This is one of the more notorious advertising posters of the late 1960s. The style of photography was intended to reflect the nudes of Bill Brandt. It’s one of the earliest examples of co-option of high art imagery to fashion advertising. It was intended to a younger, sexually enfranchised audience.
It was also, unfortunately, one of the first targets of the campaign by women’s rights groups against what they perceived as sexist or exploitative advertising on the London underground. If you saw this, or one of the other ads for this campaign on the tube, like as not it was defaced with the statement “This image degrades women,” or a sticker asking “what are you selling?”
The answer, of course, is that they were selling boots. In this case, “they” was a British company called T. Elliott and Sons, a traditional firm of shoemakers that became enormously successful in the second half of the 1960s by adapting to the new, youth-centered market for shoes and boots. As Hillary Fawcett writes in a 2013 essay on the rise of accessories in fashion and advertising, Elliotts’ advertising was as critical to their success as their designs.
Take for example, this poster, which was intended to advertise Elliott’s “Alice” boot, a Victorian-style throwback that was enormously popular in the late 1960s (see my earlier post on this subject). From its trippy, Aubrey Beardsley-inspired graphics, created by Paul Christodoulou, the Twiggy-like girl-woman waif Alice, and the drug-friendly subtext of Lewis Carroll’s work (“one pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small,” etc), it was the perfect distillation of the Zeitgeist. The fact that you could buy the poster for 5 shillings and stick it on your wall made it even better.
Elliotts’ boots were everywhere in the late sixties and early seventies. They crop up in fashion magazines of all shades. They even turn in in some less salubrious places, such as this 1972 pictorial from the British men’s magazine Mayfair, one of the few times I’ve seen a clothes credit on a centerfold.
Although I grew up in London, I’m not old enough to remember that first generation of Elliott’s adverts. But I do remember that in the late 1970s (probably around 1977/78) there were huge posters for women’s thigh-boots by Elliotts on the concourse of Baker Street station. They must have made quite an impression, because I can still remember them quite clearly and recall that they were shearling-lined ones.
And then – nothing. It seems like Elliotts just dropped off the face of the Earth. Google pulls up a few references to shoes and boots reprinted from contemporary articles in the sixties, but surprisingly little for a company that had such a high profile. So whatever happened to Elliotts? I don’t know.
So there’s the challenge for those of you reading this blog that are interested in boots from this period – can you come up with more information about this company, including more images and ideally images from the 1970s? No prize, just self satisfaction. Hopefully that’ll be enough.
- Elliott poster, late 1960s, by Roger Cuthbert (art director Bob Wright): scanned from Skin to Skin (Prudence Glynn, 1982)
- “Boots by Elliotts, 89s. 11d:”RAVE magazine May 1968 via Sweet Jane
- Elliott’s advert, 1969: Tumblr
- Elliott “Alice” boot poster, 1966: thegeneologyofstyle.blogspot.com
- Chris Rossiter in boots by Elliott: Mayfair, Sept 1972 via Creamcheese
Fawcett, Hilary, 2013. Handbags and glad-rags: the rise and rise of accessories in fashion and advertising. in Wharton, C. (ed). Advertising as Culture. Intellect Books. ISBN 1841506141.
Glynn, Prudence, 1982. Skin to Skin: Eroticism in Clothing. Oxford University Press.
141 thoughts on “The Fall of the House of Elliott?”
Very interesting post. But now I am doubting: I always thought the cover illustration of “Revolver” was created by Klaus Voormann, one of the Beatles’ oldest friends from their days at the Star-Club in Hamburg.
You’re absolutely right… it was Klaus Voorman. That seems to have been an error in the Fawcett essay; I’ve corrected it in the post. Thanks for pointing it out!
Hard to imagine that back in the 70’s the UK and USA really did have very different clothing fads. I have faint recollections of hearing about Elliott’s shoes, but I might have picked it up after the fact. Certainly, in the U.S. at the time, Elliott’s were a non-factor.
Conversely, Frye Boots were HUGE in the states and never made as much of an impact in the UK. The Frye-style boot (solid, heavy foot, 1 or 2 inch heel, earth-toned with a shaft of at least 16 inches) was probably THE boot of the mid-to-late 70’s, at least in California. I wonder if Elliott’s might be analogous Zodiac Shoes. For half of the 70’s (into the 80’s) Zodiac was Frye’s biggest competitor. They tended to make a more feminine version of the type, higher heel, narrower toe, more like a high-shafted, dressy cowboy boot. Unlike Frye, who’s been making the same boot for a century, most evidence (admittedly gathered from following Ebay auctions)suggests that Zodiac was an average knock-off manufacturer that briefly had a golden period where their product spoke to the zeitgeist. Most American boot fanciers born in the 60’s or before will certainly remember Zodiacs, Younger ones may not.
When I first moved over here I remember hearing about Fryes and Zodiacs and you’re right; it rang no bells at all
Perhaps as the photographer who put together the girl on the rock Poster for Elliotts I could add a couple of insights on the shot. Yes I was influenced by Bill Brandt. The picture was shot at Beachy Head on the south coast of England. Unfortunately I forget the models name, but she did appear in more than one Elliott poster campaign. It’s nice to know it was one of the more notorious advertising posters of the 1960s. And I guess it set something of a trend. And I was not influenced by Guy Bourdin.The art director was Bob Wright.
Roy, thank you so much for that additional information. I will edit the Guy Bourdin reference accordingly. And give you a proper credit for what is a beautiful piece of work. It really hasn’t dated at all.
Hallo Roy….i worked for Elliotts Shoe Shop on the Brompton Road in 1973…. mt wages were 7.5 pounds a week ( the cheapest brogues then went from 250 pounds to 380….).Our 3 days trainning was so intense and good that made me the best sales assistant still 50 years leter. My Shop boss was Mr. Illot a figure out of a comic tv program about a shop in London in the 60’s!!!! And so was the elder lady who scared the shit out of us the s.a. whenever we pit the wrong shoe in the wrong box….London was charming and genuine! Im grateful to have lived there this time!
Maybe, dear Roy you’ve meat one of these people…..
Hi Roy – Bob Wright’s daughter here, Julia. The model was called Hylette and was from Mauritius. I also remember an ad featuring twins wearing skimpy leotards and thigh length shearling boots. I was only a child but remember seeing the posters on the Underground.
Oh dear, those boots! Elliott’s was great. Such breathtaking window displays. Loads of money was spend on that, especially at X-mas time. I know, because I sold them in the sixties. Hard work to get these boots on. I would love to have a poster of those boots. And all those famous people who popped in and chatted with me. It all really happened but who would believe me as a granny and living in another country? And it must be said: Elliott’s had very elegant and smashing shoes. At the time we were as staff not allowed to say nice shoes. A cake was nice, they said. Charles Jourdan and Christian Dior were hot at the time. Come to think of it, has anyone seen a picture of Lulu with these boots on? One day she and her fiancé Maurice Gibb came in. I thought she had those boots too.But I may be wrong, maybe she bought something else. But I keep having a picture in my mind from her with the ones on. I hope I am not wrong, though. Well, it has been such a long time ago.
