This shop window was spotted by Stephen Anderson to whom our thanks.
[packet of PG tips]
Tea you can really taste'
'A Packet for every Pocket
Always the best'
If you thought the practice of covering up shop windows
with signs (so that display cabinets and chiller units can be set
against them within the shop) was a modern phenomenon, this photograph
shows that the practice goes back quite a way. This old
shop window in Whitchurch seems to be split into two. The right-hand
side has been changed/patch repaired and has an overhanging strip
above. One wonders if it was once an opening similar to shops which
sell ice creams through a window to the street? The signs now fill the
space and Brooke Bond are the most numerous (including the dark
rectangle at upper right).
Brooke Bond & Company was founded by Arthur Brooke, who was born in
1845. In 1869 he opened his first tea shop at 23 Market Street,
Manchester. Brooke chose the business name because it was his 'bond' to
his customers to provide quality teas, hence Brooke Bond. The firm
expanded into wholesale tea sales in the 1870s. Brooke Bond's most
famous brand is PG Tips, launched in 1930 under the name Pre-Gestee – a
variant of the original name 'Digestive Tea'. The name implied that it
could be drunk prior to eating food, as a digestive aid. Grocers and
salesmen abbreviated it to PG. The company added 'Tips' referring to
the fact that only the tips (the top two leaves and bud) of the tea
plants are used in the blend.
J. Lyons & Co. was a British restaurant chain, food manufacturing,
and hotel conglomerate founded in 1884. In 1918, to increase sales in
northern England, Lyons bought the old established tea company Horniman
& Sons. From the 1930s Lyons began to develop a pioneering range of
teas, biscuits and cakes that were sold in grocery stores across the
world. To the public, J. Lyons & Co. were best known for their
chain of tea shops which opened from 1894 and finally closed in 1981,
and for the Lyons Corner Houses in the West End of London. It was
logical that Lyons' Tea was promoted into the domestic tea market.
Please email any comments and contributions by clicking here.
©2004 Copyright throughout
the Ipswich Historic Lettering site: Borin Van Loon
No reproduction of text or images without express written permission