Company: Chiesmans Ltd

Registration number:

Company name: Chiesmans Ltd
Dates in business: 1921-1976

Type of business: Department store retailer

Type of company: Private limited liability company 1921-1957

Type of company: Public limited liability company 1957-1976

  • High Street, Lewisham, Kent, England

Company history

Chiesmans Ltd, drapers, Lewisham, was incorporated as a private limited company in 1921. The business was founded in 1884 as a partnership between two brothers Frank and Harry Chiesman who opened a drapery shop on the High Street, Lewisham. When the business became a private limited company in 192, the name of the company was changed from Chiesman Brothers to Chiesmans Ltd The directors (and shareholders) of this new company were Frank and Harry Chiesman, and their sons Stuart, Russel and Harold Chiesman, who had entered the business after the end of the First World War. All three of the younger generation had worked in retail before entering the family business: Stewart specialised in fashions and staff management; Russell in furnishings and transport; and Harold in advertising and publicity.

In 1921 the rebuilding a o more modern store, on the same site, was begun, and extensions and alterations continued in the 30s. Chiesmans Ltd had acquired premises on both sides of the High Street and in 1939 work was completed on a bridge acrosss the high Street which connected both stores at first floor level. The business was expanded in 1933 when Chiesmans Ltd bought a second store in Maidstone, and again in 1947 a store in Canterbury was added, but had top be resold when it proved unprofitable. In 1957 a fourth store in Gravend was purchased. In 1957 Chiesmans Ltd became a PublicLimited Compsany, although most of the shares were kept within the Chiesman family. In the following two years the company acquired stores in Tunbridge Wells, the Isle of Wight, Ilford, Upton Park and Rochester. The Lewisham store was extended again in 1960, with the addition of a self-service restaurant and fabric hall. The company was bought by House of Fraser Plc in 1972 who still trade from the Lewisham store (2009)

Records held for Chiesmans Ltd:

FRAS 1765
Title: Minutes
Date: 1929-1961
FRAS 1766
Title: Ledgers
Date: 1884-1907
FRAS 1767
Title: Photographs
Date: 1934-c1960
FRAS 1769
Title: Newspaper article
Date: 1934-1969
FRAS 1770
Title: The Parisian
Date: 1933-1936
FRAS 1771
Title: Chiesmans Sport and Social Club News
Date: April 1973- September 1973
FRAS 1772
Title: Pension and life assurance scheme guide
Date: 1947
FRAS 1773
Title: Savings club membership book
Date: c1950
FRAS 1774
Title: Letter about a delivery of Linen
Date: 1913
FRAS 1775
Title: Savings club membership book
Date: 1923
FRAS 1776
Title: Store guide
Date: c1970
FRAS 1777
Title: Paris House Players programmes
Date: 1934-1935
FRAS 1778
Title: Inaugural luncheon menu
Date: 1938
FRAS 1779
Title: Circular advertising the Westmoreland Room
Date: c1960
FRAS 1780
Title: Papers relating to the purchase of John Lewis Store(Upton Park) Ltd
Date: c1960

Related People and Companies:

Corporation name: Chiesman Brothers
Dates of connection: 1884-1921
Connection type:
Corporation name: House of Fraser Ltd
Dates of connection: 1947-1949
Connection type: House of Fraser Plc bought Chiesmans Ltd in 1976

Access points: Retail trade - Department stores

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