Thank you for a great comment and great reminiscence! Elliotts seems to have been such a prominent store, and then to have disappeared completely. Thanks for sharing!
Re-reading the comments, I realized you asked a question about Lulu…. which maybe I can answer. Post will be forthcoming…
Hi Tine Dorothy Kooiman, my father used to work at Elliott’s at Knightsbridge, I think 68-72, I remember the extra room with the larger size footwear, he also worked on some of the window display’s, Tim Slattery was his name, I wonder if you knew him? Fabulous shoes, very narrow fitting if I remember correctly.
Hi Tine…i loved to read about your experience in Elliotts SShop….i had much the same some years later….this was my 1 job ever….do you remember the rules? Bring out always 3 shoes on your left hand( because with the right you arranged the fitting machine( an iron monster!) and kind of had to hide the shoes at your back in order to produce curiosity to tge customer…..
yes or walk to the customer with the sole of the shoes facing the customer so that they would not see the details of the shoe until you’ve reached them ! I only spent a short period of time at the Knightsbridge shop in 1977, but what a great experience ! And so proud to have been part of that Story and amazed to read so many comments from the staff after such a long time.
I worked in Elliott’s bond street and Kings road shops in the late sixties and early seventies. The sales staff training was fantastic the word nice was banned to describe shoes or boots. Elliott’s also sold suede shorts and jackets which were very popular. A great shop to work in then.
I have been trying to see/get an image of a poster that was on the London Underground at that time with two twin girls called the “Elliot Ba-Lambs.” I can find no record of this at all. Please…someone reassure me that I’m not going mad and thius is a genuine memory.
No, you’re not going mad. I remember it too. They were shearling-lined boots and there was a big poster of them in the Baker St tube, right over a flight of stairs leading down to the platforms from the ticket halls. Would have been sometime between 1978 and 1980 (I was being hauled up to Wimpole St every few weeks for dental appointments, so I can be quite specific about the years)
Hello all, my father, Adrian Elliott, his brother Nicholas Elliott and their father, Cecil Elliott, ran Elliotts Shoes until they and the wider family sold the business in the early 1980’s. Unfortunately the early ’80s recession and dockers strikes killed this wonderful 300 year old business, a business I was due to go into.
My father and his brother (identical twins) were the joint managing directors. My father designed/bought the shoes, mostly from Italy and Spain. He also did the marketing, wrote the brochures, arranged the advertising, photography etc whilst his brother was in charge of the shops and the staff training which was taken very seriously.
I have some of the material, including a window display picture of the two Elliot Ba-lambs referred to above. These are in my loft! My father was very pleased with this name and the images which he and the team spent much time on.
If someone tells me how to upload photos I’ll upload the Ba-twins and other stuff.
….by the way, just only just seen that one of my brothers and sister have added comments. There is a wealth of material around if anyone else is interested. Matthew
Matthew, if you want to scans of the images to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I’d be happy to post them on the blog.
This is a definite true story my father is Adrian Elliott and he cane up with the slogan the ba lambs for the twins they were in two ad campaigns my brothers have the posters but I don’t have a photo of it sorry I’m Jessica Adrian Elliott is my father x
I am sorry to say but the name Tim Slottery, I cannot remember. But it might be that I just have forgotten the name after so many years. Shoes weren’t shown on a display rack. Some years later, when I lived on the island Texel (Holland) again, I went with my best girlfriend on a trip to London. And we visited Elliott’s. I introduced her to mrs. Fletcher. And to my astonishment I saw shoes placed on a shoerack. Well, at the time that was not done. It took six weeks training before you were allowed on the floor. And you started with one pair of shoes for the customer. Up to the window, but don’t let the customer look down his shoes. No, straight to the window and you would say: Don’t they look elegant on you, madam. And in full speed you picked a handbag and put it on the shoulders. That meant that they bought that, too. Quite some customers were rich.
Oh dear, am I getting old? I mean, of course: up to the mirror. And I am talking about ‘him’ but in this case it should be: her. Sorry!
I also worked for elliotts on the brompton road and the trainning as i said before formed me till nowadays…..how much fun to see colleages here….and remember this time in london….the 60,70….
Hi I used to work in kings road with George who was the manager fun times .. I worked for them for years becoming a manger they went banks and were taken over by Medway Shoes .. by this I was working in green park concession.. I ended up being a manger of there new shop in Richmond..
mr carter was the area manger , the brothers were very seldom seen .
The BBC HAD A contact with us so we served lots of famous people.
To this day I can George saying forward as no staff were allowed on the floor unless they were requested to ..
Just a foot note I named my son Elliott
Would you be Mike Forbes? Formerly worked at the airport?
If so you took over from me as Complaints Manager at New Bind Street. I returned overland to Australia 1970. Many hilarious stories and interesting characters. A great tine in London so long ago ..
Best wishes ..
I worked briefly in the Regent Street branch and the in 120 Kings Road in about 1971 I remember having payslips in pre and post metric currency. Many famous people came in too many to list but I remember them all. Most of the staffs’ names too. It was a fun time to work even in the power strikes when we retired to the pub down the side road for a drink in candlelight. Fond memories.
Thanks for sharing your recollections! Obviously there’s a loyal community of former Elliott’s employees out there, which makes it all the more amazing that there’s so little to be discovered on-line
I worked in Kings Rd store in 1974/75 and remember Laura Heller and a Miss Dragonara as staff members. I was only 16 or 17 and was sent to the dreaded new High St Ken Store to get it ready before it opened which was a living hell of a task for all staff concerned as we had to work late and had no choice but to transfer to H St Ken store ! I was unhappy and morose as the extra journey and the austerity of new surroundings and colleagues was too much and I left. Sad, though, as I really loved working at Kings Road store.
I would love to be reminded of other staff. I have some great memories working at Kings Rd.
I worked for T. Elliott & Sons from 1968 to 1972 in their Kings Road, Chelsea branch whose general manager was Mr. Carter who greeted all staff every morning with a cheery smile and “good morning!” The store had 5 floors including the basement and mezzanine floor where, at one time, I was the “complaints manager” – what a terrible title. I had a good relationship with The Chelsea Cobbler which was just as well as I had to keep going down there to refix the heels on the new range of shoes that only had one screw to keep it on which meant it started to revolve and the heel would drop off! I remember many of the staff, including Deon, Audbrey Carew and Owen Robinson who was THE top handbag salesman (you could say that then!) with his overly friendly camp selling technique. I also remember Mr. Wiseman and Lynn Cotton who the latter later worked for me at Charles Jourdan in Knightsbridge. I still have a photograph of the staff dinner of 1969 which included Nick Elliott, one of the Elliott twins. I also have a sad memory of our lovely cashier, a French girl Miss Defoe who took her own life over Christmas while all alone.
