Williams Brothers Stores


By Lynne B

Williams Bothers Stores

Williams Brothers Stores was a grocery and provisions shop situated towards the south end of Hoddesdon High Street. My parents met while working there. I can remember going into the store when I was quite young. I believe it closed down in the late 1960s. Next to it was Woolworths on one side and the Golden Lion Public House on the other. Woolworths sold plastic farm animals individually and I remember collecting them, one each week. Further down and across the road I can remember Stones, the first record shop in Hoddesdon. It was originally just an electrical and radio shop.

This page was added on 26/05/2009.

Add your comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.

  • Hi All,

    Just to make you aware that sadly both Paul and John Williams passed away this year 6 months apart.
    Aged 87 and 91 respectively.

    As a family we love looking at the history of the old family business so keep the posts coming.



    By Martin Williams (06/11/2023)
  • I worked for Williams Bros from 1967 and was managing a store when budgen bought us ,my area managers were MrBradley and Mr Law,s,i i have many fond memories of of them as a very good firm to work for,they also rented my wife and i a flat above the shop in Philip lane tottenham I left budgen in 1973 from managing the stroud green rd branch.Alan Wilson October 2023

    By alan wilson (03/10/2023)
  • Hi anyone know the closest store that sold reddings tea to Wandsworth London , found a box of 13 blend unopened tea in my late mums cupboard

    By Beverlie (28/08/2023)
  • I worked at Southgate and Arnos Grove hardware store from 1960 and also at East Barnet ,East Finchley . Mr Bentley was the manager at Arnos Grove and actually lived in a flat over the East Finchley Store . The local main Depot was at White Hart Lane there were Also Grocery and Butchers shops in the same area’s

    By Victor Jeeves (24/06/2023)
  • HI ALL
    If there are any other Old Photos of Staff , Shops or indeed if anyone has any of the Staff Magazine “146” that they no longer have use of or wish to donate or sell to me to grow the History of the Company let me know via williamsbrothershistory@gmail.com ..
    Anybody that would like to add to the History of the Company and would be interested in joining a potential Facebook Group also let me know (via email for now) .. I really want to get the History of the Company out there but need to know that there is a “market” out there of people that would be interested …

    By Kevin Avery (13/04/2023)
  • I worked in the Williams Bros. shop in Waltham Abbey Market Square around 1969 up until the company was acquired by Booker McConnell’s Budgen group. I managed a couple shops for them until1974

    By Ken Weiland (08/02/2023)
  • Worked in Williams Brothers, Ballards Lane, North Finchley 1965, then moved on to Williams Brothers, Cockfosters, great times.

    By Chris Kirkland (22/01/2023)
  • Hi Martin
    How did the History Lesson go ?? Would be interesting to hear what your Grandfather had to tell you … I am trying to pull some of the company history together too via research … My Mother worked for the Company back in the 1950s williamsbrothershistory@gmail.com anybody that would like to assist can contact me on the above email ….

    By Kevin Avery (23/12/2022)
  • Hi All,
    I am the Grandson of John Williams known as Mr John to most of you, his Dad being Hughie Williams. It was my grandads, great grandad John Williams and his Brother Alfred Williams that set the business up originally.
    He is 90 years old and still going strong.
    Going to show him these comments tomorrow and have a chin wag and history lesson from him!
    Love to see all these comments and how you or family members loved their time working at Williams Brothers.

    By Martin Williams (15/12/2022)
  • Further to my Previous comments about Williams Brothers (Direct Supply Stores Ltd)
    I would be interested to hear of any information related to the Many Stores in Particular Store Numbers and addresses or Head Office … I am putting together some History of the company … I can be contacted on williamsbrothershistory@gmail.com (if that is allowed) look forward to hearing your comments and Stories

    By Kevin Avery (01/06/2022)
  • I would be interested to hear from anyone that worked for Williams Bros in the Hayes / Hillingdon Middlesex area

    By Kevin Avery (30/05/2022)
  • From 1977/78 I worked at Epping branch and also covered a week at South Woodford
    I realised that I wasn’t a butcher as I had more cuts on me than any joint I was cutting. Loved that job though

    By Owen Hallihan (16/05/2022)
  • My grandfather Sidney Musto worked for Williams Bros through the 40s 50s 60s. I think he was an area manager for West London. His sister, Nell Musto, was secretary to Mr Williams in the same period. My parents first home after marrying in 1953 was a flat above the Feltham store. I have a grandparent my fine film of them moving out in 1957. I’d be keen though hear from anyone that met my grandfather or great aunt

