Company: Ponting Brothers

Company name: Ponting Brothers
Dates in business: 1873-1974

Type of business: department store retailers

Type of company: Partnership

  • Westbourne Grove, Kensington, London, England
  • Kensington High Street, Kensington, London, England
  • Wrights Lane, Kensington, London, England

Management of company

Tom Ponting founded the company. He was joined by his three brothers Sydney, John and William Ponting.

Company history

In 1873, Tom Ponting, one of four brothers from Gloucester, opened a fancy draper's shop in Westbourne Grove, London. He was joined by his three brothers who bought additional premises at 125 High Street, Kensington followed by 123, 123a and 127 High Street. They soon established a good business in retail fancy goods and silks, supplies for art needlework and even a needlework school. In 1893, the company acquired the building and grounds of Scarsdale House also on the High Street, formerly the mansion of the Curzons of Kedleston. The original premises were replaced by a High Victorian building, designed by George Campbell Sherrin. The business was a profitable concern until 1906 when an ambitious scheme to diversify the trade foundered and the company went into liquidation.

In April 1907, the business was acquired by John Barker & Co Ltd, department store retailers, of London, but it continued to trade under its old name and with its own buying team. The store was refurbished in 1922 and extended in 1923. In about 1929, it was developed southwards along Wrights Lane. In August 1957, John Barker & Co Ltd was acquired by House of Fraser Ltd, department store retailers, of Glasgow. In 1971, House of Fraser Ltd closed Pontings and transferred its entire stock to the lower ground floor of Barkers on Kensington High Street, where it was known as 'Pontings Bargain Basement - The House of Value'. The former Pontings store was sold. It was demolished in the early 1970s and a new complex of shops built in its place. The name Pontings was abandoned for trading purposes in 1974 and the basement was re-named 'Barkers’ Bargain Basement'.

Records held for Ponting Brothers:

FRAS 957
Title: Half yearly departmental profits
Date: 1907-1958
FRAS 1508
Title: General ledgers
Date: 1948-1973
FRAS 1509
Title: General ledger journals
Date: 1948-1975
FRAS 1528
Title: Headed notepaper
Date: 1939
FRAS 993
Title: Newspaper advertisements
Date: 1907, 1966
FRAS 999
Title: Scrapbooks of newspaper advertisements
Date: 1925-1982
FRAS 1502
Title: Photograph albums
Date: 1924-1961
FRAS 1529
Title: Scrapbook on Pontings' move to Barkers' basement
Date: 1971
FRAS 954
Title: Staff guides
Date: c 1967-1968
FRAS 967
Title: Inventory and valuation of properties of Pontings
Date: August 1918
FRAS 968
Title: Inventory and valuation of properties of Pontings
Date: January 1923
FRAS 945
Title: Lists of trademarks and patents
Date: c 1901-1989
Includes trademarks and patents of Pontings.
FRAS 960
Title: Valuation of properties of John Barker & Co Ltd and associated companies
Date: 1928
Includes valuations of properties of Pontings.
FRAS 963
Title: Register of insurances
Date: c 1936-1958
Includes insurances of properties of Pontings.

Related People and Companies:

Corporation name: John Barker & Co Ltd
Dates of connection: 1907-1974
Connection type: Ponting Brothers was acquired by John Barker & Co Ltd in 1907.
Corporation name: House of Fraser Ltd
Dates of connection: 1957-1974
Connection type: Ponting Brothers was acquired by House of Fraser Ltd, as a subsidiary of John Barker & Co Ltd, in 1957.

Access points: Department stores - Drapers - Retail trade

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