The store was opposite the Chelsea Drugstore (multi floor coffee house) and Skin, so a great place for the celebrities to be seen whilst they shopped.
We had all the famous people in that store, many of whom came nearly every week. Yes, Lulu did shop there – I know that as I sold her some Spanish boots that had a fabric lining and I had to pull up the zip with a zip puller after much stretching of the sides in the stockroom, helped by a colleague, using “leather expander.” The following morning, I then had to get them off her as her legs had swollen due to overnight partying! We had the whole cast of “Hair” in one afternoon in the basement. Lots of staff enjoyments but not a single sale from them. I could go on with these anecdotes, including asking Charles Bronson for his ID for a cheque transaction – I won’t tell you his reaction when he assumed that I didn’t know who he was – but that was the store procedure.
I also worked in the Regent Street and Bond Street stores. I left Elliotts in 1971 to return later that year to manage the Weybridge store where I used to show my best customers would call in at least once a week.
T. Elliott & Sons was certainly the place to buy, not only the most fashionable boots in the UK, but also shoes, bags and even slippers! Their sales training was second to none and their methodology of “Purpose & Taste” is one that I still follow today. For those of you reading this who worked at Elliotts, I expect you will also remember the “Super Sales” who was the top sales person who took over a sale which was obviously going wrong as there were too many single shoes surround the fitting stool being brought out by a confused sales person. Happy days!
I’ve been looking for information about Elliotts of Knightsbridge and have stumbled along to this blog ( so happy) saw that Tina above had worked for Elliott’s but have now found David Sheldon worked about the same time my father did ( I think 68-72) Tim Slattery, if you met him you would not forget him ( he was very much loved and loathed) . The store in Knightsbridge was amazing. I even got the chance of a pair of Black patent shoes for Christmas 1971 but I didn’t have nice little dainty feet( I was 5) .
He himself eventually opened up his own buissness and his window display ‘s were fabulous, I take it he learnt it from his time at Elliotts. And maybe I’ll be lucky and he is in one of those Christmas party pictures.
Thanks in advance.
I was “Customer Service Manager” AKA for Complaints Manager at New Bond Street 1970. I succeeded Bob Green. Mike Forbes (no relation) succeeded me. “Nobby” Clark was the then store manager. I could write a book about my experiences and the characters. My salary started at GBP 1250 pa and increased to GBP 1400 pa. A laughable sum these days. Many names and stories flood back to mind .. happy to share with anyone interested. Best wishes – Bill Forbes
I was Complaints Manager at New Bond Street 1969-70
Fun times indeed. Many hilarious experiences
Noosa, QLD Australia
This is a fascinating find! My father, Adrian, now 82 and still going strong, is one of the Elliott twins, and I grew up in the 70s and 80s in the midst of the Elliott’s heyday. I worked at the company when I was a teenager, although not in the shops, and my youth was dominated by the business and the posters. My father was responsible for the advertising, and he was always proud of the daring ads in the tube. After the awkwardness of the ‘this poster degrades women’ stickers, which he never believed to be true but felt sad about all the same, he was delighted to see in the shearling posters stickers reading ‘this poster degrades sheep!’ I have so many stories and memories from that period, including a bunch of posters and brochures and advertising material. Great times, now long gone. It has been great to read the comments here and be reminded of what a great company it was at the time.
One of the pleasures of blogging is when you stumble across a topic that helps draw people together. I had no idea when I wrote that short post about Elliott’s that it would resonate with so many individuals that had stories or experiences with the company. This blog has already spun off one book project, which is due to be published next year (more about that in a future post)…. I wonder whether there’s the potential for doing something similar about the history of Elliott’s? It seems a pity that so little is recorded about what was such a prominent company. So if Simon, Jessica, or anyone else is interested in talking more about this, send me a note at email@example.com. BTW, I *love* the story about “this poster degrades sheep.”
Hi Simon, my name is Roy Cuthbert and I’m the photographer responsible for the Elliot posters, I’m trying to find one of my earlier posters, the girl on the beach at Beach Head. Unfortunately since those days and various moves i.e. Hong Kong and now the Philippines somehow they got lost on the way. Please give my regards to your father Adrian and Nick. My daughter can be seen on youtube go to ashaetc.
Hi Roy. I am sorry to have taken a while to get back to you. I have not seen my father recently to pass on your message. I will do so in the next week or so and will let you know. I am sorry to have heard of the loss of your copies of the posters. I have still got some of the later ones, but the Beachy Head poster we have never had, unfortunately. Anyway, I will get back to you after I have spoken to my father. Best regards, Simon
Roy, I am Kate Hubbard, my father was a good friend of yours and shared a photographic studio with you. He was, as I’m sure you will have guessed, Bob Hubbard. I would like to get in touch as he would very much like to pass his regards to you.
I love to hear the news of my grandmother’s family. She was Alice Maud Elliott. I was wondering if you or anyone you know has an Elliott family tree, perhaps on Ancestry.com….I would love to know…
When I worked for Elliott’s a lot of the managers were Irish. At one time I think out of 21 shops there were about 15 Irish managers
Hi Andy …so please let me know about the comunity of ex sales assistants – or any other position at elliotts shoe shop ( i worked on the Brompton Road….
I had not realised that your father Adrian was responsible for the advertising. My mother, Margaret , was the cousin of the twins. Her mother was Alice Elliott., Cecils older sister I always wondered of the Alice boots were named after my grandmother- do you know? Or maybe it was a coincidence.
My mother used to love going to the shoe shops
My daddy is Adrian Elliott and my memories of T
Elliott’s and Sons was going up to London to my
Daddy’s office and meeting mr sorrohan not sure I’ve spelt that correctly and trying on all the sample
Shoes it was so much fun but I remember the twins
And the iconic poster of Butterfly Boots of a beautiful lady in a purple Lycra cat suit and black suede thigh length boots with a silver crystal butterfly perfectly placed on her bottom she looked amazing sadly Elliott’s closed as a new partner caused all sorts of mischief to the point my daddy and uncle Nicholas decided sadly that there was no option but to close it was a very sad and hard time for my daddy but he recovered and went on to enjoy a career in motor cars xxx
This is a message to Jessica Smith & Simon Elliott: I was really pleased to see your comments and hope that you had read my recollections too. I remember your Uncle Nick well although I did not have much contact with your dad as he was the Buyer whilst Nick was Operations, I believe. I also met your grandpa Cecil at the Christmas party in 1970 and have a picture of that event with me sitting next to your Uncle Nick and his lovely wife. Perhaps you’ll be able to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org as I would love to get in touch with Nick again after all these years. Perhaps he’ll also remember Mrs. Archer the personnel manager (no HR then!) based in the Westbourne Grove head office which is where the first branch was opened.
My mother Margaret was cousin to Adrian and Nicholas. My grandmother was Alice Maud Elliott, sister of Cecil.
