Company: Derry & Toms

Company name: Derry & Toms
Dates in business: 1862-1973

Type of business: department store retailers

Type of company: Partnership

  • Kensington High Street, London, England

Company history

In 1862, Joseph Toms and Charles Derry went into partnership to run a small drapery shop on Kensington High Street, which had been established by Joseph Toms in 1853. The business expanded and, by 1870, it had acquired seven more shops around its original site. One of these shops was used as a mourning department. The company prided itself on being the main suppliers to the upper classes of South Kensington. In January 1920, the company was acquired by John Barker & Co Ltd, department store retailers, of London. It continued to trade as a separate concern, however. In 1930, a large rebuilding programme was begun. The new building, designed by Bernard George, opened in March 1933, with an elegant restaurant called the Rainbow Room. In 1936, work began on adding roof gardens. These opened in May 1938 and featured a sun pavilion, an English woodland garden, a Spanish garden, a Tudor garden and a flock of pink flamingoes. The store was modernised between 1957 and 1958. John Barker & Co Ltd sold the company in 1971. Derry & Toms closed on 13 January 1973.

Records held for Derry & Toms:

FRAS 941
Title: Warrant appointing Derry & Toms furriers in ordinary to Queen Alexandra
Date: March 1920
FRAS 989
Title: Customer invoice
Date: 1909
FRAS 958
Title: Half yearly departmental profits
Date: 1920-1958
FRAS 1510
Title: General ledgers
Date: 1948-1973
FRAS 1512
Title: General ledger journals
Date: 1959-1971
FRAS 1511
Title: Rents ledger
Date: 1970-1975
FRAS 994
Title: Correspondence on Derry & Toms roof gardens
Date: 1938-1950
FRAS 954
Title: Staff guides
Date: c 1967-1968
FRAS 1501
Title: Christmas gift catalogues
Date: 1933-1961
FRAS 999/2-4
Title: Scrapbooks of newspaper advertisements
Date: 1968-1973
FRAS 1502
Title: Photograph albums
Date: 1924-1961
FRAS 990
Title: Visitors' book
Date: 1926-1934
FRAS 982
Title: Scrapbook of newspaper articles on Derry & Toms and Kensington, London
Date: c 1930s
FRAS 1531
Title: Guides to Derry & Toms' roof gardens
Date: c 1940s-1960s
FRAS 1530
Title: Article on Derry & Toms' roof garden
Date: c 1952
FRAS 1532
Title: Newspaper and magazine articles on Derry & Toms
Date: 1955-1963
FRAS 981
Title: History of Derry & Toms, 1862-1921
Date: 1962
FRAS 998
Title: Guest list and table plan for dinner dance in Rainbow Restaurant, Derry & Toms
Date: March 1960
FRAS 992
Title: Invitation to and menus from grand balls at Derry & Toms to celebrate Festival of London Stores
Date: 1968-1971
FRAS 907
Title: Terms of engagement of buyers
Date: 1888-1928
FRAS 969
Title: Inventory and valuation of properties of Derry & Toms
Date: November 1921
FRAS 964
Title: Register of deeds
Date: 1850-1929
Includes deeds of Derry & Toms.
FRAS 945
Title: Lists of trademarks and patents
Date: c 1901-1989
Includes trademarks and patents of Derry & Toms.
FRAS 960
Title: Valuation of properties of John Barker & Co Ltd and associated companies
Date: 1928
Includes valuations of properties of Derry & Toms.
FRAS 963
Title: Register of insurances
Date: c 1936-1958
Includes insurances of properties of Derry & Toms.
FRAS 714/1
Title: Publication entitled Getting to Know The House of Fraser
Date: 1959
Contains an image of the store exterior and the roof garden.
FRAS 961
Title: Valuation of properties of John Barker & Co Ltd and subsidiary companies
Date: 1965
Includes valuations of properties of Derry & Toms.

Related People and Companies:

Corporation name: John Barker & Co Ltd
Dates of connection: 1920-1971
Connection type: Derry & Toms Ltd was acquired by John Barker & Co Ltd in 1920.
Corporation name: House of Fraser Ltd
Dates of connection: 1957
Connection type: Derry & Toms Ltd 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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