John Lewis at 150: History of Bonds of Norwich in a time line
10:00 05 May 2014
Bonds has been a Norwich institution for more than a century. Here is 135 years of history in a single time line.
1879 Bonds founded by Robert Herne Bond as a small drapers shop at 19 Ber Street. His wife Mary Anne and family lived above the shop.
1895 Bonds started to expand, gradually acquiring adjacent properties along Ber Street, laying the foundations of what became the largest millinery outlet outside London’s West End.
1924 Mr Bond died and was succeeded by his eldest son, William.
1930s Bonds acquired the thatched cinema on All Saints Green – they used it as a restaurant, conference hall and ballroom, which later became a showroom for furniture.
1942 Bonds destroyed in the Baedeker Raids, along with the thatched cinema, but they hired a fleet of buses and started trading from the car park where they also set up a makeshift restaurant in an old corrugated iron building.
1951 Bonds rebuilt by Mr Robert Bond, a descendant of Robert Herne Bond.
1979 Bonds celebrated its 100-year anniversary and a number of new services including escalators, automatic doors, new two storey extension housing stationery, confectionery and a flower shop
1982 John Lewis bought the business from the Bond family and started trading as ‘A branch of the John Lewis Partnership’ in February 1983
1988 The row of four Georgian cottages were purchased, restored and fitted out for use as offices.
1990 The multi-storey car park and the shop extension was completed.
2001 Bonds changed name to John Lewis.
2011 £7m facelift of the shop.
2014 John Lewis celebrates its 150th anniversary.