5 shillings for the days work. When she left Handside school in 1948 she worked in Park Way Restaurant as a waitress full time for a couple of years. she moved away in 1950.

    By Jackie Robbins (19/05/2012)