Sign of the times: After 187 years jeweller Winsor Bishop changes name

The shop as it stands today (left) and how it will look after refurbishment (right).

The shop as it stands today (left) and how it will look after refurbishment (right). - Credit: Archant/Prestons

The UK's oldest jewellers is to change its name as it undergoes a major facelift.

Located at 39 London Street in the city, Winsor Bishop first opened 187 years ago in 1834.

But now it will be known as Prestons after the firm bought the shop since last year.

According to a planning application submitted to Norwich City Council, which was approved on Wednesday, June 29, the changes are being made in order to be more environmentally friendly and ensure brand consistency for Prestons.

Winsor Bishop jewellers shop, London Street, Norwich.
Photo: Denise Bradley
Copy: EDP Norfolk Mag

Winsor Bishop jewellers shop, London Street, Norwich. Photo: Denise Bradley Copy: EDP Norfolk Mag For: EDP Norfolk Mag Archant Norfolk pics © 2007 (01603) 772434 - Credit: Archant © 2007

A Prestons spokesman said: "For the sake of consistency across marketing to include all social media platforms, website and print it makes complete sense to rebrand Winsor Bishop to Prestons.

"A significant expense within a luxury retail jeweller is packaging and to buy duplicates of boxes and bags of differing sizes and shapes is uneconomical nor environmentally friendly.

Winsor Bishop, London Street, Norwich. Valentines feature Winsor Bishop staff left to right Claire D

Staff at Norwich's Winsor Bishop. - Credit: Archant

"Running two different websites and social media is another duplication which any business would seek to avoid unless it was for commercial reasons such as appealing to a different audience.

How Winsor Bishop will look after changes have been made to its sign.

How Winsor Bishop will look after changes have been made to its sign. - Credit: Prestons

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"Prestons are not."

The high-end jewellery chain said its changes to the signage would mirror the style and quality of the current signs and added that it thought most regular customers would not notice the changes.

Inside Winsor Bishop.

Inside Winsor Bishop. - Credit: Winsor Bishop

It comes as the store undergoes a "full-scale" refurbishment, which will see the biggest changes to the store since it first opened.

The spokesman added: "Prestons as a business have invested a significant amount of time and finance in buying the business and are now looking to undertake a very sympathetic refurbishment to take the business forward.

How Winsor Bishop will look after changes to its sign.

How Winsor Bishop will look after changes to its sign. - Credit: Prestons

"A major element of this is the rebranding.

"The proposed work will also allow more of the building to be used for retail purposes, with the benefit of retaining and expanding a long-established local business and providing the type of retail space expected by modern customers making expensive purchases."

Shoppers in London Street after it had been closed to traffic at the start of the pedestrianisation

Winsor Bishop on London Street in 1967. - Credit: Archant

The store was opened by brothers Alfred and Edwin Samuel Pegler. 

Winsor Bishop in London Street in 1987.

Winsor Bishop in London Street in 1987. - Credit: Archant

Now, work will aim to modernise the building but late Victorian and Edwardian furniture will be preserved.

The refurbishment project follows a £2m sale at the jewellers, which saw earrings, rings, bracelets and other items discounted by 50pc.

London Street before pedestrianisation. Dated August, 1966. Picture: Archant Library

Winsor Bishop on London Street in 1966. - Credit: Archant

What was happening when Winsor Bishop opened?

If you thought current politics were turbulent 1834 was in another league.

After Lord Grey resigned as prime minister in July, King William IV was forced to appoint another Whig to replace him, beacsue the Tories were not strong enough to support a government.

Viscount Melbourne, was the man most likely to be both acceptable to the King and hold the Whig party together.

During his tenure, Melbourne opposed the repeal of Corn Laws, arguing not only that Catholic emancipation had failed but also that the Reform Act had not improved the condition of the people.

Melbourne was also a strong supporter of slavery, calling Britain's abolition of slavery a "great folly".

But the King didn’t like Melbourne and in November that year he was also ditched. This gave the Tories under Sir Robert Peel an opportunity to form a government.

But Peel's failure to win a majority in the resulting general election at the start of 1835 meant Melbourne was back in Downing Street.

It represented the last time a British monarch attempted to appoint a government to suit his own preferences.