35mm · Film photography · Photography

John Lewis

The John Lewis department store in Sheffield can trace it’s history back to 1847. It was originally a silk mercer and hosier founded by brothers John, Thomas and Skelton Cole and traded under the name Cole Brothers. The Cole Brothers business was sold to Selfridge Provincial Stores in 1920 which was itself then bought by John Lewis during the Second World War.

The store continued to trade under the Cole Brothers name in Sheffield and moved to new premises in Barker’s Pool in 1963. The store expanded further when the former primitive methodist chapel, Bethel Chapel, which sits across the road from the main building on Cambridge Street, was purchased to house the offices. Later, these secondary premises would house the toy and sports departments. The store branding has now been removed, but the upper floors of this building can be seen in the image below.

The front of Bethel Chapel

In 2002 the store was formally re-branded to John Lewis. In 2021 it was announced that the store would be closing permanently. The main entrance to the building is covered with messages from staff, customers, and Sheffielders recounting memories of working in and visiting the store and lamenting its loss.

Hearts on store window
A lament to memories past
Working and shopping

Cole Bros

Olympus XA3 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 16 May 2021

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