Glad to hear that the twins are still alive. Please tell them that their cousin Margaret had a good life , but sadly died aged 93 in 2016.
Do you have any sort of family tree , as I would be really interested
Do you recall a Jeremy Elliott, known as Tim?
Sally my sister has a comprehensive family tree which maybe of interest to you. Cecil was my grandfather and I too have memories of getting shoes at Elliotts when I was a child. You can email me at email@example.com
I had a Saturday job for three years at the Elliott branches in Epsom and Kingston while I was at school in the sixties. I remained loyal to their wonderful shoes and boots, had dozens of pairs, also a pair of fabulous white ‘living skin’ boots, until I emigrated in 1972 and went to Holland. Remarkably have not been able to locate any remnants of this great store on the internet.
I posted a comment earlier on down here. And how awfully nice to read your comments too. After all, they are joined memories. Thank’s a lot. I’m surely coming back. Another memory may come up and then, surely, I will let you know. In the mean time: I do wish you all a Merry Christmas and a jolly good time.
I have just bought a fabulous pair of men’s brogues by Elliott’s – and they still have the price sticker showing 105 shillings! I bought them because they look like a piece of artwork and I cant wait to polish them up and have them as a prop! The price was pre decimalisation in 1971, and I wanted to understand a bit about the company – hence I stumbled upon this blog. It is so fascinating – even though I have no involvement whatsoever with the company, just a very good imagination, and I have loved reading all the posts. Good luck to all of you in exchanging your stories. I will keep looking hoping to read more.
Your shoes would have been priced at 5 guineas, five pound five shillings
I worked at Thomas Elliott & Sons from mid sixties to early seventies. I don’t think I was the best salesman but it was a fantastic place to work & there were some very interesting people working there. I was working there when I celebrated my 21st birthday & still have the card from some of the staff who were there at the time. I remember a lovely young man Danny Huckle, Miss (Eve)Dye (lovely woman, the Mrs Slocom of Elliotts), Mrs (Nellie) Barber, Mrs (Elsie) Howe & her daughter, Mrs Bowring-Walsh (who was one of the supervisors, Noel Earle, the Divine Miss Vivian Fisher, Mary Irwin, Rita Jordan, Graham Hardwick, Katie Cowan (always the top of the sales chart), Paul Clayton & Miss (Winnie) Langley (who were the “complaints fixers” & worked across the road in Berwick Street?), John Clarke (another of the supervisors) & Miss Marianne Benholz, Claudine Bertrand (a lovely French girl), sisters Nicky & Chrissie Dunn who stared in some of the “Carry On” films.
I well remember those leather boots that were featured in the ads on the tube and personally sold several pairs (as everybody who worked there did at the time), they were the “must have” fashion item of the day & almost sold themselves. There were so many “stars” coming in around that time, it was a daily occurance. I can well remember serving so many of the stars or watching them being served by other members of staff. We had the carrier bags with the leggy model and I have trolled around London carrying that carrier bag for months. Those were the days.
I was in David Jones Store here in Sydney and noticed that there is now in that store an outlet for Kurt Geiger Shoes and remembered back to the days when I worked for Thomas Elliott & Sons at the Bond Street store in London & how Kurt Geiger opened a store across the street and became the object of great interest & consternation to our management & staff. I remember how we would go across to see the window displays & report back & discuss. I therefore decided to check the internet to see what had become of Elliotts and to my surprise came across this blog with some reminisces from former staff & some of the Elliott family. And I was also very saddened to hear that the store had ceased to operate, something I would never have envisioned back at the time I left the company.
And yes, the training was great. We went down to Kingston-on-Thames or Westbourne Grove. Remember the training Officer was Mrs (Eva) Berwick, a South African lady.
What a great memory you have James, you have reminded me of a lot of the names I had forgotten. plus one you left out Dave Woods
Andy, do you remember where the Weybridge shop was located? There seems to be no information online. Thanks John Szepietowski
I was an young Canadian who worked on the men’s floor on Regent Street and they also sent me to Kingston upon Thames for my training and it was incredible. They taught me how to ‘overcome objections’.
Worked at the Kingston branch about 1968. Remember Janet Herridge, Mr Casswell, an Irishman who was the manager. Great days. Remember the pvc thigh boots and the ladies who came down from Posh Kingston Hill to try and buy: great fun for an 18 year old. Great shoes. There was an amazing team of window dresser who created amazing displays, the head guy lived at Thames Ditton. Great days
As I’ve stated before, I was an Elliott employee from 1968 to 1972 and worked mainly in the Kings Road, Chelsea branch, a short spell in Bond Street, then Regent Street and finally as manager of Weybridge. This comment is particularly posted for the Elliott family (Jessica, Matthew and Adrian) and those at Kings Road, Chelsea branch, Christmas 1968 (or was it 1969?) I have a picture of the Christmas dinner with me sitting next to Adrian & his wife and would love to share this with you but cannot figure out how to do this. Please do get in touch with me if you would like to see this photo.
I also worked for Elliott at the Kings Road Branch around 1967 – 1970. I vaguely remember an Irish manager but don’t remember his name. There was also an Italian lady named Carla. I remember being sent on training quite a long way from London, I think it was at Coulsdon in Surrey, however I can find no information of a branch there. I hope you can help me clarify this as I have searched the internet but no luck. As far as I remember it was Coulsdon. I also remember the living skin shiny boots, the white and black over the knee were popular. Also stretching the shoes out the back on the “stretching machine “ which was a wooden broom handle ! LoL ! Many fond memories of working for Elliott which was a great company to work for. Please can anybody help my memory about the shop at Coulsdon. Also any information about the above mentioned book, has it been published ?
You are right about Coulsdon,there was a training room above the shop. Mrs Carter was the trainer a beautiful person very gentle you were sent there on your second week. The Irish general manager war Rory Duffy also was there was a departmetal boot manager Mr Keane
Hello to all and I’d like to reply to both Simon Elliott (any relation to Nick and Adrian?) as well as Michael and Bea. As I’ve mentioned earlier, I was at T. Elliott & Sons from 1968 to 1972 with time at Kings Road, Chelsea (1968 to 1970) the Bond Street and Regent Street (1970-1971) then Weybridge (1971). A few extra names spring to mind from my time in Chelsea:
Christian Defore, our lovely cashier who sadly took her own life over Christmas/New Year in 1968/69
Mssrs. Wiseman, Deon, Spalding and Lyn Coton (who later worked for me at Charles Jourdan, Knightsbridge. Also fondly remembered, Aubrey Carew and Owen Robinson (my best handbag salesman who all the ladies adored!), Beverly Moran Graham Withers (who also worked for the Samaritans) and the general manager, Nick Carter. I also remember the very lovely and help Personnel Manager, Mrs. Archer.
I believe that there was some training at the Weybridge branch as I was leaving the company and also in the initial site at Rede Place, W2. I’ve got a great picture of the Christmas dinner in 1968 but can find how to put it on here.
