So Here he is, Edwin Reeves, the founder, in a carriage and the stove pipe. Taken in the 1850s to 1870s the distinct Abe Lincoln look is clearly visible clearly he saw himself a as a serious business man of the time. His wife Sarah sits behind him a stern woman by all accounts and it shows in this photo.
Little is known of the reign of Edwin, but suffice to say he was a character with a chequered history, establishing the business in the 1830’s in Sherborne in Dorset . The starting trade was the complimentary skills of Coopering, making Barrels and other kinds of wooden casks for storage and that of Wheel wright, making wooden wheels for carts and carriages.
He came up from Sherborne in the mid 1800’s and Started the business in Church St in 1867.
That makes the company in Croydon as old as Canada which was incorporated in the same year. Other notable things for 1867 were The 1st ship sailed the Suez Canal and Alfred Nobel patented Dynamite and Bill the Kid was 7 years old.
Edwin bought, bought and sold and traded from this leased property with his family.
Note the Key indicating key cutting, but this key was also used symbolically to open the annual fair on Mitcham common.
Look for area images to show the land ownership and the company size to for these times.
Returning to Croydon William Arthur t.
Acquiring the lease of the Old Victoria Coffee Tavern on the corner of Tamworth Road and what was Ellis David Place at the time in 1920.
A year later in 1921 he’s at it again buying the Dome Picture Palace on the opposite side of Ellis David Place to The Coffee Tavern.
Now those of you who like a pint may recognise this picture. Its hanging among the memorabilia in the Wattenden Pub by Kenley Airfield. The upstairs was used in the 2nd world war as a tracking room serving Biggin and Kenley airfields.
Half Moon Street, Sherborne - This was a wonderful place for family holidays with the flat above the shop. Its now a gift shop. But what a wonderful location.
As you can see there appears to be a few mixed messages with the branding on the shop and the signwriting on the Vans. This photo was taken deliberately to emulate a much earlier photo of the transport from the 20’s.
The complex of properties that make up the House of Reeves formerly lay on two principal sites, respectively to the north and south of Elis David Road (now Reeves Corner).
And then of course came Monday 8 August 2011.
Turned in to this... in the London Riots.
House of Reeves lost properties to the north of Reeves Corner thoroughfare with firefighters unable to tackle the blaze because police could not protect them, this image became symbolic of the violence that spread across the country during several days of rioting and looting.
This image shows the surviving (southern) property which was subsequently refurbished looking on from across the old site.
And then when the new store had finished being re-built in 2014.
The store was then decorated to celebrate it's 1 year Anniversary since the re-opening.
A few years later we were informed from a Historian gathering research on on a group called the Guildford Guys. Who in the mid 1800’s, every Guy Fawkes night terrorised Guildford, setting fires whilst smashing shops and creating mayhem. He had found in 1865 a reference to a gentleman arrested, convicted of rioting and sent down for 1 year. This man was a cooper and his name, that was Edwin Reeves.
Today... and over the 5 generations later, House of Reeves has seen many changes. But the company still follows the same core values with its family offer service and professionalism. Whilst competing and beating national names for individual service, competitive prices, fast delivery and above all fantastic value. So try us for yourself and see!