Staffordshire’s Senior Museums Officer, Chris Copp with more recent additions to Staffs Past Track
This month we are taking a step outside Stone and Eccleshall to have a look at what was once one of the big names in retail in north Staffordshire; familiar to many Gazette readers I’m sure.
Draper Oliver Dyke opened a shop in Hanley in 1890 with the financial support of Northwich draper and entrepreneur Henry Bratt. The business was successful and a new department store building, originally known as ‘The Central’ was built nearby on the site of the Roebuck Inn on the corner of Stafford Street and Trinity Street, opening in Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee year on 26 June 1897.
Oliver died in 1926, but his sons Gordon and Lionel took over the business. A new 3rd floor was added in 1937 at a cost of £5090 – by this point the shop spread over 4 floors on multiple levels.
The next generation, Stanley and Tony Dyke, took over the management of the company in the 1950s In 1965 Bratt & Dyke bought Brookfields gentlemen’s outfitters shop on the corner of Greengate Street and St. Mary’s Gate in Stafford.
The company built a new shop here before closing in the late 1970s. This building was briefly Court’s furnishers is now a branch of MacDonald’s. These photographs have been kindly lent by Stanley Dyke, Stone resident of long standing, who ran the company with Tony until it was sold as a going concern in the late 1980s.
These photographs and many others of Bratt & Dyke’s shops will soon available on the Staffordshire Past Track website (www.staffspasttrack.org.uk). If you have any images to lend, or any extra information, please contact the Past Track team: Staffordshire Past Track, Staffordshire Archives & Heritage, Shugborough, Milford, Stafford ST17 0XB. Tel:01889 881388. email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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