Hi Bea, I am the italian lady called Carla, I worked at the King’s Road branch for around 2 years and then Mr.Carter promoted me as manager of the Bond Street branch. Great days. I remember a guy called Claudio who died of aids a few years later, Marie Gillingham and Laura Heller.
Hi Carla great to hear from you as I was not sure if I remembered correctly. Did you drive a red sports car? I also now remembers Mr Carter. Was he the one who always said “put your boots away” ! Or was it Mr McGowan? Fond memories.
Hi Bea so sorry I don’t remember you or place you. The Kings Road was a great place back then as were the staff at Elliott’s.
Hi Bea, Mr. Carter was the area manager at the time, I don’t remember telling the staff to put “the boots away”, only to the manager if any stock was left on the floor by the staff , I can’t remember his name, he was very tall and very camp, brilliant salesman, and useless at paperwork. No, unfortunately the red sport car was not mine, but of a friend of mine. Great to hear from you.
Carla it’s amazing to hear from you since it was 50 years ago! Does anyone remember Roy Davis he was a friend of mine who also worked at Kings Road. Anyone remember going to Coulsdon for training ? It took me hours to get there by bus.
You could get a train from Victoria to Coulsdon and the training was just opposite the station
Hi Bea, I vaguely remember somebody called Roy, he was also friend with an Irish girl called Marie Gillighan, and the managers were in charge of the training as far as I remember.
Hello Bea, Just remembered that I think that the store you mentioned is not Coulsdon but Weybridge. They ran training courses upstairs over the shop which I managed in 1972 until I left in the early Summer to manager Charles Jourdan in Knightsbridge where I found Lyn Cotton, previously a supervisor at Elliotts Kings Road and now one of my 6 sales girls! A miserable year there working for my cousin Jenifer Loss (the daughter of the band leader Joe Loss and husband of the founder of a sports car firm). Wish I had stayed at Elliotts which was always a happy place. ps. could the Irish manager have been Mr. Spalding, the guy in the blue suede jacket in the picture posted? https://andyp1966.com/2017/11/22/more-elliotts-2/
Was the Irish manager called John Sorohan, by any chance? He used to run the Knightsbridge shoops and had a watching brief over some of the other London shops.
John Sorohan was manager of the Knightsbridge branch
Yes, I do agree.
I worked for Elliott at the Knightsbridge branch around 1964 – 1965.
48 Brompton Road London S.W.3 Knightsbridge 0333. And during 2 weeks as a replacement in Dorking.
Mr. J Sorohan was the manager. Mrs J.G. Archer the staff manager.
Hi Jos….i also worked at the Knightsbridge branch in 1975 ….and i recall our manager beeing very tall , very camp and called Mr Illot….there was also the floor manager an older lady very moody and strickt….did you got to know them? Remember the morning we had to do Stock control, in the basement and just nearby was a damp room where we had teas n coffees and our sandwishes?
The old Lady was I think Mrs Russell. Yes, the stock controll. I do remember the room. I learned to drink dark English tea and it was the place to dye highheel satin ladiesshoes
I once had a summer student job working in the men’s shoe department at Harrods. Think my father must have told John that I was there and one day, to my surprise, he came in to see how it was going. At the time I was struggling to sell a pair of expensive Barkers shoes to an awkward customer. John wandered over and, pretending to be my boss and a Harrods manager, quietly took over the sale for me. He sold the chap thee pairs of shoes instructing me to get this size or that colour from the stockroom without the Harrods staff noticing. He gave me a wink and left. I got some commission from his sale too! A lovely man.
That’s what John was like very helpfull. One of the strange things about Elliott’s was the number of Irish Nicholas Elliott had working for him, twenty managers at one time. He said they came with no bad sales habits. I started at Bond St, David Woods was departmental manager Mr Clarke general Manager.then Harrow followed by Dorking, Kings rd Knightsbridge and Regents street.
I meant to also add Ms. Wallsingham as another great saleslady in our boot department. Yes, the manager of the boot department was Mr. Keane. Another lovely girl (can we still say that?) was Maria Savva who used to great people at the front door whilst wearing her skin-tight black, shiny trousers. Happy memories! Does anyone also remember the sales training? It was based upon “Purpose and Taste” and I have used that methodology over nearly 50 years both to train sales people as well as my own sales technique. Also, remember the “super sales” person who would “help” i.e. take over a sale where it was obvious that the sales person had not really understood the “purpose and taste” of their customer.
Hello David, I am Adrian’s eldest son (and Nick’s nephew). I worked at Elliott’s as a schoolboy, starting in the warehouse in Rede Place and then in the IT department at the head office above the shop in Westbourne Grove. I never worked in the shops, but I spent my youth packing shoes for the nightly delivery vans. The business was sold before I finished university, so I never had the opportunity to continue the family firm – five generations of Elliotts, trading for 205 years. Both Adrian and Nicholas are still going strong, I am glad to say. I would be delighted to see the photo of the Christmas lunch, if you can find a way of posting it.
You could find me on LinkedIn. Or just Google: David Sheldon retail
firstname.lastname@example.org then I’ll respond with the picture. Regards David
I worked in the warehouse in the summer of 1976. It was the coolest place to be. My sister worked in the office in Westbourne Grove that same summer. Nicholas Elliott was my brother’s godfather. I remember that my father came to collect me from University one time in a car (Aston Martin?) that he had borrowed from either Adrian or Nicholas. Most terrifying drive of my life. They were friends when they were younger. Maggie (nee Inder).
Hello Maggie. I seem to remember the name Inder. Do you have lots of siblings (Michael? Rosemary?) and a father who was in the Church? If so, I will let Nicholas and Adrian know that you have contributed to the little piece of Elliotts’ history on this remarkable website.
Yes that’s me. Nicholas was Michael’s godfather. Rosemary, Christine and Catherine are my other siblings. Dad is still alive but sadly doesn’t remember much these days. Mum on the other hand is very much going strong.
Hello Simon, Nicholas is my Godfather and I remember many a trip to the West End in his Aston Martin to take in a show and a bite to eat. My father John Inder – who knew the Elliotts from his time at St Michaels, Golders Green, had a parish in Hanwell, West London until 1977 when he moved to Yorkshire. I recall another trip in the Aston with NIcholas to see them and the turn of speed the car did around the Yorkshire moors – he did like his fast cars!
I remember you and your family well. It is very good to hear from you. Adrian and Nicholas have been reunited with a number of old, sometimes very old friends through this remarkable blog. Both twins are alive and well, although neither of them is a computer user so messages reach them from me or one of my siblings. I will let them both know about your message. My regards to you and your family, and thanks again for getting in touch.
By the way, I bought Nicholas’s Aston from him in 1982 after it had blown a cylinder head, and then I rebuilt and restored it over many years. I sold it only a few years ago. Happy (if expensive) memories!
