Where you are: Local History - PhotoTopics - jarvis
  Jarvis & Son


One of the most successful businesses in Tickhill for almost 150 years was that of the Jarvis family, who traded as grocers and drapers from the early 19th to the mid-20th century..

The original business was founded in c1820 by Joshua Jarvis, who is described in Baines 1822 Directory as a ‘grocer, linen draper & shoe warehouse’. Joshua also appears to have been a man of many talents as 1830s directories show him to be a ‘painter, plumber and glazier’ of Sunderland Street; the 1841 and 1851 censuses refer to him solely as an ‘artist’. Over the same period, his wife, Ann and daughter, Jane were trading as dressmakers and straw bonnet makers from their home in Sunderland Street, next door but one to the Independent Chapel. 

Although the founder appears to have been Joshua, it was his son, George David Jarvis, who really took the business from strength to strength; until the 1840s, he had been trading in Rotherham as a draper but returned to his native Tickhill and opened a drapery and grocery shop at the northern end of Market Place. An 1848 ‘Day Book’, which lists customers orders reveals that as well as selling basic items such as sugar, coffee, tea, cheese, fruit vegetables, tobacco and snuff, he offered more exotic goods, such as treacle and a variety of spices; household items for sale ranged from candles, soap, starch, rush lights, blacking lead and corks to sweeping brushes, carpet binding, clay and best pipes, umbrellas, table clothes, hearth rugs and blankets. 

On the drapery side, the dressmaker could choose from a large range of material that included calico, merino, canvas, cord, wool, moleskin, plaid cloth, muslin and velvet, with trimmings such as, ribbons, pearl buttons and silk fringing, together with the necessary implements of the trade - needles and thread and hooks and eyes. For those who preferred ready-to-wear clothing there were dresses, petticoats, waistcoats, gloves, cashmere hose and footwear, including strong leather pumps for outdoor wear and dainty slipper pumps for evening. 

There are references in the ‘Day Book’ to deposits in a ‘cash for clothing club’: this may have been a type of savings club operated by Jarvis’ or it could have referred to a ‘Clothing Club’ organised by the church, which gave the poor and needy money to buy clothes. 

Jarvis’ popularity spread throughout the district, attracting customers from neighbouring villages, such as Braithwell, Stainton and Styrrup, and as far away as Todwick, Rotherham and Nottingham. Towards the end of the century, Jarvis’ marketed their services by regularly placing advertisements in the church magazine. 

George David Jarvis was assisted by his sons George Alfred, Herbert and Walter; following his death in 1876, Walter took control of the business, and over the next 20 years his sons, Walter Malin, George Edward, Herbert Samuel and Alfred Joshua, all served their apprenticeships there; by now the shop was acting as agents for retail wine & spirit merchants, W &A Gilbey. Towards the end of the 19th century however, it was Walter Malin, Alfred Joshua and Herbert Samuel who were to take the business to even greater success. In 1897 the original shop on Market Place was split into two separate establishments: the grocery department remained on Market Place and a new drapery and outfitters shop was opened at 6 Sunderland Street, next door to the Vicarage. The following year, they opened a small branch at Everton, several miles east of Bawtry. In May 1906, the old shop on Market Place was demolished and replaced by a large, modern store. 

Walter Malin Jarvis lived at Carlton House on Sunderland Street; he was a stalwart of society, and this is reflected in his service to the local community as a sidesman and member of St Mary’s Parochial Church Council; a member of Tickhill Urban District Council for short period in 1930s; treasurer of the District Nursing Association for many years and secretary of the old Conservative Club. A keen sportsman, Walter enjoyed golf and ice-skating, he was chairman of Tickhill Tennis Club for many years and a member of Tickhill Cricket Club. He died in 1968 aged 94. 

Walter’s younger brother, Alfred Joshua Jarvis, who had joined the Royal Flying corps during WWl, and later became one of the first people in Tickhill to ride a motor cyclist, died the following year aged 83: they had been business partners for 62 years until their retirement in 1959.  

The grocery shop on Market Place was still trading in the 1960s; today (2009), Coopland’s and Strand Hair Fashions occupy the site, and Lockwood’s the florist trades from 6 Sunderland Street.










Sharing Our Heritage