TitleTimothy Whites and Taylors Ltd
DescriptionThis collection comprises the records of Timothy Whites and Taylors Ltd. Material includes: executive committee minutes; company accounts; property and asset ledgers; shareholder communications, store photographs, product labels and some personnel related items. The catalogue is in the process of being updated and additional entries for this series are anticipated.
Administrative HistoryTimothy Whites and Taylors formed in 1935 through the merger of Timothy Whites Ltd., and Taylor Drug Co. Ltd group of companies. The merger resulted in a continued expansion with offices acquired at Allen House, Vauxhall Bridge Road, London, where the Executive Headquarters and Merchandise Departments were centralised.

Individually the companies have long histories. Timothy Whites can trace its beginnings back to 1848 when Timothy White, at the age of 23, opened an oil dry saltery business in Portsmouth. Gradually the list of of goods the company sold was extended to include drugs and household essentials. A few years later the business expanded with the purchase of a retail property on Commercial Road, Portsmouth. Further expansion happened with the purchase of a warehouse in adjoining Chandos Street, and another retail property in Southsea. Timothy White first appeared on the register of the Pharmaceutical Society as a Qualified Chemist in 1869. When he passed away in 1908 White's son Woolmer, who had qualified as a Chemist in 1888, took full control of the company and quickly opened new branches in the South of England. In 1904 the business was formed into a limited company and further expanision continued after the First World War. By 1928 the company operated 100 shops, had manufacturing facilities for galenicals, proprietaries and toiletries, particularly soaps. There was also a printing works and an analytical department.

Taylors Drug Company was formed into a Ltd company in 1888, however it originated many years before. The business was founded by Mr W B Mason, who named the stores after his wife's maiden name. Expansion soon followed with stores opening in Leeds, Bradford, Bingley and Shipley and later moving in to Lancashire, Durham, Cumbria, Westmorland and Scotland. Over the next few years several small retail companies were acquired by Taylors in the Midlands and London areas. The number of branches increased from 162 in 1927 to 373 at the time of the merger with Timothy Whites in 1935.

On the 10th January 1941 the company suffered severe bomb damage to its offices on Vauxhall Road, London. The Headquarters and Warehouse in Portsmouth were totally destroyed, the staff who worked there were transferred to Burley Hill in Leeds. Stores in London, Portsmouth, Southampton, Plymouth, Devonport, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool were either damaged or destroyed.

In 1942 Timothy Whites and Taylors took over Cartwrights in Leeds and in 1944 acquired Mence-Smith Housewares Retail shops (187 branches), the group however operated independently until 1962 when Timothy Whites and Taylors took full control.

On 28 July 1968 Boots the Chemist merged with Timothy Whites and Taylors. Boots at the time consisted of 1,252 chemists shops and large stores. Timothy Whites were operating a total of 622 branches, of which 486 were chemist branches, including 115 selling Houseware goods, and a separate group of 136 Houseware branches, some trading under their original company e.g. Mence Smith names.
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