Sent from my iPad
My grandmother was Alice Maud Elliott ( who married Sir Captain Henry Gordon) and my mother , Margaret Grace Gordon used to love spending time in the shop in Westbourne , and loved talking about it. Without checking, I believe that my mother was cousin to the twins and remembered them very fondly. Sadly because my mother left the Plymouth Bretherin ( and was excommunicated) and became Cof E, she lost touch with much of her family. She talked fondly of Grandpa Elliott, Uncle Cecil and the twins. My mother had a good life and was in good health until she died in 2016 , aged 93.
I would love to have some more family history and see any photos. How are the twins ? Would love to hear about them and their lives
Yes, I do remember the sales training. It took six weeks of training and was very useful.
We must have been working at Kings Road at the same time! Yes, Miss Walsingham was an excellent “super sales” – remember that term? She is in the party picture to the left of Mr. Zaman and directly opposite me. I’m sitting on Nick Elliott’s right hand side.
Also, I think that the “Irish manager” was Mr. Keene who I can just see in the far left of the picture posted on this site.
And does anyone remember Nick’s ‘Green Shoes’ training test? I still use it to this day.
Please enlighten me Simon, as I only have scant memories of training; one of which is the basic rule that you sit the customer down, take their shoes and place them under the foot measuring stool that the salesperson sat upon and then proceed to measure the customer’s feet for size and width fitting. The purpose of the shoes under the fitting stool was that it would make an exit from the shop difficult and a customer having to scrabble under the stool to retrieve their shoes would not be elegant, so would deter most customers from doing so without a sale being made. I remember vividly, on the stern advice of a senior member of staff/management having to fit say a D when a customer was a C fitting on a fair few occasions as we did not have their fitting in stock. I loved working at the Kings Rd store; the staff, the customers were fab.
Hello (don’t know your name, sorry). You are quite correct in your memories. Even better was to ask “Have these been comfortable for you?….. let me adjust them while you’re here (taking them away!) The next set of questions related to what the customer had requested to establish both the “purpose” (were these for use e.g. country walking, special occasion, the dress in the bag brought in by the customer etc) and establish the “taste” e.g. Sales assistant “I brought this shoe as it had the gold trim that you liked…..” Remember all this!!??
Yes remember all of that the measuring device was called a Branock . You would also compliment the customer on the outfit that she was wearing.. also introduce a suitable handbag to match the shoes you were selling. All sales staff worked on commission which was very good.
Absolutely, Michael. Do you remember the leather expander? Put in on a boot and get someone else to help you stretch it to be able to do up the zip! Also, get a broom handle inside a shoe to make room for a big bunion! I once had the seam of my rather tight trousers rip when I sat down on a fitting stool. One of the girls said she’d staple them, so I went in the boot stock room where she proceeded to do her worst…with a display gun!! Needless to say, when I sat down on the fitting stool, the staples stuck into me and I had to grit my teeth whilst completing the sale!!
You will recall that if you “went forward” and lost three times, there was no job for you after that. So, sell some boot trees or cream and you were safe. I loved working in the boot department and meeting lots of personalities. These included Lulu, a Princess of Jordan, Charles Bronson (who was very upset when I asked for his bank card for ID….”Don’t you know who I am?” etc. We had the whole cast of “Hair” on the basement floor one afternoon. They didn’t buy anything and were there just to have fun. Once, the day after the Christmas/New Year break, Princess Anne came in with one of her “ladies in waiting” and said to me “What have you got in the sale?!” I managed to sell her a pair of Spanish boots for 6 and half guineas (£6.16s) but she didn’t want any boot trees!
I spent some time as the “Complaints Manager” on the ground floor, near the stairs in the mens’ department, having to deal with all the customers whose shoes had the round heels dropping off (sent them down to the Chelsea Cobbler with a colleague) as they only had one screw holding them on. Rotten Spanish design.
It was in this period that Jimmy Tarbuck came in – he had gone to school with the manager of the mens’ department (can’t remember his name but he had blond hair). I had to park his car COM 1C a lovely Aston Martin DB4. “Don’t take it out of 2nd gear” he said!! The same day Peter Sellers came in with his new wife, Britt Eckland. We also had both Mike and Bernie Winters as regulars; they both used to come in with their Elliott shoes for repair.
I won’t ramble on any more; needless to say that working in Kings Road, Chelsea in the later 60s was certainly great fun!!
The Menswear manager was a Terry something,he was still there in ’71.
I have previously commented but see that there seems to be an increasing interest in the good old days of King’s Road Elliots. I started in 1970 Regent Road aged 17, the manager a Mr Zaman couldn’t see my obvious talents and I was quickly transferred to King’s Road where I flourished. I remember Aubrey a ridiculously handsome guy from I think Barbados. Owen Robinson who had me hold his coat while lunchtime shopping he was such a star. Also Roger Poole, Mr Sanchez a fiery little Spanish guy and a Mr Monks who played the piano by the station at Sloane Square. Wish I could remember my manager’s name from Liverpool my hometown, Terry was his Christian name. Also I think Angie the window dresser. Think I remember Michael McGowan. The stretcher we called the Benson last 🙂
The list of famous people I remember is endless but a fond memory is of a Mercedes 600 Pullman arriving outside and Maureen Starkey Ringos first wife and what seemed like a hundred kids troop out and disappear to the children s department.
So, the Green Shoes question was apparently asked at interviews for new staff. Question: ‘A customer comes into the shop and asks for some green shoes. You know absolutely that you do not have any green shoes in stock. So what do you say to the customer?’
If the prospective sales assistant says, ‘I’m sorry madam but no, we don’t have any green shoes’, then the interview was pretty much over and he or she did not get the job. But if the reply was along the lines of: ‘And what are they to go with, madam?’ or ‘ And what occasion are they for?’ or some such, then you were seen to understand the sales process, and the need to keep the customer in the shop however you could, and were probably a natural salesperson.
I never experienced this directly myself, but I remember my father, Adrian, asking me this question when I was about 14, and being very proud that (admittedly after some thought) I got the answer correct! Phew!
I cannot remember myself if I was asked the green shoes question at my interview. I must have impressed the interviewer. I had been working in a local independent shoe shop on Saturdays and every school holiday I could and was really good at sales and my boss probably gave a glowing report as he always said i was his top salesgirl, even over much older members of his sales staff !
The green shoes question is really valid and helpful for the customer. Many times I have been set on something and then reconsidered after being advised by a sales person and found them to have given apt advice and glad that I did not go for my intended purchase in the end.
I remember when the womens baggy boots first came into fashion and all the top models wore them and Elliotts and Bally were the forerunners to stock them. Women were flocking to Elliotts to buy them, hence if someone was a C fitting and we only had a D fitting, that lady would be fitted with those boots and walk out of the shop excited as a kid in Hamley’s !
I used to love working in Kings Rd shop so much; such challenges and it was so exciting, serving so many celebs and models and the like who were rich enough to buy anything they desired as long as we had their size !
