Saturday, December 4, 2010

Frederick Gorringe

Frederick Gorringe was a silk mercer and draper who founded Gorringe's department store.

In 1858 Frederick Gorringe opened a small drapery shop in Buckingham Palace Road, London. The shop soon became popular with the nobility and gentry and was patronized by the Ladies of Queen Victoria's household. Gorringe's business prospered and by 1869 occupied three shop premises, which were eventually replaced by a large department store.
There were tiny rooms at the top of the store where unmarried sales assistants lived. Gorringes had a strict dress code for its sales staff: women wore black dresses and men pin-striped suits. Sitting down behind the counter was not permitted. The customer was always right and politeness was the byword--a complaint from a customer would often lead to an instant dismissal.

Gorringes remained a well-known, fashionable department store until its closure in 1968.

By Mark Matlach

The Gorringe overprints of the Victorian era have noticeable variations in the spacing and positioning of the words in the pattern.

The latest Gorringe issue I am aware of is SG370, which was first produced in 1921.


  1. Was taken there to be measured for my Mercers' School blazer & flannels, in September 1952. Tempus fugit.

  2. I worked there and loved it was there until Harrods invited me to work for them due to the closure of Gorringes in 1968. Now here in NZ, a lady whom I know said there was a Gorringes near Harrods, I dont think she was correct, even though she said she went there for her school uniform which I worked in that very department fitting children.. got me out to NZ too!

  3. Aaahhh this was my first job in 1967. I was 17 and worked for the secretary who was a PA to Mr Ian Keith. She had her holidays for 2 weeks so I had to take over. I had many personal problems and he was kindness itself and gave me very good advice. I loved my time there.

    1. my first store I worked in was Gorringes... loved it... upstairs in the Girls School Wear Dept... sadly it closed down.