JUST a snip with a pair of gold-plated scissors and the ceremonial white ribbon was cut, declaring Southampton’s Edwin Jones department store – hailed as the“most up-to-date in the south’’ – officially re-opened on Thursday, March 12, 1959.

The Daily Echo at the time read: “With that snip, a gap of nearly 19 years was bridged. It was on the night of December 1, 1940 that the firm’s original building was destroyed by Hitler’s bombs.

Daily Echo:

“Today in the bracing spring sun-shine, the new Queen’s Building, with one of the most attractive exteriors in the rebuilt Southampton,was in business.’’

The opening ceremony was performed by Mrs J Bedford, wife of the store’s chairman, and was watched by hundreds of shoppers all wanting to be among the first to see inside the store.