    By Philip Wilson (17/03/2021)
  • I started work in 1963 in the hardware branch in Holloway Road branch 101 moved to Stroud green road which was refurbished and became a merit store and we had electric tills sweda I think no more adding up with paper and pencil,as a merit store no div ie no stamps,then transferred to Hatfield which was our largest Williams bros store stayed there till 1968

    By Stephen Billyard (09/01/2021)
  • Hi, my name is Alan Charlish. I worked at Williams Brothers, South Road Southall. Started about 1962 and worked with Clive Stanley, who I see is mentioned on this page. If you see this Clive, perhaps you could get in touch? I have some photos of us together when we went to Battersea Funfair for the day. Heather is also on the photos and she worked there too. You are welcome to contact me via my e mail alan@wykenwizard.co.uk if that is allowed?

    By Alan Charlish (16/08/2020)
  • Hi all, I am trying to find information about employees at Williams Bros in Hayes (Middx) who may have worked there in the 50’s and early 60’s. I think I’m casting my net a little wide and more accurately would zoom in on the late 50’s, however as I do not know what employees stayed or left I have given a wider time frame. My father worked there and he had a colleague called Dorothy, (I think her surname was Williamson.) I would like to know whether this lady my Dad talked of with happy memories is still alive or if she has passed and when. I hope that’s not too strange a request! My Dad did also wish to know. many thanks, if you would prefer to email me let admin know (admin@hertsmemories.org.uk) and I can OK that if appropriate. Best wishes, Missy

    By Missy (28/07/2020)
  • Re Mr Nunn,
    My Mother was his housekeeper in Whetstone. We lived down stairs and he lived upstairs. He was such a kind and considerate man. I was only around 7 when we first moved there. He took me to the frien Barnet Boys club a few times, and had a lovely Daimler Jaguar. We met Graham Stark a few times, when he came to view the house, another nice man. All very happy memories, we moved into a flat above the Williams Brothers shop in Arnos Grove when he emigrated.

    By Neale Biscoe (29/04/2020)
  • Well Im blowed, often wondered what happened to Reddings Tea. Redding’s played a big part of my future and have fond memories of the company. After replying to an advert on radio caroline, about 1965 to September 1966 I was a van salesman , for Reddings tea and sold to the trade and factory tea clubs which sold onto staff ect. The salesmen had a bedford van, dormabil type chases all sign written up. I lived in Walthamstow and my area was southwest London then changed my area to south east London. I remember when I started being taken to the tea auctions, shown tea tasting at our factory and shown the mixing of the various quality teas. Remember blends of number 13 (main seller) K2 M1 ect. The salesmen kept there vans filled with stock in lockups near to where they lived, and going into depot White Hart Lane to replenish. The sales manager was Mr Geary ( had a handlebar mustarch) and he flew his own light aircraft which I went up in. I did well with Reddings which put me on my feet and left when I got married. It was planned I would open up a round in Dorset where I moved too but unfortunately at the last minute management pulled out which was a shame.
    Wages then £17.50.
    I remember on a weekend, actually moving a bathroom suite to Dorset in the van to the house we where to live. That house is now at the rear of a new 5 bed House I built in 1980.
    Shame I have no memorabilia.

    By Trevor Winwod (22/04/2020)
  • Hi my name is Clive Shanly, when I left school at the age of 15 I started work at the Southall branch and Mr Hopkins was the manager. I worked my way up to assistant manager under Mr Gilbert and Mr Evans. I met my late wife there and we married and lived above the shop in Uxbridge Road. I acted a a relief manager going around to different stores when managers were on holiday or sick
    I ended up at East Acton and I was there for about a year thinking I would become manager of this store. I was 24 and they told me I could not be a manager until I was 25 so I went back as assistant manager under Mr Evans in the Southall store.

    By Clive Shanly (09/02/2020)
  • I worked for Merit Supermarket in Dereham, Norfolk, from 1968 -72, while a grammar school boy aged 15-18. Merit was owned by Williams Brothers. I worked on a personal service fruit and vegetable counter on Friday evenings, Saturdays and school holidays. After leaving school, I joined the BBC with aspirations of being an Accountant. After 20 months, I ‘saw the light’ and joined NAAFI as a Trainee Produce Buyer leading to a fantastic career of over 40 years in almost all aspects of the food industry from ‘farm to plate’. This has taken me all over the world and I am still going, spending the past four years working on a consulting basis with the Spar Group.

