Christmas Meeting - The Story of a Department Store: Jollys of Bath

Christmas Meeting - The Story of a Department Store: Jollys of Bath

Saturday 21 November 2015

The nineteenth century brought a huge change to the way we bought our clothes and accessories from markets to Bazaars to Emporiums to Department Stores which we still have today.

Jolly’s is one of Europe’s oldest department stores and has a fascinating history. The prestigious store has recently undergone a multi million pound restoration to restore it to its former glory. It was opened on Milsom Street in 1831 by James and Thomas Jolly. James had a successful business in Margate and the move to Bath was to establish a higher class of trade. His son Thomas took control in Bath and the new shop had the title ‘Bath Emporium’.

In 1943 Queen Mary appointed the store, known by this time as Jolly & Son, as Silk Mercers to Her Majesty and a private dressing room was designed exclusively for her use. The ornate fitting room is still there and has been lovingly restored for customers to admire today, along with other original features including stained glass windows, a listed peacock frieze and fireplaces which make Jolly’s so unique.

After our traditional mulled wine and mince pies we will learn about Jolly’s rich past in this talk with Lucy Morgan, a freelance marketing and design consultant whose Jolly’s project led into researching the store and access to their extensive archives. Lucy worked with Jolly’s for about a year and part of her work involved giving tours and talks at Bath in Fashion Week.

The report on this event is included in the Spring 2016 issue of WECS Wardrobe.

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