Category:Bassett-Lowke retail shops

From The Brighton Toy and Model Index

Bassett-Lowke's first shop was opened in central London in 1908, and was followed by a number of further premises around the country. However as the tide changed in B-L's business, these were gradually eliminated, with the last two sites (including the High Holborn shop) sold to Beatties in 1964.

1908: 257 High Holborn, London

This was the first public-access Bassett-Lowke shop.

1910: 112 High Holborn, London

Article on the new B-L premises at number 112, from "Model Railway and Locomotives" magazine, 1910

Article on the new B-L premises at number 112, from "Model Railway and Locomotives" magazine, 1910 [image info]

Advert with map and travelling instructions for number 112 High Holborn

Advert with map and travelling instructions for number 112 High Holborn [image info]

Magazine article, 1910:

"An Extension of Premises"

" OWING to the great increase of business in London, Messrs. Bassett-Lowke & Co. have found it necessary to remove into larger premises, at 112 High Holborn, opposite the Holborn Station of the Picadilly Tube.
The premises comprise a spacious shop with every convenience for the display and sale of the firm's specialities. Separate counters are provided for the display of various sections of the supplies, each being provided with appropriate showcases.
The comfort of visitors has been studied by the equipment of a permanent exhibition in the showroom at the rear of the shop, running tracks for the testing of model locos under power, compressed air for running stationary models, and a testing tank for trying model power boats, enable any description of model to be examined and tried in comfort. Visitors are always welcome, and ther eis sure to be much to interest the enthusiast in any branch of model engineering. No.112 is on the opposite side of the road, within sight of the well-known old shop, and no difficulty should be found in reaching the new premises. "
"Bassett-Lowke in London" (1924 catalogue)

"Messrs. Bassett-Lowke's London Premises."

For the benefit of visitors from the provinces to London during the Xmas season, we give herewith a sketch plan showing the position of Messrs. Bassett-Lowke's new premises and showrooms at No. 112, High Holborn. Visitors are always welcome, and enthusiasts in all branches of model engineering will find much to interest them. Might we take this opportunity of pointing out that Messrs. Bassett-Lowke's London branch is primarily intended for dealing with orders for customers in or near London, whether by call, post, or messenger, and that the main postal order business is still done from the head office, except in cases where customers commenced dealing at one or other of the establishments, and prefer to continue.
The model racing yachts, steam boats, and ships fittings, also model flying machines and accessories, are dealt with entirely from London, and all enquiries for this department should be addressed there.

A bomb blast blows in the shop windows in 1940, and the shop has a plasterboard or plywood front for the rest of the war. The original B-L shop site opposite is destroyed by a bomb.

1922: 5 Frederick Street Edinburgh

B-L rescue The Model Workshop, Edinburgh, and turn it into a Bassett-Lowke outlet, under the "MW" proprietor, Mr Young.

1924: 1, Frederick Street, Edinburgh

Bassett Lowke / "The Model Workshop", 1 Frederick Street, Edinburgh

Bassett Lowke / "The Model Workshop", 1 Frederick Street, Edinburgh [image info]

Expansion in business leads to the shop moving to larger premises at No.1 Frederick Street. Disappointing sales lead to the business being disposed back to Young in 1930.

"Bassett-Lowke in Edinburgh", 1924

1927: 28 Corporation Street, Manchester

Manager Cecil B. Cox decided that for the business to be a success in Manchester, it needed access to a much wider variety of stock than just the expensive B-L range, so the Manchester outlet was much less "Bassett-Lowke-ey" than the other shops.

1946: Extension to 112 High Holborn

New landlords offered B-L the chance to have the adjacent shop, and this extension is ceremonially opened on 11th December 1946.

Although the resulting double-frontage looked impressive, the two units were internally completely separate - the new addition didn't integrate well with number 112, and the lease was allowed to lapse.

Agencies, for Europe

E.P. Malaret's famous Paris outlet on Rue de Rivoli, Au Paradis des Enfants was a Bassett-Lowke agent, allowing B-L to perhaps stretch the facts slightly in claiming to have offices in London, Paris and Northampton.

Other European agents:

J. Fournereau, Place de l'Eglise, Montchauvet, S.&O., Paris, France
Les Modeles Railways, 116 Rue la Boetie, Paris (Monsieur R. Filleaud)
BELGIUM (Exhibition Models and specials)
J.A. Van Cant, 38 Avenue Moliere, Bruxelles, Belgium
D.W. Dol, Oosterhoutlaan 24, Buitenfeldert, Amsterdam, Holland
HOLLAND (Exhibition Models)
Ingr. Krijn Pas, Henegouwerplein 58, Rotterdam, Holland
  • 13 Gedempte Burowal, The Hague (source: Fuller)

Agents, UK and Ireland

W.H. Hull & Son, Bassett-Lowke agent, 1909

W.H. Hull & Son, Bassett-Lowke agent, 1909 [image info]

  • Anderson's, The Arcade, 105 Princes Street, Edinburgh
  • Bainbridge & Co., Ltd., 22/28 Bigg Market, Newcastle-on-Tyne
  • G.W. Ballantyne, 29-31 Warwick Road, Carlisle
  • R. Ballantyne, 103 1/2 St. Vincent Street, Glasgow C2
  • Barnby's, 39 Great Western Arcade, Birmingham
  • Beecroft & Sons, 16 Pelham Street, Nottingham
  • Bobby & Co., Terminus Road, Eastbourne
  • Bonds of Euston Road
  • Brown, Muff & Co., Bradford
  • R.W. Duck & Sons, St. John's Square, Cardiff
  • Hamley Brothers, 200-202 Regent Street, London W1
  • Holbrooks (Coventry) Ltd., 63-64 Hertford Street, Coventry
  • W.H. Hull & Son, 4&5 North-Western Arcade, Birmingham
  • Jenners Ltd., Princes Street, Edinburgh
  • C. Lucas, 17 Houghton Street, Liverpool
  • The Midland Educational Company Ltd., Market Street, Leicester
  • The Model Engineers' Suppliers, 20 Wicklow Street, Dublin
  • Pearson & Denham (Photo) Ltd., 6 Bond Street, Leeds
  • Photo Supplies Ltd., 7 Pelham Street, Nottingham
  • Rushworth's Ltd., Westgate, Huddersfield
  • H. Salanson, 83-85 Fairfax Street, Bristol 1
  • The Sun Ray Photo Co., 28 Newborough, Scarborough
  • Wilson Gumpert & Co. Ltd. 10 Fitzalan Square, Sheffield
  • R. Wylie Hill, 20 Buchanan Street, Glasgow C1


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