Plummer Roddis

From Historical Hastings Wiki

Summary[edit | edit source]

Plummer Roddis started out as separate companies in the 19th Century. William Plummer started out as a draper in Hastings and in 1871 had a store at 3 Robertson Street, before opening another store in Southampton on the corner of Above Bar and Commercial Street. George Roddis in 1870 was listed as a draper in Market Harborough, but by 1881 was a partner in a drapers & milliners called Roddis & Goldsmith at 1-2 Robertson Street, Hastings.

In the late 19th Century William Plummer, George Roddis and Reginald Tyrrell, a Bournemouth draper, joined forces to create Plummer, Roddis and Tyrrell but in 1898 Reginald Tyrrell relinquished his partnership to concentrate on his other business Tyrrell & Green and the business became Plummer Roddis.

Building[edit | edit source]

In 1927 the Hastings store was rebuilt by renowned architect Henry Ward (he also designed the additions to the Brighton store), while the Southampton store and Bournemouth store were extensively rebuilt. The head office of the Plummer Roddis group was based in Sillwall Road, Brighton.

Staff Accommodation[edit | edit source]

It is noted that in 1901 the store in Robertson Street provided acccomodation for 47 live-in staff on the upper floors of the building. This may well have been to relieve the over-crowding that was common in households at the time when having six children was not uncommon. The staff would most likely have been in shared rooms or a dormitory, with senior staff members perhaps having their own room.[1]

Debenhams[edit | edit source]

During the Second World War the Southampton store was destroyed by German bombing, and operated out of different locations across the city until a new store was completed in 1965. However, by this time Plummer Roddis had been bought by Debenhams, who invested in a new branch to be built in Guildford, which opened in 1968.

In the early 1970s the stores were rebranded as Debenhams, except for the Southampton store. By 2014 the only Plummer Roddis stores that operated as Debenhams still open were Guildford and Hastings.