The following is taken from an article printed in 1902:-
The Great Provider of Clothing
for Men, Women, Youths, Maidens, Boys, Girls, Babies and Dolls
11, 19 and 21 Briggate, Shipley
"The father of the Shipley tradesmen", as the subject of our sketch is familiarly called, has earned his just title from the fact that he commenced business as a general draper, in Saltaire Road, so long ago as the year 1870. These premises becoming quite inadequate for his increased trade, in 1879 he took the shop No. 11 Briggate, which he has occupied uninterruptedly, and since purchased. Here his energies had greater scope, and he added to his general display that of Gentlemen's Outfitting, comprising an extensive assortment of Hats, Caps, Ties, Collars, &c.;, which readily secured for him the appellation of "The Shipley Hatter". His business increased so rapidly here that in 1893 he found it incumbent upon himself, in order to cope with his ever-increasing turnover, to again increase his accommodation, and not being able to enlarge these premises he was compelled to take the shop No. 29 in the same thoroughfare. At this juncture he had several other branches added to his industry, and included among his wares a Gent's and Youth's Ready-Made Clothing, and a Ladies' and Children's Underclothing and Baby Linen Departments.
After he had occupied both these shops for six years and finding them still unable to grapple with his increased trade, Mr Smith was fortunate enough to become at this time (1899) the purchaser of the fine block of buildings comprising four shops, at the corner of Briggate and Charles Street, and he removed the whole of his Gentlemen's Tailoring and Complete Outfitting Department to these premises, and also still occupies the shop No. 11 Briggate, as a General and Fancy Draper, Ladies' and Children's Outfitter. Of very truth "a great provider". Although so successful in business, Mr Smith has been able to spare some time to the public service, he being the first as also the present Secretary of the Shipley Tradesmen's Association, also serving on the School Board for six years (1883 - 1889), during which time he acted as Chairman of the School Attendance Committee and Chairman of the School Management Committee.
Henry Smith was succeeded by his son, Walter Henry Smith.
Norman Henry Smith (his son) joined the business after serving in The Kings Own Yorkshire Light infantry during WW2.
Subsequently, Roger Henry Smith (Norman’s son) joined in 1978, and then in 2004, after 134 years of ownership by the Smith Family,Roger left the business for new challenges.
The company was aquired by Andrew Firth, the schoolwear retailer from Keighley.
Andrew is carrying on the tradition of good service and value for the next 134 years!!!
Please take a minute to visit the following link. (It’s another piece of history!)