Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 139,009 pages of information and 225,314 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Lillywhite, Frowds (Haymarket)

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1954

of 62 Haymarket, London, SW. (1922)

of 235 Union Street, Blackfriars, London, SE1. Telephone: Waterloo 7054. Cables: "Frobat, Sedist, London". (1947)

Lillywhite’s probably owes its landmark sport shop status to its position in Piccadilly Circus more than anything, but this would be ignoring its remarkable heritage.

Its founders, the Lillywhite family, hold a firm place in cricketing folklore. William Lillywhite is credited with the introduction of overarm bowling. His son, and founder of their first sports shop, James, was captain of the England XI and personally financed a trip to play Australia - the very first test match.

1842 The most famous of the Lillywhite family, James Lillywhite Jnr, was born.

1863 The initial Lillywhite’s shop opened on Haymarket in 1863, offering customers a, previously unheard of, range of sporting goods.

1895 The company, by this time, was trading in Tunbridge Wells.

1922 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of Lawn Tennis, Football, Cricket, Tennis, Golf, Hockey, Squash Rackets, Fives, Badminton, Boxing Gloves, Punching Balls, Croquet, Lawn Bowls, and all Outdoor Sports Requisites. (Stand No. H.32) [1]

1925 They moved to their current location, beside the statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus.

They were famous for their innovation and comprehensive selection (they imported the first diving fins from Europe in 1947).

1947 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of all Indoor and Outdoor Sports Equipment, including Tennis, Badminton, Squash, Football, Rugby, Hockey, Cricket, Golf, etc. Also Manufacturers of Gymnasium Apparatus, Swimming Pool Equipment and Field Events Apparatus. (Olympia, 1st Floor, Stand No. F.1835) [2]

1954 Advert on this page. [3]

2002 In the face of competition from other retailers offering more goods at lower prices, Lillywhites fell into financial difficulty. In 2002 it was sold to Sports World International, the owner of the Sports World retail chain, and almost all of the former outlying stores were rebranded as Sports World. Two exceptions to this are the branches at Rotherham Retail Park, and Lakeside Shopping Centre in West Thurrock, Essex, that continue to trade as Lillywhites.

2008 The original Lillywhite's Piccadilly store, although changing hands many times, still sells cricket bats and other sports equipment.


See Also

  • [2] London Town Website
  • [3] Wikipedia
  • Trademarked. A History of Well-Known Brands - from Aertex to Wright's Coal Tar by David Newton. Pub: Sutton Publishing 2008 ISBN 978-0-7509-4590-5
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Sources of Information