Greatly enjoying this thread. David Sheldon asked if I would post the Christmas Party photo, which I was happy to do. You can find it here: https://andyp1966.com/2017/11/22/more-elliotts-2/
Also, in case you missed it, I did a second post on Elliotts some months ago, which you can find here: https://andyp1966.com/2017/02/19/more-elliotts/
I also wanted to share a short piece from the book. “Mothermature’s” comment about baggy boots reminded me of a quote from Adrian Elliott. Apparently one of the problems of meeting the demand for the new style was that it required a change to the manufacturing process. “Modern lightweight heels have to be put on by machine, and with the ordinary boot that zips up from the ankle that’s no problem. But to put the heel on an unzipped baggy boot, we’ve had to invent a new machine with an arm long enough to reach down inside the boot and put that heel in.” Getting the right amount of folding was also a challenge. “If it’s wrinkled all the way up it’s a nightmare. Smooth at the top it’s a classic and looks like being with us for quite a while.”
Finally, someone asked me where they could get a copy of the MFW book. It’s coming out in May of next year, but you can pre-order a copy from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Made-Walking-Modest-History-Fashion/dp/076435499X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1511362051&sr=8-1&keywords=andy+peake
Think I’ve got the Menswear managers name King’s Road ’71, I’ve been racking my brain for months. It was I think Farrell so Terry Farrell, can anyone verify that?
Yes I can. He was very fussy about his hair, he had a Bobby Charlton hair style which he used a lot of hair spray on.
Yes I can. He was very fussy about his hair, he had a Bobby Charlton hair style which he used a lot of hair spray on.
Thanks Michael, definitely a prerunner to the ‘Trump’ anyway.
It was Peter Farrell I recall. I worked at Kings Road part time as I was a student circa 1971-1974. Does anyone remember Troy and Laura? A great company. John Szepietowski
I recall the names Troy and Laura but a bit sketchy over who they were. It was definitely Terry Farrell he was from Liverpool as I am.
I remember Laura Heller ; blonde lady, really kind. I was only 16 around 1974 but loved the Kings Rd shop. Sadly I was shipped over to the brand new High St Ken store; we worked hard to fill the store with stock from morning to late at night. I did not enjoy HSK store as the vibe was not as great and cohesive as the Kings Rd store and left as I was constantly in trouble for being late as I had extra journey added to get a connecting train to HSK and Sloane Square was so much easier.
Hallo John! I never worked on KR but on Brompton Road. I do think we were blessed by the times …60‘ , 70‘ …. And the products were just the best! But i remember 1 pair of mocassins( Made in Spain) had the price of 280,- pounds! And my wages were 7.50,- a week ! Hummmmm….
Stephen/Michael, I think he was Terry and he went to school with Jimmy Tarbuck who came into the shop one day. At that time I was on the menswear floor on the “Complaints (i.e. service) Desk” and I parked Jimmy’s DB4 ref COM1C. Really nice chap as was Terry.
In response to the posting from Stephen Penny last November, yes, Owen Robinson was a brilliant salesman and used to make his own suits! We worked together on the first floor Boots department in 1968 and he was the top handbag salesman (can I say that? he’d probably had preferred me to say sales girl!) His b/f was Aubrey Carew who bought him a Hoover vacuum cleaner for his 21st!! He used to run his hands (mockingly) up and down my legs when I was in the boots stockroom up a ladder saying “Oh, Mr. Sheldon, you don’t know what you’re missing!” He was such good fun.
I think that the general manager was Mr. (Nick?) Carter – or was that at Regent Street? – who stood at the front door at opening time welcoming everyone with a very cheery “good morning.”
Kings Road, Chelsea was such a happy and fun place and I remember so many people from there, many of whom I’ve mentioned in previous posts here; Graham Withers (who was also a Samaritan), Mr. Zaman (with that excellent moustache), Mr. Deon (blonde and tall who would never tell me his first name, Nualla Cashman and Maria Savva who wore those skin tight black trousers reminiscent of Olivia Newton-John’s in Grease. Then poor Danielle Defoe, the cashier, who committed suicide over the Christmas/New Year. Mr. Wiseman was another of the department managers who sported a moustache.
Perhaps you’ve seen the picture posted on here of the Elliott’s Christmas party of 1968/96? Maybe you can identify yourselves in this?
My grandmother was Alice Maud Elliott who married an Irish man, Sir Captain Henry Gordon, in 1914. They lived in Coulsdon. He was in the merchant navy and Operation Pedestal in the Malta convoy in WW2. They had three children Margaret ( my mother) , Ruth and Harry. Alice used to take my mother to the shoe shops and to Cecil’s house in Westbourne Grove/ Bayswater and remembers the huge family house and many happy occasions there. I would love to hear from the Elliotts ,,,,Simon, Matthew , Jessica…and see any family photos.
Also I would be thrilled if you were to write a book about the Elliott shoe shops. I may have some photos too
I wonder if the Alice Boots were named after my grandmother, Alice Elliott ?
To the gentleman who runs this site…please keep it ! I would like to get in touch, are you able to email me email@example.com
I Worked there for a number of years with George who was the Manager and a vert tall Mr Carter who was the area manager , thigh boots called Snakeskin were very popular , I ended up being a manager at the Richmond Branch, the Green park, then it taken over by Medway shoes…
I don’t think T Elliott & Sons ever had a shop in Richmond, in Kingston yes.
Your right Richmond
By change I found this blog.
It is funny to read all this stories. I worked for Elliott at the Knightsbridge branch around 1964 – 1965.
48 Brompton Road London S.W.3 Knightsbridge 0333. And during 2 weeks a replacement in Dorking.
Mr. J Sorohan was the manager. Mrs J.G. Archer the staff manager. It was very interesting and had a great time.
I have still several catalogues and other publicity about Elliotts narrow fittings.
I have just come across this blog about Elliotts.
I joined the company just after you in 1964 and stayed until 1971. I really enjoyed working there and it set me on course for the rest of my working life in the shoe business.
The ‘swinging sixties’ were an exciting time in London and we were at the forefront as the best fashion shoe house in town.
Good times. Hope you are well.
Hi – what a great thread ! Came across it while researching some original 60s Elliot posters I’ve recently acquired. would be very pleased to hear from anyone who knows more about these amazing designs. David
I worked as a Saturday girl in the Bond St branch for a few years in the early 70’s, coming in all the way from Snaresbrook Stn. I loved the job and I have a few good memories although I don’t remember peoples names. We were encouraged to offer a “handbag to match” and if we were lucky enough to make a sale were given a higher percentage as a bonus. Also if someone requested a half size smaller & it was not in stock, we would slip a cut insole underneath the inner shoe lining.!
Hi I used to work for Elliott’s in New kings road with the fabulous George “floor Ms bonnell “ I worked for years making it to a manger of the new Richmond store then at Green park The hotel shop below the hotel we used to get so many famous people in BBC had a account with them they went bankrupt and were taken over, by I think Allen shoes I lived above the Wimbledon shop until it was sold A lovely memory The brothers must be dead now as must be the area manger .. I learnt so much and to this day I can hear George saying forward Miss Bonnell we had to take 3 styles of shoes onto the floor I served so many famous people … Thigh boots and Court shoes hand made they were beautiful but very expensive…. Men’s hand made shoes made up north And then Sasha shoes brought some of the shops .. End of era I worked there for over 5 years..