    By Alan Symonds (14/11/2019)
  • I worked at Williams Bros in Greenford Broardway when I was 14 years old after school days and all day Saturday for about 18 months,in 1954- 1955. The manager was a Mr Williams and assistant manager was a Mr Kemp.I remember our shop won top shop in 1954 and all us staff went to Tottenham Townhall to collect our cheque, I still have the photos of the presentation with all the staff. I really enjoyed working there and if any one knows me please get in touch.

    By BRIAN WOODS (31/10/2019)
  • There was a definitely a Williams Brothers in Ealing W13. My last memory of it was around 1962. It was at the far end of Northfields Avenue on the right hand side. They used to give green shield stamps that my Mum used to collect.

    By Jane Norman (28/01/2019)
  • the southgate branch of the hardware shop was branch 105 our one in bowes rd was 109

    By jim keogh (12/01/2019)
  • My Grandad Rupert Simper use to work in the Williams Brothers store in Hayes Middx.He lived in Brookside Road.

    By Liz Palombo (07/11/2018)
  • I started work in Aug 1961 as a butchers boy at 5 Farnam Rd Harold Hill Romford ESSEX. I owe my whole butchering career to William Brothers .I butchered for 40yrs thanks to them sending me to Smithfield college day release for 4years.These were the days just after rationing and the people in the trade were very skilled but willing to teach us youngsters.William Brothers had a staff bonus scheme sharing profits just before Christmas.Happy carefree days.

    By Ben Hawley (15/10/2018)
  • There was a Williams Brothers in Streatfield Road Kenton/Queensbury that I used to frequent when I was young, 50s/60s.

    By Tony King (09/09/2018)
  • Was there a Williams Brothers in Northfields Ave, West Ealing W.13 ?

    By Derek George Thackeray (24/08/2018)
  • Does anyone have pictures of the old divi “coins” that Williams Brothers issued. Use to go with my mum to the branch in Ballards Lane (?) Finchley and remember counting them all out for the divi days.

    By Olive (06/05/2018)
  • I remember Bryan Nunn very well.
    Actor Graham Stark bought his home in Whetsone and that was when Bryan and his long time friend Lily moved to Norfolk Island .They eventually returned and lived in Slough area.l stayed with them the night before l was leaving on a trip to Australia.

    By John Kelly (27/04/2018)
  • Hello, Does anybody remember the Williams Brothers in Hayes, Middlesex? If so, I’d be interested to message you to share memories 🙂

    By Anna (19/04/2018)
  • Hi I work in Wiliams bros store in Willesden high rd nw10 !961 to 1964 ,Mr Paul visited often .dividend coins were given with change and exchanged twice a year on divi days

    By Ron Beardon (24/12/2017)
  • my mum patricia truman worked at williams brothers in north watford in the 1950s

    By Dean langley (13/12/2017)
  • I was General Manager of Reddings Tea part of Williams Bros. My office was in White Hart Lane.
    After the Booker takeover in 1971 I became Sales Director but 1972 they sold Reddings to Crown Foods in Liverpool. I moved into the Cash & Carry side of the business. I left in 1979 and later became MD of AF Blakemore & Son Ltd in the Midlands.
    The largest SPAR wholesaler in the UK.
    I have been retired almost 17 years now but try to keep in touch.

    By Tony Salisbury. (15/10/2017)
  • Hi all, I believe my late grandmother worked at Williams Bros and I’m trying to check that this is the same one! Her name was Audrey May Nash, Neé Brown, and I have a 21st birthday card from a Dorothy and F.W Williams, dated 1949.
    Any ideas very welcome! Thanks.

    By Sarah Hayward (18/07/2017)
  • Hi all iam really surprised see this artcle ived asked my family who all lived in islington also myelf bornRoyal Norhern jan 1945 and married the question was does anyone remember the tim coins you got with your change do get intouch and let me know. Regards Evelyn

    By Evelyn Neale (11/07/2017)
  • Another luton Van built by H G Creasey for Williams Bros http://www.hgcreasey.co.uk/van/luton-van-williams-brothers-barnet

    By Stephen Creasey (28/06/2017)
  • Win and Sid Marsh, my Grandparents were caretakers at Holloway Road Branch until 1957. I remember Alan French and his mother, Auntie Rosie visiting them at Combe Martin in the sixties.

