WGC@100: Do you remember Welwyn Stores?

PUBLISHED: 18:00 12 July 2020

Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.

Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.

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The WHT is marking the centenary of Welwyn Garden City with a series of special articles...

Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.

Now the town’s branch of John Lewis, the building was originally home to Welwyn Stores.

The building was designed by Louis de Soissons back in 1920 and built in 1921 as part of the Garden City vision to create a large open store for people to shop in.

Back then there was a food hall along with ladies and gentlemen’s clothing, haberdashery.

According to the WGC Heritage Trust, the original Welwyn Stores fronted on to what had been a cart track - now Bridge Road - on the site currently occupied by Rosanne House. The first departments were groceries and provisions, meat, fish and poultry, fruit and vegetables.

Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.

Its replacement contained not only a department store and restaurant, but also 62 flats, a Masonic suite and a sports club. The new building was completed in 18 months in June 1939. This new store - facing The Campus - eventually had over 50 departments with almost 2.5 acres of selling space.

With the demise of the Welwyn Garden City Company, Welwyn Stores became part of the Howardsgate Trust, until 1983 when it was sold to The John Lewis Partnership.

Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.

Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.

Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.

Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.

Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.

Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.

Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.

Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.

Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.

Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.

Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.

Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.

Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.

Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.

Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.

Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.

Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.

Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.

Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.

Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.Welwyn Stores (later John Lewis) was designed by Louis de Soissons. Pictured here in the 1920s.

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