I was the manager of the Kingston Shop for a couple of years and there was never an T Elliott shop in Richmond. Surbiton Epsom Dorking and Wimbledon Coulsdon had Elliott shops
That’s right, and there was a branch in Sutton. In the mid-sixties while still at school I was a Saturday girl for three years in the Epsom branch (Irish manager Mr. Healy), and in 1970 I spent the whole summer working in the Kingston branch (also Irish manager Mr. Heaver). Happy days!
Stevie, just to let you know that the twins, Nicholas and Adrian, are still alive and well, in their mid 80s, and enjoying the flood of memories conjured up by this blog. Amazing that there is such interest after all these years.
Lovely to hear .. I learnt so much
Hi Simon. I did leave a message on this site probably about two years ago!
I met your uncle Nicholas around 1970 when he and his family came to stay in Cornwall.
I would just like you to relay to him how much we enjoyed hosting him at the farm and his extreme generosity in taking my brother and myself to the theatre and a couple of nights later giving us the Aston Martin to drive around London. I think he thought that by allowing their French au pair Michele to go with us we might bring the Aston back!, I would love to hear how he is so if you read this please message me.
Happy to give you information privately but I don’t know how to do so without making a public comment on this site, and I am not willing to publish my contact details. If you can find a way to do a private message, then please get in touch.
Hello all, I worked for a short period at Elliott in 1977, in the Knightsbridge store. It was my first retail Sales job. I received the training some of you are mentioning and I do remember the “taking the customer’s shoes and placing them under my seat”, I also remember how we were asked to bring the shoes to the customer, only showing the sole until the very last moment. This is still quite fresh to my mind and this experience has fundamentally changed the way I behave as a customer in a shoe retail shop. Shall I dare to say that my best customer at that time was a “lady of little virtue” working close to Liverpool and apparently making quite good money. I did some very good sales with her, I especially remember selling her a pair of flashy red platform boots which she was very pleased with. I am sad to read that the company is no longer active. Sybille
Hi Sybille …my name was Erica Schwinge and i also worked on the Knightsbridge branch …in the same time as you.All you mentioned about the selling process is so true and fun as it was also my first job ever. Our wages were 7.50 P a week!!!!!! Do you remember Michelle Carissimo? From Milano? And Mr Illot the tall camp chap , HE WAS KIND AND FUNNY BUT NOT OUR FLOOR MANAGERESS SHE WAS RATHER STRICKT. Hope u r fine
Hi / inspired by this thread, I’ve written a blog about Elliott posters: https://www.twentiethcenturyposters.com/blogs/news/alice-boots-and-suffragette-shoes-t-elliott-and-sons-footwear-fashion-posters-of-the-1960s
Delighted to recieve feedback, new info etc.
That’s a great blog post… thank you!
Hi andyp1966, very interesting reading the saga of Elliotts. My father Bill Hendley worked for the company in the sixties,.. in multiple capacities including as a designer. He was based at what they called the ‘west end branch’ on the corner of Chepstow Road and Westbourne Grove W2. He died in 1998 so he’s not around for me to ask him anymore. My mum still remembers lots about the company though. I would love to have a chat with you if you are willing? firstname.lastname@example.org / 07774 938214
I was writing about mrs. Fletcher (one of the floor managers) But now I am thinking. Have I got the wrong name. It’s been such a long time ago, therefore I might mix up the names. I do remember a boy from Holland, called Kees. His parents were in the shoe business in Holland. He came to London to learn the business. His surname Jansen?
My name is Cees Van Dalen (Kees). My friend Jos Hoogenbosch was working with Elliot at the Knightbridge branche. I was woking with H&M Rayne also at Knightbriidge. This was in 1965.
Hallo … yesss i remember Mrs Fletcher, very well , an older lady , small but sharp! She was in control of everything and made sure all the customers knew her high(!) position! I have a hint aboit a dutch boy whos father was in the shoe business bit its indeed such long time ( and chemo!) hard to remember well…. But our chief manager Mr Illot i can hear his camp voice like yesterday….(1975)
My father, Donald Gerald Minnis joined T.Elliotts shoe shop on Brighton Road in Purley London UK as Manager in 1948-1952 after he was demobbed from the British Army( the Buffs) with 50pounds sterling and an old demob suit! He fought in the war in France Italy, Yugoslavia and Italy and was wounded twice. His last job for the Army was as Adjunctant of a German prisoner o f war camp. One of the prisoners a Doctor saved my life when I had in infection from a vaccination and was very sick in the night. He treated me and I survived We, Dad, Mum, my sister Carol, a baby and myself a toddler lived in a flat above the shop. My sister and I would go down the long concrete stairs to the repair shed where a Mr. Budden would repair the shoes. We were facinated by everything and he let us have small scraps pf leather to play with. I clearly remember climbing on a chair in the Flat) to look at the busy road from the windows at the front of the flat. My Dad left to become Southern Counties Rep for StartRite shoes and we had to move away from London to Lancing in Sussex in May 1952. I would miss my Nan, who would come on the bus from East Sheen on Monday mornings to help my mum, but soon cheered up when I started at Sandhurst School in Worthing. Mum would make us a picnic lunch and we would swim on the beach in our lunch breaks…happy days 🙂
Lesley near Calgary , Alberta, Canada
Would love to hear from you if you stayed when medway shoes took over ??
I have just come upon this page after thinking about my youth. My name is John Oliver, and my father’s name was Leslie.
For some years (around 1950’s & 60’s), my father worked for Elliott’s in London, and was, as I recall a manager in the warehouse. As a youngster, I remember how hard he worked, and he would even, on occasions (possibly Fridays or school holidays) take me and my brother, on his evening delivery rounds with stock for the shoe shops. I think the furthest we would go was to Elliott’s Edgware branch.
I also remember each year there was a ‘narrow fitting week or fortnight’, when we as children would help him with the stamping of the addresses of customers for the mail shots.
I remember the eczema he suffered on his hands, thought to be the result of tying up the parcels with string. I know that the Elliott family were very good to my father, and gave help for some of his phobias. We were all shod with Elliott’s shoes – they were of a good quality, and could be repaired at the cobblers enabling them to be handed down when we grew out of them.
My best memory was of the Knightsbridge branch because of the beautiful curved windows of the shop front.
Owen Robinson who had me hold his coat while lunchtime shopping he was such a star. ( I worked with Owen and Dimitrea at the Regent Street location. Always tea and marmite and toast in the morning. Ribeana with lunch. Such wonderful memories for me.
My employer when I lived in London in 1970. I worked one the men’s floor on Regent Street with Dimitri and Owen. Very fond memories.