Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Bobby's Northdown Road , Cliftonville





























Christmas 1972 F.J.Bobby & Co closed its Margate store for good, a week later after the New Year sale the Northdown Road closed ending 85 years of trading. Bobby's as it was known to people of a certain age was the nearest thing Margate and Clftonville had to a West End store . This article written and researched by Alf Beeching, Mick Twyman and John Williams was published in the Autumn 2007 in the Margate Historical Society magazine and details the history of a shopping era in Northdown Road, Cliftonville and Margate High Street.
Please feel free to copy and download to your archives.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I still have a certificate given to me by the store's Father Christmas when I visited him age 7 in 1972 in Bobbys at Cliftonville. It was issued to commemorate that it was his 82nd birthday, this would've been Christmas 1972. Why 82 was special I don't know! He'd be 119 now! I remember too going to the 1st floor with my mum and it being quite busy with shoppers probably picking up some closing down bargains.

tony flaig bignews said...

I thought that these shops continued to trade as debenhams toward end the seventies?

Anonymous said...

Bobbys was independent. We never had a Debenhams here.

Tony Beachcomber said...

Annon,

I remember seeing Father Christmas at Bobby's, I was also a member of the Bimbo club ran by the Thanet Times. I remember on my birthday my name was in the paper, I would get a birthday card and a little badge with a dog on.
I wonder if any of that stuff is about?

Jeremy Jacobs said...

I remember Bobby's well. The bloke playing the piano upstairs and the compressed air-pipes taking the cash.

Tony Beachcomber said...

Debenhams bought out Bobby's in 1968 and continued to trade in Thanet using the Bobby name. In 1972 they took the business decision not to open Debenhams stores in Thanet.

Dipdens said...

My father apparently worked in the garage below the Bobby's Northdown Store in the 1920s. Customers could have their car repaired while they shopped. Does anyone know anything about this? There is a door in the basement area, but no car access now.

Jo Boyden said...

My Mum used to take me to Bobbys to get my Clarkes shoes fitted. I was very small and remember very thick carpet, the measuring thingy to measure the feet and the best thing was the wooshy pipe thingamajig that the cashier would put the money in, fabulous. Later on, in the 80's I went to Margate college in New Street to learn retail trades and was amazed to see all the stationary and bags etc we used were from Bobby's. Fab memories, thank you

Anonymous said...

I loved Bobby's, they sold everything. The Store in Margate was a place for the Policeman to stand in bad weather, but there was always one to be found there. Cliftonville was a slightly smaller shop from my memory but equally as nice. Cliftonville Store was where I went to see Father Christmas and I have a photo from then as well. They certainly made it speacial at Christmas with their decorations and their Christmas Wonderland Themes. Many happy memories.

Anonymous said...

I remember Bobby's, my great aunt and Grandmother lived in a bungalow opposite Northdown Park, looking towards a big mansion. We used to take them to Bobby's, I was about 7/8 it would have been late 60s early 70s and we would have tea in the cafe. It was very smart, and I would be under threat of death if I misbehaved!!
I went back to Cliftonville a few years ago and was so sad to see how it had changed. I used to spend all my summer holidays in Cliftonville, travelling there from Reigate in Surrey with my Parents in a Triumph Herald convertible, hood down, going to Joss Bay, and playing on the swings in Northdown Park. It was a simpler life back then, or maybe I was younger without so many worries!!

Pat Goldfinch said...

I used to work in tliftonville soft furnishing workshop in the Cliftonville branch,then at Margate store when Cliftonville closed. Ended up at the Debenhams store in Croydon, but hated London, so came back to Thanet to work at the margate CO-OP
9 months later.
Greta times!