Worle’s EJ Skidmore and Sons celebrates 100 years in business
PUBLISHED: 11:19 08 October 2019
One of Worle’s oldest surviving companies, if not THE oldest, is celebrating its centenary this year
Independent furniture retailer Skidmore's has stood proud in the centre of Worle High Street since Edward James Skidmore opened its doors in 1919, although the business itself began life as a building firm in Oxfordshire in the previous century.
Edward moved his family to South Wales in 1896, where he became known for building houses and chapels. His son Stanley was shot during World War One and was sent to Ashcombe House in Weston to recover. Edward visited him and liked the town so much, he decided to move his family there.
EJ Skidmore And Sons was set up in the same building as it is in today as a hardware and ironmongery store, which also sold paint and furniture.
The business was eventually passed on to Stanley who lived above the shop in 1928 with his wife Nel and their twin boys, Bill and Bert. When Stanley died in 1947, his sons took over with their mum. By this time Nel had established a sweet and tobacco shop and café and the twins had begun to make their own ice cream, selling around the area from the back of their van.
When Nel died in 1970 the café was closed, along with the sweet shop a few years later, but both are fondly remembered in the community to this day. Bill and Bert had begun concentrating on their core business of carpets, furniture and, by the mid-1970s, fitted kitchens.
Bill died in 1980, and Bert in 2010, with both characters commemorated on benches in Worle High Street.
Today the business is still going strong, run by the fourth generation of Skidmores, Brian, Mike and Carol.