    By Linda Rowson (15/04/2017)
  • I am 91 and live in Dublin. I was Head Office Manager from 1953 until 1971 when the Company was taken over by Booker and traded as Budgen.
    I could not get on with the new management and left in 1953 I am still friendly with Fred Dawson the Warehouse Manager at that time

    By Henry Howard (12/04/2017)
  • We had a branch in Southgate too in the 1960s

    By Peter Sumpter (12/03/2017)
  • My father worked for the company for many years up until 1948, I worked for the company starting at the Tally Ho corner branch in 1960 then moving around various branches in London finishing at cockfosters, keep the ‘divi’ .Happy days.

    By Tony Williams (10/01/2017)
  • Hi,

    Its Paul Williams.Glad to see a following.Paul and my brother John still hoing strong. I look forward ti any corespondence.

    By Paul Williams (17/12/2016)
  • Barry Watkinson
    I worked in the Ferme Park Rd branch circa 1962 also Stroud green rd Caledonian Rd , East Finchley Enfield Town Bush Hill Park
    I remember Tom O ‘ Dowd Fred Adcock and Pat Perry who I worked with at East Finchley
    I wonder what happened to these people
    Probably like me getting on a bit now

    By Barry Watkinson (15/11/2016)
  • I worked at Williams Brothers DSS head office in White Hart Lane as secretary to the Company Secretary, Stan Sainsbury. Bryan Nunn was there during my employment as well as Paul Williams and John Williams (sons of the Managing Director). 

    By Barbara Griffin (09/03/2016)
  • I also remember Brian Nunn, he was great with boys clubs and junior football had a lot of time for all.

    By Ken Cattanach (02/03/2016)
  • I am first cousin to Bryan Nunn.  I have just returned from Norfolk Island and found many references to him there, including people who knew him. 

    He and Kenneth Nunn were proprietors of Williams Bros.  Paul may have been one of the nephews.  Kenneth had daughters, and Bryan never married or had children.

    Bryan went to Norfolk Island after the business sold in 1971.  Stayed there until 1986; was elected onto the Council and then the Legislative Assembly.  More info if you email me.

    By Peg Humphrey (06/06/2015)
  • Hell, I am trying to trace the history of Brian Nunn who was one of the directors of Williams brothers. Please can you help in any way? I was one of the boys at friern Barnet Boys club, he took myself and a friend to his boat on the river. I have a feeling it was the thames,however,I was a little young to be sure.I am 70 this Christmas coming with time on my hands. Thank you for reading this and I do hope you can help. Please contact me via Herts Memories.

    By Rufus Jones (26/02/2015)
  • I am pleasantly surprised by this article.

    Firstly, it may explain why the Dave Clark Five were associated with Tottenham.

    Secondly, I was curious as to the size of this company. My late mother had a cousin; who married a man; who I believe was the caretaker at Williams Bros. in Holloway Road in The London Borough of Islington. His house; was in; I think, Benwell Road. It backed on to Williams Bros.. 

    Thanks to this article, I did not realise there were any branches in Hertfordshire.

    I also remember that we had a Stones in Hemel Hempstead. I do not know if it was the same company as mentioned. But I believe our one may have got absorbed into the Dixons/Currys set up.

    Alan French.

    By Alan French (14/11/2014)
  • Dave Clark (of Dave Clark Five fame) used to live in a flat above the Phillip Lane, Tottenham branch of Williams Brothers – not a lot of people know that!

    By alan stockbridge (13/11/2014)
  • My Great Grandad built vehicles for Williams Brothers – here is a picture of a van we built circa 1920s? http://www.hgcreasey.co.uk/van/grocers-delivery-van

    By Stephen Creasey (02/06/2014)
  • My mum worked at Williams Brothers in Potters Bar High Street.

    By Sue Lee (12/05/2014)
  • I used to work for the MD of Williams Brothers, around 1969, when their Head Office was located in White Hart Lane, Tottenham. I think I’m right in saying that there were two ‘young’ Williamses working there at the same time – Mr Paul? is the only one I can remember. The MD was Brian Nunn, and he left at about the same time as I did, I think, but he went off to Norfolk Island: I went to Hertford! I never remember much work being done in my office concerning the company’s retailing, but more to do with the boys’ clubs Nunn supported.

    By Lesley Durston (25/11/2012)
  • Hi, do you have any idea how I would go about finding out which Williams Brothers ran these stores?

    By Karen (03/08/2012)
  • The shop was in London and Essex too. More pictures and discussion can be found on ……

    Editor’s note: This link has been removed as it does not now work. Steven can you supply an alternative link?

    By Steven Duhig (08/11/2011)